Planning and Flexibility go hand in hand. Have you ever had a plan that suddenly got derailed? Maybe by changing weather, traffic, a sick kiddo, a work emergency, or some other sort of "life" happening. What if you had a back up plan? When Plan A is no longer viable we can feel frustrated, challenged, stressed and stuck. That is where flexibility comes in, allowing for optimal outcomes even when the original plan goes off it's path, essentially creating a Plan B (and maybe C, D, E....). Yes, flexibility allows you to problem solve new ways of approaching the need at hand so you can feel empowered to stay on track and accomplish what you set out to do, just with a slightly different approach than the original one you had in place.
Some examples of a great plan that could get derailed are:
You plan an outdoor workout
You plan to make a healthy meal
You plan for an exercise class after work
You plan to engage in a fitness with a friend
You set a goal to run 3 days a week
Now through a wrench in the plan, such as:
Your schedule changes
Bad traffic made you late to class
Your friend flakes out
See how a that plan could get sidelined? This is where flexibility comes in! By creating a back up plan you have other viable options should you need them, which means you are empowered to navigate those bumps in the road and keep moving forward!
Examples of a flexible Plan B might include:
The weather changed. Whether it suddenly got dark and stormy or you find yourself in the midst of a heat wave, you have to reroute your outdoor adventure. Hit the gym instead! Try choosing a treadmill by a window for that outdoor feel, or hop on another cardio piece and catch up on your favorite show or news happenings. Don't have a gym membership? Head home and check out an online workout or pop in your favorite fitness dvd. Each of these alternatives will still get your blood pumping keep your fitness on track!
I'm starving and have nothing ready for dinner. What is in your fridge and pantry? Party of meal prepping for the week is stocking your fridge and pantry with healthy options you can throw together in a snap - things like beans, corn, leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa, eggs and a variety of fruits can easily be combined for quick meals in a snap. Have some nut butter, low sugar jam and whole grain bread? You have the makings for a P.B. & J! Have low salt deli turkey, lettuce and cheese? You have a quick DIY lettuce wrap! Got some brown rice, veggies and beans? Throw together a quick rice bowl! Take a look in your fridge and pantry and think about all the healthy combos you can make, I have even had breakfast for dinner in a snap! For more ideas on some simple meals you can whip up in 30 minutes of less check out the recipe section of our blog.
Not enough time. When your meeting runs late and cuts into your workout time you don't have to throw in the towel, just make the most of the time you have left. Can you rock out a High Intensity Interval circuit in 15-20min? How about a 15 min. brisk walk? A bike ride around the neighborhood? A bodyweight circuit utilizing 3 exercises? There are many ways to incorporate meaningful fitness in a small amount of time - no fancy equipment required! And remember, something is always better than nothing.
My workout partner flaked. You were already planning on exercising, that plan hasn't changed. Unroll your mat and do some yoga at home, take the dog for a walk or pop in a fitness dvd and follow along. Once in a while things happen, however if you find your workout partner bails regularly it might be time to explore other social support options such as signing up for a small group fitness class, enlisting a personal trainer, or recruiting a different friend or family member to join you.
You're managing an injury. Injuries can happen to the best of us, but it doesn't have to sideline your goals. Cross training and stretching activities are great ways to supplement and strengthen your fitness while rehabbing a particular area of injury. Maybe you can't run but you can swim, bike or do yoga instead? Maybe your shoulder needs to heal but you can work on those lower body muscles with squats, lunges and step ups. Remember it's not all or nothing, fitness comes in many forms and you may even discover something new you really enjoy!
Bottom line - a plan with flexibility allows room for the unknown so when life throws some curve balls you can still hit your fitness out of the park! So plan A got thrown out the window, what is your Plan B? Get creative, think outside the box and remember there is more than one way to achieve a goal.