My Exercise Routine

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We are all struggling with a ton of uncertainty. The moment we turn on the news, there is a sense of threat or fear. This constant state of stress can create inflammation in the body and can push us into a state of hyperarousal. Alternatively, some people respond to these types of fear triggers by shutting down and becoming immobile. Either way, we need to find a healthy outlet to release that tension. 

For me, it’s exercise. 

Prioritizing a regular exercise routine has never been more important than it is right now. It will boost not only your immune system, but your mood as well. 

EXERCISE IMPROVES OUR MENTAL HEALTH

In the first month of quarantine, I found a video on YouTube in which leading trauma psychiatrist Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk addressed the issue of immobility. He explained that when we’re in this immobilized state, trauma and fear can get stuck in our bodies (and our subconscious). We need to have healthy daily rituals to move that negativity out—and he cited physical exercise as one of the most important things we can do to avoid an energetic shutdown. 

When we move we’re lowering cortisol levels, which helps us respond to stress differently. Exercise also produces happy hormones—endorphins. 

You may be reading this thinking, “Ugh! Can’t she just give me a positive affirmation instead of telling me to work out?!” I get it. So here’s a perceptual shift for you: If you don’t like to exercise, try to reframe it as part of your spiritual or personal growth practice. You are moving so you don’t get stuck in a fear response. 

MOVE (IN SOME WAY) EVERY DAY

You can keep it simple. I have always loved my mantra: “I choose to move in some way every day.” 

I Move in Some Way Every Day Quote on a street with treesThis simple intention keeps me committed to exercise without the pressure of trying to get in an hour workout or do a certain amount of cardio. Taking the pressure off helps me keep it simple and stay committed. 

Moving in some way can be as simple as a 20-minute stretch routine that you find on YouTube, or a half-hour walk outside while you listen to a podcast. Keep it simple so that you can commit. By giving yourself permission to just move in some way every day, you will create a new habit. You can even count the days of your movement routine. Studies show that 30 days of daily repetition create new neural pathways—and a new pattern in your life. In time you won’t want to miss a day of movement! 

Gabby and Oliver walking outside near a tall fence

 If you’re a busy mom or dad, working from home while figuring out school and childcare, this is a fantastic way to connect with your family. Set a time each day for the family to move together. Busy parents, even if you only have 20 minutes after dinner, take a walk around the block. Do some kind of movement. One of my “move every day” routines is to walk up the hill near our home with my son. Often Zach will join us. This family movement time is great for our bodies and for our connection.

TAKE TIME TO HYDRATE

My #1 exercise non-negotiable is hydration. It literally helps your whole system run properly—and that means your heart, brain, muscles … everything. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush out the bacteria from your bladder, improve your complexion and even help you concentrate. Fun fact: Your brain is 75 percent water, so making sure you are hydrated is essential for you to stay focused and can even enhance your creativity. 

Gabby with LMNT product smiling

I take this very seriously. Last spring I went to the emergency room with severe dehydration because I was working out but not hydrating enough. I never want to feel that way again! One of the doctors in the emergency room suggested I drink electrolytes daily to stay on top of my hydration. Since then I’ve made daily electrolytes one of my highest priorities. 

I’ve tried several different electrolyte brands, but my favorite is LMNT (no sugar, super tasty). A little science lesson for you: Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water. They have all these amazing properties, like regulating nerve and muscle function, hydrating your body, balancing blood acidity and pressure, and even helping to rebuild damaged tissue. The team that created LMNT did a ton of research to make sure their products have no dodgy ingredients

Want to try it yourself? You can test out all the flavors here

FIND A WORKOUT YOU LOVE

Finding a workout you truly enjoy takes out the pressure and instead, turns it into something you enjoy (maybe even look forward to!). 

Gabby bernstein at the gym taking a selfie.

I feel like I’ve been training for this quarantine for years. As a self-employed entrepreneur who’s always worked from home, I’ve gotten used to exercising at home on the fly. When I was in my early twenties I would wear my gym clothes all day long because I never knew when I’d find that window to work out. I had to be workout ready!

Now, I’ve learned that having a morning routine is something that helps me to accomplish all I need in the day. Exercise is a big part of that, but I have chosen workouts that I actually like…and prioritize them.

My favorite at home workouts are: 

Melissa Wood Health

I’m proud to say that Melissa Wood is an alumni of my first ever Spirit Junkie Masterclass training. She has merged her spiritual foundation with her fitness expertise to create a game-changing fitness app that supports your mind, body and spirit. Melissa’s workout, the MWH Method, is a Pilates-based exercise routine that is easy and effective. You can expect major results with only 20 minutes a day. Plus she has beautiful guided meditations. 

The Sculpt Society

Another Spirit Junkie Masterclass alumni I want to brag about is Megan Roup. Her app is amazing! Dance workouts can be intimidating, but not Megan’s! She created an athletic approach to dance cardio—simplifying it so anyone (at any skill level) can do it. She mixes up the dancing with light weights, bodyweight exercises, sliders and even ankle weights. This is a seriously fun workout.

Cassey Ho

Then there’s my girl Cassey Ho, founder of the world-renown blogilates. Cassey is a YouTube sensation whose videos have gotten countless people moving. Each video is free on YouTube and it’s an incredible workout. What I love most about them is that you can really feel the effects with only 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. Cassey also has such a cheery and spunky personality. You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget you’re getting in a great workout. 

Gabby Bernstein working out doing a plie squat

LEKFIT

If you want to go BIG, check out LEKFIT by my friend Lauren Kleeban. I used this workout to gain strength after my pregnancy. It’s a cardio-sculpt routine that tones every inch of your body. Lauren teaches trampoline (one of my favorites) in addition to kick-ass sculpting classes. LEKFIT videos  last around 45 minutes and are definitely a challenge. 

S Factor

One way I like to let loose, feel a little sexy, and also get a great workout is S Factor (inspired by the S shape of the female body). It was created by another great friend, Sheila Kelley. The foundation is pole dancing, but so much more. The goal here is to tap into your inner feminine fire and sensual identity. You’ll combine ballet, yoga, Pilates and pole dancing for a killer workout that will seriously transform your body.  If the pole isn’t for you, no problem. They have other things like sensual yoga, dance (with no pole) and other virtual classes. You’ll feel confident, powerful and will really elevate your energy levels.

Fit Pregnancy Club (FPC)

Attention pregnant and postpartum mamas! This is the absolute best workout for you. Fit Pregnancy Club is what I did throughout my pregnancy with Oliver. It’s gentle and conscious. There’s a great emphasis on strengthening the pelvic floor … because it’s all about the pelvic floor! They also have live virtual classes to work out with other mamas. 

The Mirror

Another awesome in-home workout that’s really rocking right now is The Mirror. It’s literally a mirror that projects workouts on it. Everything from strength and boxing to cardio and yoga. It looks cool in your space and you can make sure your form is on point as you workout. Certified trainers from the country’s top fitness studios provide motivation and live feedback. I’m a Global Ambassador for Lululemon and I’m proud to be the first meditation teacher on The Mirror. If you have one, don’t miss my meditations!

Oh, and a major reminder to all of my Miracle Members: In your bonus section there is an hour-long mantra, meditation and movement exercise workout with me! If you’re a Miracle Member and you haven’t tried this out, do not miss it. I guide you with positive affirmations along with a Pilates-based workout.

Not a Miracle Member? Check out the Miracle Membership here

Just Move … Anywhere

Gabby working out at her kitchen, moving image

I’m a mom, a business owner, and a private chef to Oliver and Zach. So I try to find movement wherever I can. But some days when I don’t have time to exercise, let alone walk up the hill, I’ll literally do leg lifts while I cook. No joke! 

MOVEMENT IS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE 

Gabby on a hike outside in a baseball cap

When you wake up with a purposeful heart, setting intentions and prioritizing self-care, you are making a conscious choice to let go of anxious feelings that can disrupt your day. Exercise for me is a spiritual practice. I’m doing something good for my body and my mind.

You have the opportunity to change bad habits and reframe negativity through movement and meditation—and you can combine the two. One of the most beloved meditations is my 6-minute walking meditation

If you are pressed for time, or just need a great way to start your day, lace up your sneakers and try this. I promise it will leave you feeling refreshed.

No matter what exercise inspires you to move, take that time for yourself. You won’t regret it. 

Keep it simple, and make this your mantra: “I choose to move in some way every day.” 

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If you dig the Spirit Junkie sweatshirt I’m wearing above, check out all of our awesome merch here

gabby bernstein sweatshirt

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  • Don’t forget to hydrate! Check out the LMNT DEAL.

Note: I’ve partnered with LMNT because I truly use their products every day and also because hydration is really important to my exercise routine (and life!).

 

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    1. Hi Tracey,
      There is not a specific 20 minute stretch routine. As an alternative to the workouts that Gabby mentions in this blog post, she reminds us that we can google a workout of our choice! She gives the following two examples: yoga with Tara Stiles or yoga with Elena Brower.
      xoxo

  1. Gabby, Thank you so much for this post! I 100% agree that physical exercise/movement is a spiritual activity. Whenever I am feeling stuck, just going for a walk clears my head and brings me back to joy. Thank you for sharing these awesome online programs! I am going to try LekFit.

    I love the idea of committing to moving everyday that you mentioned here. I think you shared that in your instagram post a while as well. I used to be on a strict workout schedule and generally don’t have a problem with it as I do love to workout. But, in those days when I am feeling low or feeling too busy, I would miss and then would feel so guilty! Then this guilty feeling would spiral into more days of not working out because it would be so hard to get out of this funk. But, ever since I committed to moving everyday as my mantra instead of being so strict of exactly what workout I would do and for how many minutes, I found myself actually working out every single day! I didn’t really notice it until about 3 weeks in. I found myself moving more than ever before because I did not put pressure on myself!! Also, I would do what I FELT like that day, not what was on my calendar. If the morning was chilly out, I would be inspired to run (I love the cold). Days I would need tension released, I would do HITT. When I need to settle down a bit, I would want to go for a long walk and listen to music or a podcast. etc. Taking the pressure off actually has put me in a better physical state than ever.

    1. Amazing, Kyunghee! It sounds like you’ve experienced a miraculous shift. By taking the pressure off and releasing judgment, you’ve created more space for yourself to move. Love it! So glad this post is serving you. xoxo

  2. Gabby – I’m surprised The Class didn’t make your list of workouts…Any thoughts on it? I’m looking forward to expanding my workout tool box with some of your suggestions too! xo

  3. This post saved my life today. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but I poured my heart and soul into creating an online course. It was crucial for me to pivot, just like many of us with brick & mortar studios. The concept: Until we go inward, external forces will always lead to punishment mentality and self sabotage in terms of exercise. It’s a culmination of exercise, meditation, yoga and lifestyle management. The reason you “saved my life” is because I was doubting myself. My fears and insecurities were creeping in because I do not participate in diet or workout culture. I was afraid I was sending the wrong message. But I know that I’m not (with your help). The fear had nothing to do with my course because it’s filled with love and knowledge and important information to help women journey home to self. The fear was that part of me that doesn’t feel worthy of success. Your blog is exactly what I needed today.
    Thank you
    Kelly

  4. Gabby, Reframing the word of excersise is the best idea ever. I have struggled due to injury and medical conditions, however in my practices never been able to maintain excersise. It drained me not invigourated me, however the change in mindset has worked in othet eras of my life….that I am super excited to reframe this word…its crazy that i never thought about it before….thankyou thankyou thankyou you are always a blessing in diguise and topics come uo as I need them….love the universe’s way xoxo

  5. Great blog, Gabby! I’m like you…I like a big variety of workouts. Usually I just listen to my body and use my intuition to guide me to which one I want to do each day.
    Let me just say, I absolutely love Cassey on Blogilates! Her energy and enthusiasm are off the charts, and I totally admire the empire she’s built. The workouts are short, but SUPER effective! I also love Popsugar Fitness…also totally free.

I only recommend products and brands I passionately believe in, but wanted you to know that when I make a recommendation, I may receive a referral fee.

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