Start Living A Balanced, Healthy Lifestyle

As a runner, running coach, pilates trainer, yoga instructor, doula, and artist, it may seem like I have many different focuses and that my attention could be scattered. However, all of my work and passions have a central focus; they stem from my curiosity in the human body and movement.

After falling in love with dancing at the age of five, I grew to become a runner and an athlete, then went on to study how movement affects social change. I earned my M.A. from John F. Kennedy University, where I explored performance art and its impact on self-esteem and the body. Embracing my passion for the human body, I continued my athletic pursuits and qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012. Today, I work as a certified Pilates and yoga instructor, specializing in women’s health, athletic rehab, and running performance.

Two important pieces of my lifestyle and work are creativity and consistency. My days usually include many of the same activities, but each day I attempt to use my artistic background to make them unique and meaningful. This often means running a new trail or teaching new material.

My Wednesday “O” includes:

  • Wake Up at 5:30am
  • Run 10-12 miles
  • Stretch and Core Strength Training
  • Breakfast: Coffee & Steel Cut Oats w/ Sunflower Butter & a Banana
  • Teach Pilates/Yoga
  • Lunch: Sandwich
  • Nap 15-30 minutes
  • Teach Pilates/Yoga
  • Snack
  • Coach
  • Dinner: Veggies, Meat, & Grain
  • Stretch, Read, Practice Harmonica
  • Bed at 9:30pm

In order create a healthy balance with physical activity, I recommend exercising consistently everyday. If I have only 5 minutes of free time between clients, I try to squeeze in some core strength training or a short stretching and foam rolling session. By being consistent, I’m able to prioritize my fitness and often as the time spent on the activity increases, so does my enjoyment of it.

I am also a strong believer in creativity. If I look at activities in a new light, I often appreciate them even more. If you’re someone that struggles with being creative, I recommend starting small and trying a new activity each month. I picked up the harmonica a few months ago and have enjoyed learning a new skill – finding a greater appreciation of music, breath, and patience.

Consistency & Creativity

To find balance in your own life, try to increase your consistency and creativity. Here are two steps I recommend:

  1. Schedule It! Make time for your health priorities. Often, people say they don’t have enough time to do physical activity or be mindful. Keep in mind that you don’t have to take a 60-90 minute class to do something healthy. Any small window of time can be used in a positive way. Try walking to work or doing push-ups before your shower in the morning. You can even practice deep breathing and good posture on your car ride home. My “O” allows me to find these small windows and make sure I am using my time to the fullest.
  2. Create It! By using Owaves, you can be the creator of your own day. You can take ownership of your goals see visually how you spend your time. I highly recommend including a new activity each day or changing your routine for variety. Variation keeps us engaged and excited about what we’re doing. Try to squeeze in time for a new practice or try to get up to see the sunrise. Even if you’re like me and you’re a creature of habit, it’s helpful to know that you can create each day to be unique!

No matter how many activities and interests fit into your day, prioritize movement to keep your body healthy. Consistently add in some creativity, and you’ll be well on your way to a happy and balanced lifestyle.

Written by W. Caitlin Smith, Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, Pilates Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Running Coach and Certified Doula. For more tips from Caitlin, check out her website The Endurables and follow her Blog and Twitter.