To say I’m excited for this month’s installment of Living Kindly would be — at best – a total understatement. I got the opportunity to sit down and talk to a wonderful woman who has truly transformed her life in just a few short years, and more recently, took part in a 30-day workout challenge that is now an everyday part of her life. Did I mention this incredible lady happens to be my sister, the lovely Nicole Krause?
This month’s editorial theme at Camille Styles is all about “Simplicity,” and that’s exactly how I’d describe Nicole. Never one to overcomplicate things, or rush through life, she keeps all aspects of her world simple and calm. She’s about as easy-going as they get.
In 2016, after 14 years of smoking, Nicole made the mentally and physically tough decision to finally quit. It wasn’t easy, but I personally witnessed her handle it with such grace and patience. Since then, she’s made a commitment to herself to lead and live a healthy life – one that she feels in control of.
This past May, Nicole embarked on simple movement challenge with her fellow work colleagues. The premise? Just move for 30 minutes each day for the entire month. While I was a hard pass on joining the fun (I tend to get competitive and obsessive/all-or-nothing, and have been trying hard to move away from that lifestyle), I watched Nicole not only conquer the challenge, but have fun with it, motivate others (myself included), build a community of online and IRL friends, and of course, become physically stronger. And in true Krause fashion, as of September 12, Nicole has made it 75 consecutive days of moving her body for 30 minutes.
Nicole shared her tips for starting, how she stayed motivated, what she’s learned, and how something so simple can make such a big impact.
Make it a non-negotiable
Making time to move my body comes first, before I make any other plans. I have made it a priority and a non-negotiable. I no longer ask myself if I’m going to workout — instead I ask myself, how am I going to move my body today.
It’s only 30 minutes
We all have time when we make time. If you think about how much time you spend on social media or going down Internet rabbit holes, that time adds up to well over 30 minutes. But we’re busy too, right? Even if you can’t fit in 30 minutes at all once, you can break it up throughout the day. If I need to, I’ll do 15 minutes of weights in the morning and go for a walk at night for 15 minutes just to fit it in.
Know what works for you
I’m a morning person so 90% of the time I will get my workouts done in the morning. This works to my strength and helps to minimize my chances of something else taking priority. If you’re not a morning person — don’t force it. Figure out when a workout can naturally fit into your day.
Change the way you think about it
Don’t think about it as workout. Think about it as something you are giving yourself or a way to celebrate what our bodies are capable of. I like to use this time as a way to clear my mind. I’m creating space to be present in my thoughts, stir up my creativity, and give myself a boost of energy.
Movement is a great community-builder
I usually like to workout solo, but since increasing the frequency of working out, I have turned it into a social activity with friends. I have certain friends I can count on to join me at our weekly yoga session — and others who I know will be at my morning spin class. We hold each other accountable and even bounce workout ideas or tips by each other.
Keep it simple
I know the editorial theme this month is “simplicity” but it’s true, keep it simple. When I try to overcomplicate things and schedule a ton of workouts in advance, it stresses me out. Plus, my body craves a different kind of movement each day, so I really keep things easy & simple. I have a standing date for spin class on Wednesdays, and the rest of the time, I move how I want to — whatever I’m feeling that day. I do however try to have an idea of what or how I’ll move the day before, so I’m not stuck with trying to come up with something in the moment.
I especially have to get creative when I’m traveling. I just got back from a work trip and had no problem making this a priority. Luckily, the hotel I was staying at had Peloton bikes in their gym that I used every morning, plus the conference I was attending offered 15 minute No Sweat Yoga classes that I took full advantage of. I also made it a point to walk everywhere. You can also find a ton of free apps and do your workout in your hotel room.
Something is better than nothing
Not every workout needs to be a completely drenched sweat-zone. And, I don’t have time (or frankly the $$) to book a spin class every single day. Knowing that any movement is better than no movement takes the pressure off.
Celebrate the small victories (yes, there will be victories!)
This is your journey and your journey alone. Celebrate any and all victories along the way. When I first started hitting the trail — I was a power walker. I would get excited if I power walked faster than the last time or if I went a longer distance. I slowly built that up to running for one minute straight, then 5 minutes, then 1 mile — you get the idea. We all have to start somewhere and I look forward to every personal record, no matter how small.
Share it on social media
You’d be surprised what putting something out into the world can do. I post my workouts on Instagram stories daily and the amount of support that I have received is wild. I receive numerous DMs from friends and people I’ve never met about how inspired they are to do the same. Not only does sharing online create a layer of accountability, it also inspires others — which motivates me even more.
After watching Nicole, I finally caved and did the same 30 minutes of movement challenge in July with work colleagues, and it was hands-down the best gift I could’ve given myself. I feel wonderful, I’m getting stronger, and I’m sleeping great. Daily movement for 30 minutes isn’t hard because I’ve made it a priority. What a great reminder to, as Nicole says, “keep it simple.”