The Four Cs of Staying Healthy:
Cardio, Calories, Care and Community
Self-care Isn’t an Action, It’s a Practice.
For countless people, the COVID-19 pandemic has put plenty of things in perspective. However, not all of these are negative, as the pandemic has cultivated a new appreciation for health and fitness amongst countless people. Beyond the medical benefits of fitness, it’s also an incredibly valuable lifeline for when things feel isolating or overwhelming.
Although the pandemic has changed a lot since the initial lockdowns in 2020, the lessons that it’s surfaced in the fitness world are more valuable than ever: When things seem out of control, you can always fall back on the Four Cs. These are Cardio, Calories, Care, and Community. We’ll talk more about them in a second.
Being mindful of your health has plenty of physical and mental benefits. Not only does it make your body better at fighting off diseases and infections (like COVID), it also equips you with a better sense of confidence and agency for managing stress in exhausting times.
To that end, check out these four “C-crets” for staying healthy from the trainers at Club Greenwood!
The term cardio refers to a wide variety of different exercises. From cycling to hiking or swimming to tennis, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping.
You don’t have to be a long-distance runner to get the benefits of cardio. In fact, just finding an extra 20 minutes during your week to squeeze in some intentional cardio can have noticeable benefits, which naturally increase the more that you can integrate it with your day-to-day lifestyle.
To put it mildly, there are A LOT of different benefits to getting your cardio in.
Even if you’re not planning any 10k runs, you’ll start to see the differences add up across your daily life. Consistent cardio leads to better sleep, better focus, and overall better moods. If you’re interested in pursuing fitness beyond cardio, too, you’ll notice that you’ll have better endurance, less discomfort, and faster recovery times. As an added benefit, keeping your cardio strong means that climbing stairs becomes a breeze too!
There’s a popular saying in the fitness world that abs start in the kitchen. That’s true for more than just abs: your energy, mood, health, and fitness progress are all massively influenced by your caloric intake. If you want to see long-term progress towards your athletic goals, the calories you consume (and the sources you get them from) are something you need to manage.
Let’s take a second to bust a common misconception. If you’re new to the fitness world, it can be easy to trick yourself into thinking that the only way you manage calories is by getting restrictive. There are massive fad diet cultures promoting methods of (and alternatives to) extreme caloric restriction–or drastically limiting your food intake.
This doesn’t have to be your relationship with calories on your fitness journey. True, managing calories is important for your fitness journey and overall health. However, managing often goes better when you view it as being mindful about calories rather than cracking down on them.
Having support on this can help a lot, especially if you’re starting out. This support can come in various forms, too, depending on what you respond best to. Installing a calorie tracking app like MyFitnessPal can be awesome for some people, as it provides a way of mapping (and calculating) your caloric intake. Other people might respond better to meeting with a nutritionist or joining a fitness group, which can be an awesome source of support when you need it the most.
Physical and mental health isn’t an either/or situation. Your mood and mindset can greatly impact your energy, circadian rhythm, and sleep cycles. Meanwhile, being mindful of your body’s needs, limits, and routines will make you better equipped to handle stressors and navigate draining situations.
Practicing self-care can mean a lot of different things to different people, but the central idea is the same: listen to your body and make sure that it’s getting the balance of rest and stimulation that it needs. If you constantly feel tired, it can be incredibly valuable to look at your schedule and allow yourself more sleep. Likewise, if you feel restless or lethargic after sitting at a desk all day, it can be worthwhile to sprinkle in some movement. We’ve found that yoga is an excellent cure for all the blahs that come from sitting for too long, but you’ve got a lot of freedom to pick something you enjoy! For some people, that can be as easy as just taking some time to stand up, stretch, and take a 15-minute walk.
Remember earlier when we said that joining a group can be fantastic for finding support as you navigate your nutritional needs? Joining a group is also awesome for pursuing your fitness goals, exploring new interests, and keeping yourself sane when things get stressful.
To that end, joining a gym is one of the best ways to meet new people, build friendships, and find your people. After all, if you meet someone in a group fitness class or between sets on the weight machines, you already know that you’ve got something awesome in common!
Every aspect of your self-care becomes more intuitive when you feel like you’ve got a community to fall back on. Being in a fitness class or having a workout buddy can be a great motivator to show up and stay committed to workouts. In turn, this means that you’ll feel more energized and better equipped to tackle other commitments in your life. This means that you’ll have more bandwidth and breathing room to enjoy your relationships. It’s a constructive cycle once you find your people, and joining a good gym is one of the best ways to do that.
If you haven’t guessed already, all four of these Cs can be met by finding the right gym, health club, or fitness studio. You don’t need to look far to find cardio options inside a good gym, and there are plenty of ways that they can help you be constructive about your calories. As we mentioned above, gyms are also a great source of community, and they provide a variety of outlets (and ways to relax!) to cultivate a healthy self-care routine.
That’s where we come in.
Club Greenwood is dedicated to one thing and one thing only: the wellness of our community. We believe that staying healthy is more than JUST a diet or workout routine, and we strive to help our members be the healthiest possible versions of themselves! That’s why we’ve got incredible facilities, classes, and programs that span everything from swimming and tennis to powerlifting and martial arts.
Our top-tier facilities are equipped with two spacious heated pools, a full suite of indoor clay tennis courts, a full-sized indoor track, two decks of cutting-edge cardio equipment, and much, much more. Did we also mention our programs and classes? Find your people by joining a group for everything from yoga and pilates to basketball and cycling.
We understand that fitness isn’t a checklist, it’s a journey. When you make that journey at Club Greenwood, you’ll be amazed at how empowering and enjoyable that journey can be.