How I Let Go Of My Routine And Made Time To Really Live – Women’s Health

How I Let Go Of My Routine And Made Time To Really Live – Women’s Health
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Gabrielle Woodland

There are times when I look back at my pre-pandemic routine and think: Girl, you were doing way too much. Balancing a busy professional life as a personal trainer, fitness consultant, yoga instructor, and breath work coach all while trying to keep up with my personal goals, day in and day out, was burning me out. My exhausting, jam-packed schedule brought me to the realization that a daily routine doesn’t always have to be that serious—especially when it comes to fitness.

Tossing out a strict regimen helped me find the time to do the activities I really love. Now, with the help of some smart tools, such as my TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch, I’m living more in the moment. Here’s how I’m spending my time now.

Discover the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4


7 a.m.: Wake up with the sun.

My room gets great light in the morning, so I typically don’t set an alarm to wake up. I’ve gotten really good about maintaining a consistent sleep schedule to make sure I get a full 8-10 hours in every night, which helps. Even when I do need to set an alarm, I’m a one-and-done kind of person. Once I’m up, I’m up!

8 a.m.: Take my dog for a walk.

After I’m dressed, I’ll put on my Connected Calibre E4 smartwatch, launch the Wellness watch face to keep tabs on my steps, take my dog for a quick walk around my Brooklyn neighborhood, then maybe grab a chai at my usual spot. All movement counts, so tracking my steps and heart rate in the watch’s walking feature in the Sports application verifies for me how much I’ve really done. I’m the kind of person who gets motivated by metrics, so it’s really interesting to see the tracking rings on the face start to close as you walk, and it pushes me to go a little further to get those steps in. I am by no means a morning workout person, but sometimes I’ll even end up walking a few miles over the bridge into Manhattan and back.

As a trainer, I’m such a proponent of finding time for a little bit of low-intensity exercise. It doesn’t always need to be a crazy HIIT workout to feel like you’ve accomplished something. And to see that I can get my heart rate up to 120 on a walk is so satisfying. (Hey, it all counts!) Plus, it’s good for my mental health to be outside and helps make walking my dog in the morning feel less like a chore and more like something I actually enjoy.

9 a.m.: Get ready for the day.

My day-to-day schedule is never the same, so I love that the E4 automatically shows me what’s coming up on my calendar to show me how long I have until my next appointment or training session. Whenever I’m out for a walk in the morning, it’s a nice reminder to head back home and get ready for the day.

Before I get into work mode, occasionally I’ll do some journaling to organize my thoughts. I find that writing is just a better modality for me mentally when I need it, but I take a lot of different practices and shelf them to use whenever they feel right. I am not a robot and I don’t do everything all the time—I think even just an occasional practice can still have a positive impact.

11 a.m.: Check in with clients.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been training clients virtually and doing monthly check-ins to answer questions or adjust their programs. I find there has been a shift to virtual training as people want more flexibility with their schedules. When you work with a trainer, they should equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to work out on your own time.

This is going to be a busy summer where everyone is going away for long weekends or vacations, and it’s easy to fall into this cycle of constantly playing catch up with your fitness. I tell my clients to try and make time for just a quick 15-minute workout before showering and going out for the evening. If you don’t have a training program in place, the E4 offers a well-rounded 7-minute workout that shows you form through an animation right on the face of the watch, then vibrates when it’s time to move to the next exercise. And if you already follow a program, you can customize your workout through the TAG Heuer connected app. Having a guided workout so closely at hand is amazing and it lets you live!

1 p.m.: Bike to the park for lunch and breathwork.

When it’s nice out, you can find me in the park eating lunch or reading. Sometimes I’ll work up a sweat on the bike ride there, and I’ll do some breathwork to get back into the right headspace. There are a couple of techniques I do to help recenter and slow myself down—specifically, the 4-second inhale, 7-second hold, and 8-second exhale. The FitBreath feature on the E4 will vibrate when you’re supposed to inhale and exhale, and it reminds you to be still. As the person who is usually the one guiding the practice (I coach breathwork and ice bath classes), it’s nice to have the watch give me those cues so I can relax.

4 p.m.: Shoot some hoops.

I played basketball growing up and have so much love for the game. I’ve found an amazing community through Hoop York City, a women’s basketball collective—we play pick up a couple of times a week. It’s a very chill environment, we don’t keep score, but I prefer to make my shots! I’ll head to the courts some afternoons to shoot around with a pair of headphones and a playlist that I can control from my watch.

6 p.m.: Do dinner and meal prep.

When it comes to nutrition, I’m not restrictive with myself, but I find I feel much better if I cook my meals myself at home. Lately, I’ll make a big chickpea pasta salad with cumin parsley, sautéed broccoli, and arugula, that’ll have me covered for a few meals during the week. It’s pretty carb heavy, but when you’re doing so many active things it’s nice to get in some fuel. I can eat that for days!

8 p.m.: Start my digital detox.

I try to put my phone in the living room and not touch it after 8 p.m., but of course, that doesn’t happen every day. I much prefer to spend my alone and downtime reading, so being intentional about having a place and a time for my phone to go each night makes this much easier. One thing I love about having a smartwatch is that it makes it so much easier to disconnect without going completely off the grid. I can check things if I need to without picking up my phone and getting sucked into the social media scroll for no reason.

10 p.m: Get to bed.

I like to keep things simple for myself, especially right before bed: I’ll always run through my skincare routine, which has been extra fun lately with the addition of a microcurrent toning device. Besides that, I let myself go with the flow and lean into what I want and feel like each night. I’m really trying to keep up practices that will be good for my future self and align with my goals. We all have times when we look back on life and think: If only I had put in a little consistent effort, I would be there already. And now that I’m 30, I’m really starting to think about honing in on the things that will be the most efficient use of my day and move me closer toward the person I want to be. The more we can simplify and create routines that we can consistently make time and show up for, the more progress we are going to be making.

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