Find Your Fitness Flow

If you read the happiness literature and research that’s out there, you’ll quickly notice the word “flow.” It’s used a lot in the quest for bliss. When we are in our happy places, there is flow. The same is true for fitness.

You need to cover the bases of cardio, weight training, and stretching, but there are more ways to do that than fans at a World Cup soccer game. Cardio can be hardcore running or a free-form dance class. Strength training can be traditional weight lifting, or it can be rock-climbing (hauling your body up a cliff is definitely weight training!).

How do you find your fitness flow? Experiment!

Okay, okay, don’t roll your eyes! “Experiment” doesn’t mean signing up for a trapeze class and praying you won’t die (unless you actually think that sounds like fun). It means putting yourself out there and trying different stuff. If something seems vaguely appealing, give it a go. If you suffered through the entire experience, cross that one off your list and try something else.

Think big and little. Running is popular because it’s actually pretty easy to tap into a flow with the rhythm and the scenery breezing by you. But perhaps the focus of a LaCrosse game really jazzes you up. You’ll know you’ve tapped flow when you look up at the clock and the hour has flown by.

Go wild or mundane, it doesn’t matter. It’s your body. What appeals to you? Try it and decide if you want to keep doing it.

For me, flow is a combination of things, and it shifts over time. At the moment I’m digging running, hooping, and Pilates. Sometimes I need something a little more hardcore and I’ll go for Spinning or kettlebells. I do drift outside in the summer and inside in the winter, but the shoosh of my skis on a downhill slope is a glorious thing and I’ll let out a little girl giggle on my first run of the day.

Do you know what gets you into flow? Do you have a sport or fitness activity that you already do? What works for you? I’d love to hear your stories.

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson runs her own successful fitness blog at Lisa Johnson Fitness and is frequently seen hanging around Twitter @LisaJohnson. She also runs a few Pilates studios, Modern Pilates Boston.


  1. We are definitely in the Crossfit flow! I have not had as much fun in a gym (Box) for a long time.

  2. My flow is sprinting uphill on a bike – thoroughly enjoy that burn.
    But I also have heaps of fun playing most team sports.

  3. I like your energy, Lisa!

    I experimented with a different fitness flow recently. I tried the P90X workout series. I am proud to say that I was loyal to the routines for a month. I stopped after that, though. It wasn’t for me. It’s an intense workout series but, frankly, I’d find myself feeling physically ill mid-workout. That can’t be good. So I chose to listen to my body, and went back to my old standby flow of running, plyo and strength training, with a spinning class thrown in the mix when I want to work out in a group. That works for me, although I’m sure I’ll experiment again in the future to keep it interesting!

  4. You guys all have great options! Glad to see people moving, any which way they prefer …


  5. I always try to look for new things to challenge myself while still sticking by my old favorites like running. I think striking a balance between workouts with a familiar flow, and new challenging ones works the best.

  6. I love how you have applied the concept of “flow” to finding what works.

    Too often LIFE overwhelms our intentions for fitness. But I’ve found that if I search for my “flow” then I’m actually excited about it and will stay at it.

    Right now I’m enjoying my early morning garage gym workouts. Kettlebells, pull ups, rings, plyobox jumps, and more.

    My motivation … is to stay in shape despite working in a cubicle all day so I’m ready for anything life tosses my way.

    And while it is the end of July I am already looking forward to shredding the backcountry on my snowboard this upcoming season.

    Find what motivates your “flow”. Great post.

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