I played multiple sports growing up–swim, dive, basketball, ballet and soccer. Needless to say, I didn’t know what “out of shape” was. I quickly learned after college soccer that there is truly nothing like being “90-minutes fit” (basically, the soccer version of saying you’re in the best shape of your life). Since I graduated in 2013 and have been busy trying to be a twenty-something, I have been trying to find ways to stay in shape and make sure I always get some kind of workout in.
I started working right after college–days were long and the workload was extensive in a new kind of way, and I was adjusting to not being a student anymore. I didn’t work out for nearly six months–six months! I did occasional yoga but I seriously got off track because I became so invested in a new work environment and managing expectations (I forgot about my own!). That’s when I realized–oh my gosh, how did this happen!? I have NEVER not worked out! So for the last year and a half, I have discovered multiple ways to ensure I get a workout in–and ENJOY it.
Here are some tips and tricks that have been the game changers for me:
1) Plan your workout in a place you look forward to going.
I went to the gym daily but once I moved apartment complexes, it wasn’t as convenient anymore so I quit my membership. I also got tired of the crowds and weaving between people to make sure my equipment was available and to find a good spot for my workout without being around too many people. When it’s nice out, I look forward to working out outside–it gets me through my day. I have certain places I like to do my power walk (I’m a serious power walker), and I have a place I like to set my mat and dumbbells up with benches for my circuit workout. Having a place to look forward to doing your workout will keep you engaged, motivated and excited!
2) Do at-home workouts.
Once I quit the gym, I realized how much I could do at home with thoughtful preparation to make it just as sweaty and effective of a workout. I can’t do all workouts at home, but I thoroughly enjoy the ones that I can. It’s a great way to save time, money and do your workout in a comfortable environment. Workout programs like Kayla Itsines BBG
or Sweat with Kayla
and Fitaz FK
are great programs that give you structure but also flexibility to do your workout in any environment. Also check out living room tabata.
3) Be okay with an okay workout. Just commit to getting it in!
I would love to go hard every day. But life happens–some days I just
need a workout I can get in and still feel good afterwards without worrying about failing or unpleasantly struggling through the whole thing. That’s when I considered workouts for my mood
–some days I’m PMSing and my body is not up to the challenge, lunch gets away and throws off my schedule, and some days I’m just
really tired. When that happens, I would ax my workout because I would no longer be able to get in a high-intensity workout. Rather, I created a balance and developed a queue of workouts I can do to accommodate my mood or how my body is feeling, and know that the high-intensity workouts come other days and I will work through them one way or the other. Check out The Nalini Method: 7 workouts for 7 moods
4) Develop habits that work for YOU.
You say #NetflixAndChill, I say #ScandalAndPowerWalk. Confession: I have a SERIOUS (and shameless) binge-watching problem. (Binge watching like I do while still managing every day life is a COMMITMENT–and one I’ll take pride in.) If it’s nice out, I look forward to catching up on my favorite podcasts during my power walk outside. If it isn’t nice out, I look forward to a power walk on the treadmill while indulging in my latest binge-watch. Too often I have sat on the couch, three episodes (or more…) have passed and I’ve thought to myself, “I could have already power walked for an hour by now.” Instead, I created my own rule: no watching my show until it’s time for my power walk, that way I can get everything done I need to beforehand! One episode later and I’m sweatin’!
5) Feel the difference.
When I started my blog, I would come home after work and start working immediately without giving myself a break–after I’d already put in a full’s day work. Before I knew it, it was midnight and I was more brain dead and tired than I was getting things done. Even though I knew it, I just needed a friendly reminder: my brain activity and productivity
is SIGNIFICANTLY better when I give myself a break after work and get my endorphins going with a workout. The 30-minute workout is totally worth the time when an otherwise five hours have been spent tirelessly on a not as productive night! I also feel a difference the next day in my mental function, energy and alertness. Workout it is.
6) Routine and accountability.
Whether you’ve got a routine and you hold yourself accountable, or you have a workout buddy or coach to hold each other accountable, routine and accountability go hand in hand. Devote certain days to strength training and other days to cardio or another form of activity. Plan some days for your at-home workouts and some to that place you look forward to going. You’ll develop a structure and give yourself something to look forward to while creating options for yourself so you can shuffle your routine around if things come up (because they do)–and you can still hold yourself accountable to getting it done (because you had a routine!). And most importantly, getting it done and feeling good about it!
When in doubt… save your hike for the weekend! Now THAT’S something rewarding and to feel good about.
I hope these give you some motivation to find joy in getting your workouts in in the midst of busy, everyday life. What are some ways you stay active and exercise? I look forward to sharing more health, wellness and#fitspiration! XOXO