New Year’s Eve has long since come and gone, but those little things called resolutions are technically still hanging around. If you were inspired to up your fitness level this winter, the original motivation of your goal might be starting to waver. It’s cold outside. It’s hard to get in shape. It’s not easy to change old habits.
Here are my top 10 tips for staying active, even when everything inside you screams “give it up already!”
1. Put each workout on your calendar
Make yourself a plan and stick to it. It’ll be hard in the beginning, but by making trips to the gym part of your day, like a work meeting or class, it becomes more routine. And inevitably, less painful. You should see my Google Calendar- I’ve got it down to the leg day.
2. Carry healthy power snacks with you
It’s easy to make an excuse for skipping the gym. My number one: I didn’t have the power to workout because I was too hungry. By carrying foods that fuel a workout, like almonds and protein bars, you’ll always have the pick-me-up you need.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new workouts
Treadmills get stale quick, as do 7 spin classes or 7 lifts or 7 Zumbas a week. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. It’ll challenge your body more and give you the ability to find what really gets you excited to be active. You never know what you might love until you lace up your sneakers and go.
4. Have an idea of what your workout is… before you get to the gym
You’ll waste less time and be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. If you’re unsure of your workout, you might default to less effective, more generic moves, rather than things that could really challenge and change you. Or even worse, resort to walking around trying to figure out what to do. Which leads me to my next suggestion…
5. Keep a log of workouts on your phone
Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube are amazing resources to help plan workouts. There are more things out there than pushups and situps and ellipticals. Explore different circuits that hit muscles you didn’t think of before. Honestly, it can be even easier than Insta- a simple Google search can yield millions of options. My personal favorites are this ab killer and this youtube video that’s going to turn me into Gigi Hadid.
6. Ease your way into fitness & take your recovery days
No one said you have to be John Cena on day one. Give your body time to build up strength and work towards higher weights, rather than grabbing them from the start. Along with that, make sure to give your body time to heal post workout. This means stretching and rolling your muscles but also taking a day or two off a week to relax and heal.
7. Not every workout has to be the best
Sometimes half the battle is getting to the gym. Give yourself a break if you’re lifting lighter or sprinting slower some days. Fitness is a cumulative process. Somedays will be stronger than others. And when you are having an off day, take it a little easier. If you push too hard now, you’ll keep suffering later.
8. Find a workout buddy
What really changed my workout game was finding a partner to lift with (Hi, Sam). While we don’t hype and push each other like some fitness friends, we work towards our goals together and make our time at the gym enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, we work hard as hell between the hours of 7 to 9am, but if Sam’s in the gym, you know I have to be there, too. Sometimes, it’s all about accountability, baby.
9. Ask when you don’t know
Part one: instead of skipping weird moves or leaving hard classes, ask for modifications to exercises to match them to your fitness level. And part two: I’ve found the fitness community to be excited to show someone the ropes, don’t be afraid to ask how a machine works if you don’t know. There’s no reason you have to figure it out all on your own.
10. Remember: You’ll never regret it once it’s over
The most concrete, absolute, real thing about exercising is that you will NEVER regret a workout once it’s over. When that elbow sweat drops after squats or you hit that flat road at the end of a spin class, being proud is inevitable. It’s why I get to the gym. It’s why the guy next to you gets to the gym. It’s why you get to the gym. No pain, no gain. And definitely no regrets.
So keep running, box jumping, and mountain climbing your way through 2018, friends. Your fitness progress awaits.
Stuck in my head: Go F*ck Yourself // Two Feet
Snap it: A gym near you