10 Tips to Stay On Top Of Your Fitness Goals

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

A Modern Tragedy

It’s been an exciting two weeks over here in College Park full of sleeping, hydrating, and constantly forgetting the days of the week. No, I’m not drunk. I’m concussed. 

Today we’re going to discuss the importance of tuning into how your body’s feeling. I’ve learned recently that it’s a skill I viciously lack. And I’ve paid the price for it.

Let me set the scene for you: it was 6:30am and I was walking into the gym with my girl, Averie. We were chatting and totally wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking. Classic. Except for that this time, instead of colliding with a person like normal, I walked face first into a large metal pole. Enter nose bleeding and an endless headache. And just as you would expect from me, I did my workout anyway.

Fast forward a week, despite being highly functional, my symptoms were out of control. I had trouble staying awake for the entire day, a pounding headache that made my skull tender to the touch, light sensitivity, and forgetfulness. Yet, I was still exercising and still pushing my body to perform my daily life at a high level. The entire thing was absurd, but I couldn’t admit that something was wrong with me for two reasons: 1. I had a huge accounting exam that could either save or destroy me academically. And 2. I wasn’t paying attention to how bad I was really feeling.

Now here I am, almost three weeks out from the initial smack, still suffering from the same symptoms. Each day gets better, but it’s also a direct tradeoff of how I treat my body. I’ve been cleared for light exercise (thank god) but if I push too hard, I know my brain and my well-being will pay the price. It can be frustrating to have to listen to you’re limitations when they require you to give up something that brings you so much happiness. But it’s 100% necessary. Hardcore workouts are being put on hold.

The entire experience has taught me to be more mindful in my physicality, but I think the principle can be extended to everything we do. Now, before making a decision, I ask myself if this will hurt or help me and if it’s a good choice for the long run. It’s been difficult, I’m not going to lie. But my friends have kept me on track and I’ve maintained my goal of making healing a priority. 

So here’s the take away: first, don’t walk into a pole. Second, pay attention to your body’s reaction to certain things and act accordingly. Third, sometimes a concussion can help you get better grades in accounting than a healthy brain. 

Let’s conclude with a deep quote by yours truly.

“Treat your brain the way you’d want to be treated.” -Jordan Metzman

Amen, Jordan. Amen.


Stuck in my head: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things // Taylor Swift
Snap it: nyc

 

 

Calling All the Cyclists.

I feel like on some level I knew I was born to scream at riders from a bike since my first spin class back in freshman year of high school. Something about the music, the ride, and the energy in the room captured me from day one and I was addicted. The sound of the pedals is music to my ears. I wish I had it on a track to listen to all day. Spinning to the sound of spinning, watch out it’s the new Soul Cycle.

Not going to lie, it was a little intimidating going into my first class. I had practiced the playlist & cues at least a million times, but saying it on a mic was a little more intense than whispering it in the corner of a crowded gym. But if I’m not lying then I also have to admit I wasn’t that nervous, it was just my workout with a little twist.

I really wanted to become a spin teacher for a couple reasons. The music, the ride, and the motivation.

For the music-I truly believe that if your playlist is something that gets people singing and dancing and moving all on its own, your workout will fly by even if you just do a seated climb the entire time. Cue Justin Beiber, Beyonce, and all kinds of Iggy.

For the ride- I love to switch it up in each song. No two songs are exactly the same. Shorter segments of each movement makes for a shorter feeling ride and a stronger rider.

For the motivation- I really want to help people find their love for exercise the way past spin teachers have helped me find mine. My first class teaching was full of first timers, and while it was a super hard playlist, I was so proud to introduce all those ladies (and man) to something that really helped me learn to value my health. If I even get one girl to come back & give it another go I’ll be one step closer to my goal. And yes, my goal is to add some more spin junkies to a world seemingly overflowing with runners. 

Hey Mom, I think I’ve found my calling. Forget college, I’m offically pushing pedals and playing pop music for a living. 


Stuck in my head: Reflections // Misterwives
Snap it: University of Maryland

Catch me Mondays at 6:30pm.

Shoutout to my favorite spin buddy for coming out for my Satuday class this week. Peace, love, mothers&daughters that spin together. Also sorry to MC who was forced into the ride. Hope the sweat was worth it.