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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Staying Healthy in the New Year: Getting Fit

I never started exercising regularly until a few years ago...I was lazy...or maybe I just didn't know where to start.
I'll admit there have been a few times where I've had "bad exercise" months due to "life happening", but those bad month's aren't going to happen anymore because I finally have the right mindset to not let it happen, and I've made some changes so that I will always be able to fit in a workout.
Here are somethings that I've learned that are going to help me be consistent with my workouts.

There's always time for a workout, you just might need to change your schedule:
I've never been a morning person, and lucky for me, my kids like their sleep too.  I used to always work out in the evenings when my hubby would be home to watch the kids.  The only problem with this is that I had to work around his schedule, but quite often he has to work late, or gets called out in the evening...so life would happen and I wouldn't get a workout in.  Finally I realized I need to suck it up and set my alarm in the morning.  Now I'll do a workout at home while the kids are still sleeping, and 1 or 2 times a week I'll get up a little bit earlier to go to the gym and be home in time for my hubby to go to work.  I haven't had to miss a single workout now due to his schedule getting in the way of mine!
Write it Down:
I am so much more likely to be consistent with my workouts if I write them down.  This year I have a day-timer that I'm using solely to track my workouts.  I aim for 5 workouts a week, but I don't worry about which days I do them on, it's so much easier to make sure that I'm getting all my workouts in during the week if I write them down, this also allows me to make sure I'm getting a good variety of strength and cardio.  Another thing I've been doing with my day-timer is writing down a list of 5+ extra strength moves that I want to complete each day (even my non-workout days) and checking them off as I complete the list.  Writing the list holds me accountable to actually get it done!
You can also use a day-timer to track your body measurements if you are aiming to lose weight/inches.

You don't need a gym to get a good workout:
Who doesn't love pinterest?  I love using it to find new workout ideas.  Most mornings I do workouts that are on my Health pin board, from my living room.  I'm always switching up workouts so I don't get bored, and I don't need much equipment, in fact many of the workouts I do only use body weight.  I usually aim for a 40 minute workout, sometimes that means mixing together 4 different 10 minute workout videos (which I watch on my laptop or iPhone, lately I've been loving this 10 minute arm workout video!), other times that means repeating a circuit 5 times.
Got a kettle bell or dumbbell? I love this Jillian Michaels workout!

Try Intervals:
I love running, if I could go for a nice run every day I would, but in the winter it's way too cold to run outside, so I have to use a treadmill.  Running on a treadmill is the most boring thing ever!  I find that I always want to cut my run short because I get so bored, my solution has been to run intervals instead.  Intervals are hard, but I love them!  Maybe I'm weird, but I love knowing that I've challenged myself.  I get a weird "high" after a hard workout, and I love that feeling.  Somedays I'll run 1min and jog 1min intervals, others I'll do 2 and 2, and now as I've gotten better I've upped my run time to 3mins and 2mins jogging.  I also like to up my speed every few weeks to make sure I'm always improving my fitness level.
Interval training doesn't have to be done on the treadmill...the idea is to "go hard" for a short period of time and then "go light", back and forth in intervals.

Don't put all your focus on One Thing:
Back in college I started working out 5 days a week after my classes were out.  I wanted to lose the "blob of fat" on my lower abs, and that's all I could focus on.  I was doing lots of cardio and ab exercises, but the fat wouldn't budge.  After a few months I got discouraged and quit working out.  The problem was that instead of noticing all the other positive changes resulting from my workouts (as in nice toned legs!) all I could focus on was the fact that I still had that blob of fat, so I felt that working out was pointless.  (It probably didn't help that I ate Kraft Dinner everyday, and hated vegetables..haha)
Now I focus on how much better I feel (mentally and physically) when I workout, I also notice my toned limbs and any other positive changes as a result.  I focus on how much faster I can run, and I celebrate the fact that I don't have to do "women's" push ups any more.
Celebrate the positive instead of focusing on the negative, because so often the negative is so much smaller than we think it is!!

Do you have any tricks for staying fit that you love?

What about a favourite health/fitness website?  Right now mine is Popsugar Fitness!

What about a women's health/fitness magazines?  I can't decide which one I want to subscribe to!

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