Tag Archives: workouts

Can’t Get Motivated to Workout? Grab a Few Friends!

21 Oct

I just got off the phone with one of my best friends from college. It was so good to hear her voice, shoot the shit and catch up with everything  going on in our lives (let’s just say, that’s a lot). In the midst of our discussion on our latest love interests and Halloween costumes, my friend mentioned she’s  been doing P90X with a few of her roommates and friends. “Oh, and we’re also eating super healthy. Lean meats, lots of veggies and fruits. It’s great.” WHAT?! From someone who used to eat loads of bagels, processed foods and Manwiches (ha), I couldn’t have been more thrilled about her new, healthy lifestyle. 

She explained to me that with her hectic job (working 40 to 50 hour weeks) and social life, she finds it hard to eat healthy and exercise. The trick? Grab a few friends to motivate you! Now that her entire apartment is on the same “get healthy” page, it’s so much easier for her to incorporate healthiness into her lifestyle. Every night, the entire apartment does 90 minutes of exercise together, they cook delicious wholesome meals together, and motivate one another when others are slacking. It’s the perfect formula for those trying to get in shape but just need a little more oomph, a little extra push. 

Take my sister and her roommates for example. Now that they’re big, bad seniors they’re starting to realize they can’t eat crap for the rest of their lives. This year, they’ve all been experimenting in the kitchen with new creative recipes and have ditched their not-s0-healthy meal plans. They also push each other when it comes to exercise too! The four roomies explained to me that they used to hate running with a passion, but are now beginning to enjoy it because of the goals they create for one another. One plans to run her first 5K and my sister is working her way up to 6 miles. (Way to go girls!

The power of having a workout buddy (or three) can really go a long way, and I highly encourage you to snag a few! I myself sometimes enjoy the solo workout, but I’m not going to lie: when I have a running buddy I tend to go much farther because suddenly it doesn’t feel so much like a workout. I also tend to push through an entire routine if I have someone there rooting me on, or screaming in my face, “Just one more rep!” Really, it’s like having your own personal trainer, like you have to finish or you’ll be judged or diqualified. (Think: Jillian Michaels on The Biggest Loser

Some Ideas to get you & your friends motivated: 

  • Create your own Biggest Loser competition, where you weigh in once a week and keep one another on track
  • Take turns cooking healthy meals each week. Tonight I’m cooking chicken and mashed sweet potatoes for the roomies! It’s so much fun when you’re cooking for someone else : ) 
  • Drag each other’s asses to the gym, grab a machine next to your pal and try to out-run one another. If one stops, push each other to keep going
  • Bring workout routines from magazines like Self and Women’s Health. Tonight I’ll be working out solo, so these types of routines keep me accountable to finish all the way through!
  • Sign up for a race together (like a 5K or 10K in your neighborhood), then train with each other after work!
  • Do push ups, sit ups, lunges, etc. during commercial breaks of your fave TV shows
  • Bake a healthy dessert for the apartment, so you aren’t sneaking into the Halloween bowl every night
  • Bundle up for post-dinner strolls to vent about your day and chat with your favorite pals
  • Research healthy recipes & challenging workouts on the internet, then post them on your refrigerator for motivation

What are your workout motivations? Do you like working out with a buddy or ridin’ solo? 

Get Rid of That Guilt: Why Skipping a Workout is OK

9 Sep

This morning, I got up early and headed out to meet my friend at Starbucks for…wait for it…PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES! Yes, they are indeed back and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Not only do I love the flavor, but it makes me ecstatic for the fall season: pumpkins, running outside, not sweating in my 100+ degree apartment, kettle corn, hayrides, apple picking… Seriously, I could go on forever. 

Anyway, as we chatted over our absolutely delicious “fall in a cup” lattes in the park, my friend admitted to something: she felt guilty for skipping her morning run. “I woke up early so I could run before work and then just laid around the house and didn’t do it. Now I’m going to feel guilty the rest of the day.” As I took another sweet slurp of my latte, I reflected on how I’ve been there a million times in the past. Whether I wasn’t “in the mood” to go for a run or skipped a cardio class at the gym due to pure laziness, it’s hard not to feel a little guilty when you skip a workout. I remember in college if I didn’t go to the gym for an hour each day or missed out on my weekly cycling class, I’d completely beat myself up over it. I’m lazy. I’m fat. Now I’m going to gain weight. I may as well not eat for the rest of the day. I should have just gone to the gym. Negative thoughts would haunt me for the rest of the day. Therefore, I’d force myself to exercise on days my body wasn’t feeling it, and skip out on fun dates with friends in order to go to the gym. Looking back now, it’s completely pathetic that I put so much emphasis on my psychotic workout plan.

Now, my mindset has completely changed. I don’t let myself feel guilty anymore because if I decide not to work out, I don’t think of it as a bad thing. The phrases skipping or giving up have such negative connotations to them. It’s not like you gave up on eating healthy forever or decided to drop out of school. It’s one workout for Pete’s sake! Therefore now when I choose not to do a workout, I think of it as just that. This was my decision. My body wasn’t feeling it at the time. I’m going to go with what my body tells me to do, rather than meeting my expectations. 

Once you have this mindset, you’ll never feel guilty about missing a workout again. In fact, I decided to skip  opt out of my morning run yesterday, and ended up having the most fabulous, healthy day because of it. I was able to make a hearty breakfast, do 20 minutes of morning yoga, and go for a long walk with my friend later in the afternoon. Sure I didn’t sweat a bunch or torch hundreds of calories, but I felt good about it and made the right decision for that day. On the other hand, I will be going on a 5 mile run this evening and couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m excited to challenge my body, see what my time will be and run in this gorgeous fall weather. However, if I happened to not be feeling it at the time of my run, I’d chose to do something else and would move on with it. It’s all about listening to your body. 

After all, working out shouldn’t be a chore; you should feel motivated and inspired by it! Whenever friends complain about going to the gym or talk about “forcing” themselves to go, I tell them to stay home and do something else, or go for a long walk to sort things out. If you’re feeling miserable and dragging yourself to exercise, it’s NOT going to be a good workout. And let me tell you: 25 minutes on the elliptical at a slow “I-don’t-want-t0-be-here” pace is going to do nothing for your body or overall weight management efforts. Our bodies need a break once in a while after all. And if you’re someone who exercises nearly every day, the occasional rest day is more than OK; in fact it’s good for your health. We don’t want to overwork our bodies now, do we? 

So to wrap things up: next time you find yourself feeling guilty about “skipping” a workout, try to listen to your body and think about what’s right for you. If you really are just being lazy, give it a few minutes and see how you feel, or start by just going for a walk and begin running if you feel like it (not ’cause you HAVE to). However, if you really do just need a day of rest, take one guiltlessly. There is always tomorrow and one little missed workout is not going to make the slightest difference on your overall healthy lifestyle (I wish I had known this in college). Trust me. 

%d bloggers like this: