Let's be real here for a quick second. Exercising is hard and it can sometimes feel tedious. Why would I go to the gym when I can just sit here on the sofa and not move? Ok ok, yeah I am victim of an occasional lazy day (who isn't?), but I do have some tips to stay on the fitness bandwagon.
So over the last 4-5 months I've really upped my fitness game. Growing up I was always playing sports. But like many, once I got to college I enjoyed a new life of parties and not working out. Aka, I gained the freshman 15. But, over the summer and past semester, I've negated a lot of the damage I've done. Basically, I lost about 10 pounds thanks to exercise. Here's how I've stayed motivated for the past few months:
1. Follow motivating people on social media
I'm a huge sucker for social media. But, following people who inspire you to workout and get into the gym has really helped me. If they can do it, I can too! a few of my favorite accounts are:
- Niomi Smart - she's a vegan, model, British Youtuber, I want to be her, #1 love
- Sarah's Day - Paleo, advocate of natural health, a ninja in the gym, Australian fashion princess
- Kayla Itsines - creator of the BBG program, and fitness god omg she's amazing
- Anouska - Not sure of her full name, Irish, her aesthetic is everything, I want to be her best friend
- Angelique Cooper - She makes me want to move to LA, get fit, and live the dream.
- Follow your fave local gym - it makes you feel more connected to your local fit community, and seeing others you know work out really makes it motivating for you to get your butt in the gym
2. Find a workout you love
Every single fitness blog will tell you that you need to find an exercise that works for you. I like running, but I can't do it everyday. I hate the treadmill. I absolutely LOVE boxing. I've found that finding what works best for you will make you want to get better at it. Boxing has absolutely changed my life. I could go boxing everyday and not get tired of it. My favorite boxing gyms are Overthrow Boxing in NYC, The Ring in Boston, and Everybody Fights.
3. Switch Up Your Routine
I will admit that I get bored super easily. For me, it's important to keep things exciting. I rarely do the same workout twice in a row. I like my main exercise of the week to be boxing, but I'll supplement it with other activities. I love intense boot camp classes (Barry's Bootcamp is AMAZING). I like at-home HIIT Workouts (TheBodyCoach on YouTube is a favorite). I like doing Yoga (Alo Yoga's videos are wonderful). Or even just talking a walk around your neighborhood is a great way to keep things interesting. At the end of the day, do what you love, and make sure you don't lose interest.
4. Get Cool Workout Gear
I love getting new workout clothes. It makes me want to put them on and workout straight away. There's this great thing about confidence. If you think you look good, you'll feel good, and want to do good. So whenever I'm in a workout slump, I go and get myself a new pair of leggings or a sports bra or something. I want to use it straight away! If you have cool gear that you are pumped about, the more likely you are to want to work out.
5. Find a Workout Buddy
This goes hand-in-hand with accountability. Making plans with a friend is a perfect way to make sure you actually get your ass to the gym. Whether you go for a run, go cycling, or to the gym, having someone to make plans with is a huge help. It can also be a fun and productive way to socialize. You get friendship and health all at once.
When I was living in NYC, me and my friend Emma would have a weekly monday date at Overthrow Boxing. We would meet up after work, have a healthy dinner, and then go box. It was great because we got to see each other and catch up, but we were also getting in shape. And when I was in Boston for classes, we had a group fitness group chat where we would all make plans with each other to workout. That way, none of us would have to brave the gym alone! It also holds you accountable for your pre-class workout. Misery loves company. Find someone to suffer with at the gym.
6. Make a fitness instagram/social media account
I have an instagram account dedicated to healthy eating and working out. It's @healthformia. (Feel free to follow). Basically, I use it to document workouts, food, and rant about anything that's affecting my health. It's one place where I can share my health and fitness journey and be surrounded by like-minded people with similar goals. It's also great to have a space dedicated to this part of my life. If you make your health a big deal, then you may just find some motivation.
I love shopping and clothes and fashion. I was getting fed up with the way I looked in the mirror. Use your appearance as a motivating factor. Of course, you should always love yourself. But always strive for the best version of yourself. Exercising is just another way to improve yourself and your health. You may also like the results in the mirror.
8. Learn to love it
Getting back into shape sucks. It sucks so much. I can't even begin to describe how much getting in shape sucks. But if you keep it up, you learn to love the soreness. As much as it physically pains you to drag yourself to workout, it's worth it. And eventually, you'll love it. I'm at a point where I feel as though I need proper exercise. Otherwise, I'll start to feel a bit funny and off. I need exercise to stay sane and feel my best.
9. It Helps Your Mental Health
I'm prone to bouts of depression, especially in the winter. I dislike being stuck at home because of the bad weather. But, I've found that exercise really truly helps prevent some seasonal depression. The wave of endorphins after a workout makes an enormous difference in my overall mood. Without it, I'd probably be in a slump right now. I need exercise to keep me mentally healthy and alert.
10. Just do it. Don't think about it.
Here's a secret. Don't think about your workouts. Just do them. I like to work out in the morning because I just roll out of bed and go. If I wait until later in the day, there's a smaller chance that I will actually do my workout because I have all day to dread it. When I do it in the morning, I don't think about how painful it will be or how miserable I am. I just go. Another tip is to lay out your workout clothes the night before, so you just pop them on and head out the door. Don't give yourself an opportunity to make excuses.
At the end of the day, exercise because you want to. Because you want to be a better you. It's your decision, but it's something that I've learned to love again.
Also, a quick shout out to Max's Best Bootcamp for getting me back into shape and helping me love working out again!