I’m so excited for our first guest post! As I mentioned earlier today, to help US with our wellness challenge I have brought on several guest experts to help us. Some are fellow bloggers, some are fitness professionals, some are a combination of both. Today, we have Teddi Ginsberg from Teddi Set Go. Besides running her blog (which is so cute, be sure to check it out!), she is also a personal trainer and certified health coach. Today Teddi is talking about something I can certainly benefit from – creating a fitness routine you’ll want to actually stick with. I am one of those people who hates working out and has to really force myself to do it. Also, #4 is a big one for me… I’m going to stop overcrowding my calendar and make fitness a real priority.
Happy New Year! My name is Teddi and I’m a personal trainer, health coach, weight loss specialist and blogger over at TEDDI, SET, GO! I’ve been an avid reader of Grace’s for over five years now and I’m so honored and thrilled to be here sharing with you all today. While I’ve personally always loved January (to me, it represents new beginnings – and my birthday!) I recognize that it’s a tough month for many. Aside from being dark and cold out, lots of us are still crawling out of post-holiday hangovers, literally and figuratively.
I’m here to tell you that even though it might be tempting to hibernate, this is the *perfect* time to dig up every ounce of motivation you can muster. Learning to create and stick to a routine on the dreariest of days will be a great lesson in grit that you future self will thank you for. (Plus, when spring rolls around and you no longer need to throw on long sleeved tees over your tanks, you’ll be glad you hunkered down and got to work months earlier!)
Rest assured that if you’re someone who claims they “hate” working out, all that means is that you have yet to find exercise you enjoy, and that’s okay! Take it from a girl who used to hide in the bushes during the mandatory mile run in school and grew up to become a personal trainer. Guess what? I still hate running and I’m still grateful for that damn bush. But after lots (and lots) of trial and error, I found ways to move my body and challenge my mindset. And I found that while I enjoy yoga, barre, Pilates and cycling classes; weight lifting and resistance training is ultimately what keeps me consistent, on my toes and always coming back to the gym for more.
Here’s how to zone in on your game-changer, how to implement it into your lifestyle and how to stick to it.
1. FIND YOUR FITNESS.
Maybe you already know you love to roll out your yoga mat or hop on the treadmill for a few miles, and that’s great. But many avoid exercise simply because they haven’t found any that they actually *want* to do. If you’re one of those people, your homework is to try at least three new workouts a week. Depending on your budget, location and circumstance, you can go about this a few ways: search videos on YouTube, download apps like Nike Training Club or Aaptiv, join a gym, or purchase a package from ClassPass or a studio that offers a variety of fitness modalities.
DON’T: Be shy. This is a great time to take advantage of deals for first timers, whether it’s a free week of yoga at a local studio, a complimentary Intro to CrossFit class or a BOGO offer for that kickboxing class you’ve been dying to try. Ask around friends and family to see who may have guest passes to gyms and will let you tag along for their next workout or group fitness class. Stepping out of your comfort zone is what it’s all about.
DO: Be patient! Honestly, it took me years to find (and fall in love with) strength training workouts, and it was 100% worth the time and effort. Know that every workout (even the ones you HATE) is getting you stronger, mentally and physically.
2. MIX IT UP.
Love running? Sweet! But the thought of going for a run five times a week makes you want to gouge your own eyes out? I don’t blame you. Aside from being boring, doing the same workout day in and day out means you’re probably not challenging your metabolism, muscles or mind.
DON’T: Get comfortable. It’s such an amazing feeling to finally find a workout you genuinely love, and I encourage you to ride that high. But guess what? One ain’t enough. In addition to my gym workouts, I go on a hilly 2 mile walk with my dog most days and I sprinkle in mat (yoga/Pilates/barre) classes whenever I can. These different exercise modalities give my body what it needs and keeps me moving in lots of ways.
DO: Find at least two workout categories you can live with on a weekly basis. If you’re doing lots of barre or yoga classes, that’s great, but where are you getting your cardio? Conversely, if you’re gearing up for a half-marathon, are you getting in your cross-training? Make sure you’re mixing it up – even if it means four Spin classes and one Pilates workout a week. You’d be surprised how even a little variety can keep you interested and motivated!
3. MAKE YOUR GOALS S.M.A.R.T.
When I was studying to become a personal trainer, I learned an awesome acronym for goal-setting: S.M.A.R.T. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This takes your goal from, “I want to lose some weight,” to “I want to lose ten pounds and decrease my body fat percentage over the next three months, in time for Kate’s wedding.” See what I mean? For now, I want you to focus on Realistic (though I encourage you to come back and visit the rest of the acronym once you’ve got a better idea of what your weekly workout routine will look like!)
DON’T: Jump the shark. It’s tempting to want to go full throttle and promise yourself that you’ll work out every single day, but the truth is that it’s far too easy to get burnt out and give up this way. (Plus, you should always have at least one rest day built into your week. ALWAYS!)
DO: Start slowly and build yourself up. I hate to break it to you, but that one SoulCycle class a week isn’t getting you anywhere. If you want to see real change in your body and in your life, you’ll need to commit to a regular regime, and I recommend you aim to move at least every other day. If your goal is to ultimately work out five days a week, that’s fantastic. Commit to it for two weeks and see how it goes. Did it? Amazing. Reward yourself with a pedicure, a new workout top or something else that contributes to your overall wellness and makes you happy. (Note: Junk food or a “cheat meal” should never be your “reward” for workouts. I don’t care what anyone tells you; you cannot out-exercise a poor diet!)
4. DON’T WORK FOR YOUR SCHEDULE; MAKE YOUR SCHEDULE WORK FOR YOU!
I tell my clients this all the time. We’re all crazy busy with countless obligations to our family, workplace, community, etc. It’s easy to throw in the towel and accept defeat when it comes to your own packed schedule; it can seem daunting to fit yet another appointment in your already bustling day. This is the moment to take control of your calendar. Stop allowing yourself to get overloaded. Now is the perfect time to put your health and fitness first. Remember that if you’re not in the right mindset, not only are you letting yourself down, you’re not able to give 100% of yourself to others, either.
DON’T: Overcommit or squeeze in something when you know it may not work. If you add a workout to your planner with the thought hanging over your head that it’s a long shot, chances are it’s not going to actually happen. Some days you just won’t be able to do it all, and that’s okay.
DO: Get creative. Dig deep and see where you can move things around to accommodate your new workout schedule. Can you fit a non-sweaty workout in during lunch? Or maybe you can schedule dinner an hour earlier so you can fit a workout in the next morning and still get enough sleep? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
5. ZONE IN ON YOUR WHY.
We all have different reasons for committing (or re-committing) ourselves to living a more healthful and fit life. For some of us it’s a wake-up call from a medical professional or loved one… some people see a particular photo of themselves and realize they need to make a change… and some of us, like me, wake up one day and realize they’re tired of feeling like crap and it’s time for a lifestyle re-haul. What’s your reason? If you’re not sure, it’s time to take a long, hard, honest look in the mirror!
DON’T: Lose sight of the big picture. It’s almost too easy to get caught up in the crap. Maybe you left a new class feeling totally defeated. Perhaps the donuts on the conference table at work are silently taunting you. Not every workout will be your best and not every meal will be Instagram-worthy. The process isn’t perfect, but one thing is guaranteed: if you put in work, you will see results. Know that it won’t be easy, but IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
DO: Know that it’s a journey, not a destination. Ease into your new mindset confident that you’re in it for the long haul. Be patient, be diligent and be kind. Know that there will always be new foods to try, new personal records to set and new S.M.A.R.T. goals to work towards. Keep your overarching “Why” at your top of mind and heart’s center, and I can promise you will continue to find happiness and success.