Since one of my goals this month is to lose 5 pounds, I’ve had fitness and eating on the brain quite a bit. So, to celebrate reaching the halfway point of this month (oh yeah!) I wanted to take some time to talk about my fitness routines and share a few of my favorite fitness apps, workouts, and tips for staying motivated.
First, a disclaimer: I am not a trainer or a doctor. I have not always been a fitness enthusiast, but after losing 30 pounds over 3 years ago and seeing the multitude of ways that changed my life, I finally realized the deep meaning of being an active and healthy person. Nowadays I enjoy working out and trying new things. So, if you’re in need inspiration to either get started or get going again, I hope this post gets that ball rolling. Here we go!
My routine mainly consists of 3-4 days cardio, 1 day arms and core, 1 day legs, 1 day yoga, 1 day rest. Sometimes I slip in some extra arm and leg workouts when I do bootcamp style workouts. This has not always been my schedule, and occasionally I miss a day, but for the most part this is what I’m currently sticking to, and what I’m hoping is going to help me achieve my fitness goal this month!
Running: I used to hate running but when I took on the goal of running a 10K and eventually training for and running half marathons I saw just how effective this workout can be. I typically do a 3-4 mile jog on a cardio day. Occasionally, I’ll slip in longer runs on the weekend, especially if I’m training.
Workout Classes: I’ve found some awesome class deals on Groupon (be sure to check the reviews and the websites/yelp before signing up!). I’ve enrolled in Zumba and Yoga classes for great prices. Even though classes are offered at my gym, I like visiting new studios, seeing new people, and working out with new instructors. Its just another way of switching things up.
‘Pinned’ Exercises: I love some of the Pinterest workouts out there! It reminds me of the days when I used to work out with a trainer and he would show up with a little piece of paper with written down exercises and then call them out to me. The main difference here is that I have to power through the exercises and can’t rely on a trainer to motivate me.
Outdoor Exercise: This one is probably my favorite. Working out without feeling like I’m working out :-) Usually these don’t burn as many calories as one of my hard core cardio workouts (unless its running), but its definitely something! I like to go on hikes when we travel, or evening walks on the weekends. I’ve even sported my roller skates in a park and really felt the burn (how did I not notice how much of a workout that was when I was 13?!)
For arms, core, and legs I usually do 3 sets of 8-10 reps for a variety of basic exercises that range from pushups (the girl version), crunches, lunges, squats, barbell lifts, deadlifts, etc. Sometimes when I don’t want to think up a routine I’ll just walk around the gym and hit up a variety of machines. We have a set of dumbells at home so occasionally I’ll open up a magazine or pull up one of those Pinterest workouts and go through the exercises. As you can probably tell, strength training is definitely not as fun for me as cardio. However, it is crucial for continued weight loss so you don’t hit that dreaded plateau, and it’s also so wonderful for going the extra step to tone and feel more fit!
Favorite Fitness Apps:
Nike Run: This is my favorite app to track my indoor and outdoor runs. Its very accurate for outdoor runs and it works pretty well for the treadmill too. You can sync it with your music so you don’t have to toggle back and forth between the apps, and you can share your runs with friends and even set up challenges. It also gives you a specific training schedule if you’re planning to sign up for a run.
MapMyRun: This was my go-to app before NikeRun. I used it on all of my half marathons, trail runs, and hikes. The only place it didn’t work was on the treadmill (although the new update includes that feature). My main problem with this app was that the mileage wasn’t quite accurate. If I went the same distance as a couple of friends we’d all end up with a different distance on the app. I do like that the app has options for things like cycling, but since the primary activity I like to track is running, I use Nike Run for the accuracy and simple look.
Nike Training: Love this for cross training. You can select the type of workout you want (i.e. upper/lower body) then select the level (beginner/intermediate/advanced). It goes through each exercise and even keeps time for you. Bonus: There are pictures of the moves so you know how to do them properly :-)
Pinterest: More specifically, the “fitness” section of Pinterest. There are many recipes, workout routines, etc. from multiple sources that are pinned to Pinterest. Taking a look at that section is an awesome way to stay motivated and find new and fun workouts.
Fitness Buddy: I haven’t spent a lot of time using this app, but it’s one that I’d really like to consistently use to track my workouts. Not only can you find great workouts for target areas, but you can track your progress . . . multitasking, I like it!
My Fitness Pal: This app is a fantastic calorie intake tracker! If I’m ever curious about what my typical calorie intake is, I’ll log my meals. I don’t do this frequently, but it’s nice to have it in my pocket :-)
Favorite ways for staying motivated:
1) When I was just starting to lose weight I had an amazing workout buddy who had similar goals. Although it’s not necessary to have someone go to the gym with you, it really does make things so much easier, and more fun! Having someone cheer you on to go to the gym on the days when you don’t feel like it is sometimes a life saver!
2) I dedicate a specific time of day for my workout. This keeps me from using excuses like “things came up” or “I ran out of time” too often :-)
3) I like to post my goals so can see them easily. Making goals visible helps keep you accountable
More than anything else, remind yourself how important it is to put your health first and how good you’ll feel after a great workout.
Happy Working Out :-)