Find a partner in crime. Working out with a partner is always better than working out alone. Sometimes we need that extra push of knowing someone is depending on us to show up. My partner in crime is my bestie Teen (who I often mention in my blog posts). Whether its running, yoga, or group exercise classes – we are always checking and manipulating our schedules so that we can maximize our time together getting our sweat on. Use your workout friends to push you in ways you might not otherwise be pushed. Teen is a beast runner, very fast – I am more slow and steady. When we run together, I have to push myself harder to keep up with her. Of course when I need a walk break she gladly obliges, like a good workout partner should.
Keep it in the family. Mom guilt – been there, done that, and it will drive you crazy! When you work a lot of hours and are already away from your family for the majority of the day – the last thing you want to do is put in more time at the gym away from the ones you love. So make it a “two-for” and think of some creative ways that you can add fitness into your family time. I love a good stroller run/walk. Baby G, Jimmy, and I walk to the post office to mail our letters, walk to the library to check out some books, and walk down to the local coffee shop and grab a latte. Walk, walk, walk!! We get out of the house, Jimmy and I have a chance to catch up, and Baby G gets to explore his world and is away from “screen time” (tv, ipad, phones, etc.). We also love biking and walking G on his baby trike (that trike is soo sweet! Thanks Aunt KiKi). If you have older kids – take them outside and kick around a soccer ball. Take them to your local high school track and walk/ run the track and mix in some activities. (Read about my old school track work out here. Trust me, that workout was no joke). Do some planks with those kiddos on your back! Every extra bit of movement you can add into your day counts!
Keep it fresh. How do our New Year’s fitness resolutions die? They die a slow death filled with boredom. There is nothing as boring as getting stuck in a fitness rut. There are so many options out there nowadays! If you find yourself not looking forward to going to the gym – then it’s time to try something new (or maybe adding something new to your routine). Try a hot yoga class, check out a local trail at one of the Delaware State Parks, try a new group exercise class, try indoor climbing at the Delaware Rock Wall Gym (read about my experience here), or simply try a new route running, walking, or biking. My goal for 2016 is to take the Delaware State Parks Trail Challenge! There are so many options out there just waiting to be explored.
Get Techie. Use recent advances in technology to further your fitness goals. I remember just a few years ago all runners (me included) needed a Garmin running watch to track distance and pace per mile. And before a Garmin watch was an option, I would go for a run and then jump in my car and drive that same distance to see how far I had run (#firstworldproblems). Now, all I have to do is turn on my runkeeper app on my iPhone and go! There are so many fitness apps and trackers out there. Here is a short list of my favorites:
(1) Runkeeper. Tracks your workouts and is GPS enabled. You can live track your run, walk, or bike – or you can log your workouts. The base app (which I have) is free, with monthly add on premium packages if you want to upgrade to some additional stat tracking packages. Recruit your friends and see who is on the leaderboard for workouts for the week. Runkeeper also has some basic 5K and half marathon training plans for free. This app is definitely a great download!
(2) Rock My Run. If you need music to motivate you – then this is your app. Filled with every genre of music you could imagine, this app not only introduces you to new music, but it also get you through a cardio rut. You can stream the music to your phone, or download your favorite mixes for easy access anytime. With world renowned DJs mixing and mashing top hits – I am 100% certain you will fall in love with this app. The best news – the basic version is free! Want to listen interruption free, it’s only $4.99 a month.
(3) Nike + Training Club. Another FREE app! This app was my best friend when I was on maternity leave and stuck in my house last winter. This app has simple, do anywhere workouts designed my top trainers and athletes (some workouts do require equipment). Workouts range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes and encompass everything from cardio, strength, yoga, and stretching. Track your Nike+ workouts and earn badges!
(4) Les Mills Mobile App. I love tracking my Les Mills workout in my mobile app! As silly as it sounds, I love earning “badges” and seeing where I rank among other Les Mills devotees.
Create a schedule & stick to it. In order to be successful, you have to make fitness a priority in your life. In order to make things work for me and my family – I work out first thing in the morning before I head off to work. I know that if I wait until I get off work – it just won’t happen. Too many variables can throw a wrench into the mix… I don’t get out of work on time, the baby is fussy or sick, we have nothing prepared for dinner, there is rainstorm/snowstorm out there and I don’t feel like leaving the house. I am a huge proponent of early morning workouts. Getting up early is so hard (at first) – but after a while it becomes second nature.
If getting up early isn’t your thing, plan a rotation with your spouse – perhaps you alternate days hitting up the gym after work. Schedule walk breaks into your work day. Think about the difference you can make by taking two 15 minute walk breaks. That’s 30 minutes a day, 1.5 miles a day. 1.5 miles each day times 5 workdays = 7.5 miles a week, which equals 390 miles a year!! That’s a lot of miles! Pick a group exercise class that you love and make attending that class a priority. Schedule some family workout time and friend workout time (#1 and #2 above).
I hope you find my little tips helpful! Just do me a favor, if you start to lose your motivation – just watch this Weight Watchers commercial with Oprah. “If not now, when?” Let’s make 2016 the year of the best you!