So today is National Fitness Day. Every January I get a bit more vocal about my routine to help give you a little motivation. Working on your fitness isn't a fad it's a routine you need to set for yourself. Something that works that will eventually just become a part of your lifestyle.
I've always been an athlete, but towards the end of my twenties I started slacking. My weight went up and my issues with depression and anxiety became harder to control. SOOO I started to whoop my ass into shape. I started running half marathons for St. Jude, I worked with a personal trainer, and eventually I joined a crossfit gym.
What I discovered... I love to lift. Lifting has helped condition my body for pavement poundings when I run and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I'm able to put something up that I never thought I could. And regular workouts help keep me happy!
National Fitness Day - here's some of my personal tips that I've learned along this continuing journey.
#1 - You must find something that works for you. I love crossfit workouts. Lifting in this style may not be your thing, but you have to find something you like. If you don't like the workout you're not going to make it a habit.
#2 - Your diet (not a fad diet)/how you actually eat is very important. However, I do not make myself bound to a strict plan. I'm more of a moderation 80/20 type of girl. Yes when I started getting back in shape I kept a journal which is a great way to see what you actually are eating. When you see it on paper you'll know where you are messing up. STOP DRINKING SODA EVERY DAY! You know what is healthy and what is not. My general guideline while grocery shopping... stick to the outsides. Everything in the middle... if it's not a spice and can live on a shelf for months before you eat it; it's probably not good for you.
#3 - Lifting weights will not make you bulky ladies! Here's 5 reasons that won't happen (Shape). I saw more immediate results when I added in strength training as opposed to early twenties when I believed only cardio was the way to go. You're shaping your body and burning the fat by lifting!
#4 - Screw the scale! At the height of my weight gain I weighed myself every few days after workouts. I was getting so frustrated when the scale didn't seem to budge much if at all. I eventually decided to focus on the work and not weigh myself at all until I noticed some new muscle definition. Took about 6 weeks, but eventually the scale showed progress. Now ... I only check in with it about once a month. If I'm feeling like my clothes are fitting strangely I just assess if I'm slacking on the work outs or eating too much crap. And then I adjust.
#5 - Staying in shape doesn't have to be expensive. Mostly I do the same movements... squats, lunges, deadlifts, glute bridges, and I just add weight when need be. Here's 11 exercises top trainers do every time they work out (Shape) - you can easily do these movements at home.
The most important part of my tips... #1! You have to find what you'll love to incorporate to your life. Fitness isn't a sprint ... it's a marathon! Yea you can go balls to the wall with workouts and jump on one of those fad diets for temporary results, but eventually you'll gain some if not all back. Be consistent and if you get slightly derailed, just reassess and adjust!