Trying to be healthy is often likened to a battle. And it’s true that there are opposing forces—laziness and exercise. But I agree that it is a battle of sorts to live a healthy life, and at some points it’ll feel like you’re losing, but you need to remember you’re still fighting. You’re still trying to accomplish something.
Making goals can be useful. You can keep yourself motivated and have something clear to strive for. It gives you an edge, a focus. But don’t make yourself a slave to your goals.
I did that, and hurt myself. My goal was to “get skinny.” Whatever the cost, I would fit a small at Ambercrombie & Fitch when I was an x-large at Old Navy. I exercised like crazy, barely ate, and berated myself for not doing well enough. I wanted the weight to melt away within weeks, and when it didn’t, I stopped eating and kicked up my exercise. It took me half a year to realize I was damaging myself, sure I was “getting skinny,” but I wasn’t getting healthy. And I hated myself.
I let the goals overtake me. Let them change me into someone I really wasn’t happy with. The scale owned me. I knew I needed to change and heal and come to terms with what it really means to strive to be healthy, not just “skinny.” And happily today, five years later, I understand fitness and my struggle better. I realize I need to strive to live healthily, not to be a certain shirt size. But still, it’s a battle.
So like I said, goals are good. They can offer motivation when you just want to quit or be done or want to put something off. Just don’t beat yourself up when you do blunder, or it’s taking longer than you thought, or you’re irritated and tired. Learning to lead a healthier life takes time and effort, and you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way and for the right reasons.
Love yourself, and exercise and eat right because of that. Because you’re worth it. I know I am and I hope you feel that way about yourself too. It took me a while to get to this point, but I haven’t given up.
#TreatYoSelf! Parks and Rec?! Anyone, anyone? Never mind…
The reason I say treat yourself is because sometimes we need a little encouragement in our fitness lives. We can get discouraged if we don’t see results right away, if we don’t run as fast as we thought we could, or if we aren’t getting in all the workouts we wanted. So that’s what this post is about: encouragement.
There are a few ways that I encourage myself when I get down about something. First off, I need to learn to give myself some slack. We are our hardest critiques so sometimes we need to know that it’s ok not to always meet every goal that we set. As long as we are striving and keep moving forward, that’s what matters.
Second, treat yourself! When you do reach a goal, big or small, reward yourself. Sometimes working for an actual treat (instead of just getting bigger muscles or getting skinnier) is what we need. And once we get that treat we feel encouraged because we accomplished something. (Side note: also realize that the main goal of working out and exercising isn’t to get skinny, but to be a healthier version of you!)
Third, realize that when you start working out and getting more fit you will feel better, not be as tired during the day, and look healthier too! Those are some of the most encouraging thing to happen to me when I started to workout a lot.
So, don’t be discouraged; keep going and don’t quit!
Encourage yourself, be your biggest advocate. #TreatYoSelf! And know that your body is encouraging and thanking you too.
I say that I gave in, but I think that I got a FitBit before it was super well-known. Either way, I love it. No, it doesn’t make me healthier just for wearing it, and no, the band doesn’t always add to my outfit, but overall, it has been a joy.
FitBit, if you are unaware, tracks your steps, burned calories, distance traveled, active minutes, and can track your food intake and sleep patterns. Depending on which band you have it can also track your heart rate, location, and more.
I have the FitBit Flex. This is the most simple one, from what I can tell, and also the smallest one. It can be a super useful tool for my fitness goals. The goal for steps is 10,000. If I sit around all day and only walk when I need to, I have about 3,000. So that’s a lot of steps to make up! FitBit gives this 10,000 step goal as a recommendation for a healthy lifestyle.
If you need some reminders to get moving, this is a great app/band! I check my app almost as much as I check Instagram because I want to know how well I’ve done on my goals!
So if you were on the fence, definitely get one! There are deals very often with FitBit. They’re sold in a lot of places, I got mine at Kohls on sale. I think it’s worth the investment. Know how much you’re much you’re active!
Ok, so I’m a college student. Not only does that mean some interesting meals, lots of homework, napping at 6pm…but it also means living in the dorms. Which is a small space.
At first I didn’t know how I could manage doing workouts in a small space. I always dreaded the thought of going to the lifting room on campus (me lifting beside all the basketball and football players?! Yah, that’s a good one!). So I figured out a few ways to make my small space work.
- I got my own set of weights. I use them with my Pinterest workouts and it works out beautifully. I can stay in my own room and use my own tools that I have.
- Invest in a yoga mat. Yoga takes up no space at all and it really is a great workout (just YouTube some yoga videos and you’ll see).
- Do the Spartacus workout on YouTube. Seriously, I love this workout and it’s my go-to when I don’t want to go anywhere but I want to work on my whole body (even cardio!). It doesn’t take up any space at all and it’s quick.
- There are different ways to get your cardio in besides running (outside or on a campus track). Jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. There are tons of cardio exercises to do in your dorm.
So don’t be discouraged by a small space. Think of it as a good thing! This way you can stay in the comfort of your own space and still get a workout in!
Okay. This is such a simple tip I’ve uncovered. Some may roll their eyes at its perceived insignificance, but I’m still gonna share it with you anyways.
So here it is.
Exercise clothes. They’re so worth it.
I’ve worked out in sweats and other clothes I use as loungewear before, and when I do my workout feels sluggish. Weighted down almost. It’s like all the excess fabric makes my body think it’s time to lay on the couch and binge watch Gilmore Girls or The Big Bang Theory.
But when I put something on that has been crafted for being worked out in, my mind gets that extra push and focus of determination. I’m more stream line, there’s less likely a chance of chaffing. Which let me tell you, jeans and men’s sweatpants basically guarantee unpleasant rubbing (been there, done that, don’t ever recommend it).
Putting on your workout outfit can be another step in getting your mind psyched up for the exercise ahead. It’s a nice, easy thing that helps me feel less lethargic and more like I’m accomplishing something. Especially if I have on those stretchy exercise pants.
Don’t feel like you need to spend a lot though, and don’t go crazy with how many outfits you buy. Simple, affordable, comfortable—that’s all you need to get out there and moving.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know!
You can totally do this! Think of the times when you’ve been really lazy. We all have those moments, those days, those weeks, sometimes even those months. And we tend not to tell anyone when we’re struggling with working out!
So stay accountable! Sure, it’s embarrassing to admit to a fitness coach, or workout trainer that you haven’t hit the gym in a week or two. But don’t tell them! Tell someone who cares about all of you, not just your fitness! Have a friend be the one who helps keep you accountable for working out.
I have it pretty easy, I’m married, so my husband knows that I’m not working out when he goes for a run and I decided to sleep in. But if you’re rooming with someone else who works out, have them keep up with you. Odds are, they’ll love for you to do the same.
Their encouragement can help get you out of the ditch you may be in. Together, we can really help each other.
A plus to this kind of accountability is that this will help create a true friendship for people who really want to help each other. Make deeper friends by letting them know when you’re doing great in your fitness and when you’re not doing so great.
So go find your “accountability partner.” You won’t regret it.
Getting motivated to exercise is one thing, but staying motivated in my workout is a whole other side to the battle. I found my mind wandering, or my pace slowing due to boredom. Music was a saving grace. Thank you Apple for the IPod! Because I love my music coming along with me, without the clunkiness of a Walkman.
But music seriously helps keep me moving. Whether I’m cycling, walking, lifting, or doing sit-ups, I match what I’m doing to the beat. It gives me a jolt of energy, something to pace myself against and strive with. It also makes the time pass smoother and faster. I can lose myself in the workout that way.
I encourage you to find something that’ll put some giddy-up in your stride. It makes exercise so much less painful, and leans it towards something almost fun. Give your fitness journey a soundtrack! An empowerment track that gets your feet moving and heart pumping.
Your life is beautiful, if Morgan Freeman was free to do a voiceover, you could star in a film celebrating you!
Here are my top 12:
- All About That Bass-Meghan Trainer
- Born This Way-Lady Gaga
- Candyman-Christina Aguilera
- Neon Light-Demi Lovato
- It’s Raining Men-The Weather Girls
- Love Song-Sara Boreillas
- Man! I Feel Like a Woman!-Shania Twain
- Out of Control-Capitol Lights
- Stronger/People Like Us-Kelly Clarkson
- Nothing Ever Happens-Racheal Platten
- Grow Up-Paramore
- Uptown Funk-Bruno Mars
Judge my musical taste as you will. 😉 What songs pump you up? Comment Below!
Nike is one of the most famous brand of sportswear. I love the Nike brand and whenever I see the famous swoosh it makes me very excited: to workout, to better myself, and to get new sports clothes!
The brand logo, “Just Do It,” always inspires me and scares me at the same time. I always want to get up early and exercise, I inspire to eat well, and I always want to make sure I lead a healthy lifestyle. So here are a few tips that have helped me “Just Do It!”
#1 Set out your workout clothes at night if you are going to workout in the morning; no excuses, your stuff is already out.
#2 Give yourself an incentive. You get to but a new piece of sports clothing after a week of workouts. You can splurge on any dessert after beating your time record on the treadmill. Or anything else that can get you going.
#3 Watch TV. Seriously, put your iPad on the treadmill so you can watch Netflix while running or watch a show while doing yoga or a workout. That way you can binge watch while still being active.
#4 Get an accountability partner; it’s a lot harder to make excuses of why you aren’t going to work out when they are standing right in front of you. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to go on runs with other people, and they encourage you to do a few more push-ups, or lift heavier weights, or go another mile. They push you, and you push them. Win-win.
What other tips do you have to get yourself going?
This Sunday is the big game. Whether your favorite team is playing or not, most everyone is at a party, with family, or hanging out at a pub to watch the game.
And we all know what comes along with the football and intriguing commercials. The food. So. much. food. And it seems impossible to stay away.
I suggest that you don’t completely boycott the food and drinks, but there are two guidelines for the Super Bowl weekend. 1) Prepare and 2)Guard yourself.
1. Prepare – Gear up for all the eats by working out a little longer, a little harder the rest of this week and even on Sunday, try to walk around a little more, get your body moving before the game. That way you can stack up some extra cals for the big game!
2. Guard yourself – Don’t overeat. This is so easy! When there’s cheesy nacho dip, buffalo wings, pizza, candy, and pop of all kinds, it can be hard to say no. Just be aware of all that you are eating. If you’re one of those people (as I am) who grabs whatever is in front of you, try to move the Doritos farther from you if it’s a temptation. Know your limits.
Don’t gorge yourself in food, but don’t feel guilty for eating a little more than usual. This game only rolls around once a year, right?
You can defeat this weekend as like the Broncos will defeat the Panthers! Totally joking, I don’t really like either team, I had to look up who was even playing.
Grease Live! was one of the biggest stories in the news this past week! It aired on Fox and if other college campuses were like mine, every TV was tuned in Sunday night. If you watched it you were either awed by it or didn’t like it at all. I don’t think there was an in-between opinion.
Whether or not you loved it I think that no one could disagree on the fact that with every song that was sung you couldn’t help but tap your foot along. It made me wish that I was as good a dancer as any of them in the cast. Unfortunately…I’m not…
Dance is one of the best forms of exercise, and lucky for me (and anyone like me who can’t dance to save their life) there are amazing tutorials that can help you learn the dances in shows such as Grease, Hairspray, or Footloose. My favorite is the line dance from Footloose and it was such a joy to learn. And it was a workout to say the least!
Here are two good tutorials to help you get started. The first is just the steps:
And this second is with the song playing along with the steps:
Good luck and have fun “cutting loose!”