For many of us who have been thinking about getting in shape or starting a new fitness routine, getting started can be the toughest part. Like anything new, there is an initial learning curve. We may have the necessary motivation, but need help getting started. In conversations with our oranj fitness studio guests, a common issue expressed is lack of time. We all know that if you want something bad enough it will require commitment and it must be given priority over other less important activities such as watching television. This can be challenging, especially since many of us are balancing multiple roles of spouse, parent, employee, friend, etc., and find it challenging to allocate time to stay physically active. We often hear that 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough. You may feel like you don’t have enough time, but you can make an enormous impact on your overall health and wellbeing with a bit of creativity and planning. Here are some of our favorite and most effective tips for staying active and feeling great!
Set Yourself Up for Success
Know what makes you tick! If you are a morning person then plan for some movement in the first part of your day. If you prefer exercising later in the day, try scheduling your favorite activity immediately after your work day. Maybe try a new exercise outfit, a new running water belt, or your favorite music mix to keep you energized. Perhaps you need a workout buddy or a personal trainer to keep you accountable. If you are someone who thrives on scheduling and planning, schedule your workouts one week in advance. Know what you are going to do so you can make the most of your time. Most importantly choose things that keep you motivated, inspired, and excited to get moving!
Group Fitness Dates
Most of us have busy schedules and it’s a challenge squeezing in physical activity, let alone to find time to visit and socialize with our friends and family. Workout dates are our favorite way to stay active, nurture relationships, and do something great for our bodies! Rock out to a fun Zumba class followed by dinner, choose a relaxing yoga class and a coffee date, or grab a group of your girlfriends and hit up a barre class and some post workout rosé! Group fitness classes are a perfect way to blend your social time and your sweat time. Get active with your family by turning playtime into active time. Go for a walk with the kids, if their pace is too slow carry them, and add in some lunges, squats, jumping jacks or running high knees on the spot. You know what they say, “those who sweat together stay together!”
Set Goals and Track Your Progress
Setting small, easily attainable goals is a terrific way to keep you motivated. (Check out our previous blog here where we talked about SMART goals.) Setting goals helps you to track your progress. sometimes we get discouraged and forget to look back and reflect on our progress. Reflecting on that progress can help reinforce our good habits when it is challenging to maintain them. Try a monthly calendar tracker, sign up for a 5km race, or make a goal to complete 4 group fitness classes per week. Write your goals down somewhere you will see them often, make sure they are measurable, and share your goals with your friends and family to keep you accountable.
We are passionate about nutrition and firm believers that it’s not what we put in our bodies that is the problem, but rather, what we DON’T put in our bodies that is the larger issue. We often advise guests to stop focusing on eliminating junk foods in their diet and instead, start focusing on incorporating as much nutrient dense foods into their bodies as they can! Increase your water intake and eat as many fresh, whole foods as you can. Over time your body will crave healthier options and you will see better results from your sweaty workouts!
Move and Shake Every Chance You Get!
We believe that every tiny bit counts! Small actions add up over time and will make a huge impact on your goals! Take the stairs every chance you get, park further away, and walk, stretch, squat and lunge when talking on the phone or turn your errands into a brisk walk through the mall. If you can’t get to the gym you can also try out this body weight workout we gave you a few weeks ago.
Early bird gets the worm! While we already mentioned that anytime is a good time to work out, there are so many benefits to working out in the morning! Working out first thing in the morning will elevate your energy level and accelerate your metabolism for the rest of the day. Your body will continue to burn calories after your workout is done! You will likely get better, long-lasting effects from your workout too such as increased productivity, elevated mood, and you’ll have an easier time choosing those nutrient dense foods throughout your day. Getting in 30-45 minutes of cardio and strength training is recommended, but even 10 minutes will get that blood pumping and get you set to rock your day!
Sleep and Relaxation
Are you getting enough sleep? How are your stress and energy levels? Suffering from chronic low-grade stress and a lack of sleep will decrease your energy, damper your mood and motivation, and lead to elevated levels of unwanted stress hormones in your body. Without ample sleep, rest, and relaxation, our bodies are triggered into a “flight or fight” response resulting in weight gain, difficulties sleeping, poor digestion, and impaired hormone function. Downtime is just as important as being active and eating nutrient dense foods. Guided mediations and restorative yoga classes are a great way to relax and calm your nervous system. Ensuring you are getting enough sleep will help you achieve hormone balance, burn more fat, and heal and repair your body after physical activity. Perhaps set a goal of increasing your sleep by 30 minutes per night for one week and see how you feel!
Fun and Variety
Most importantly do what you LOVE! Keep it simple and choose activities that you enjoy. Maybe it’s a gentle relaxing yoga class, a dance class, getting outdoors for a hike, going for a bike ride, or attending an awesome group fitness class. Whatever you choose, make sure you have fun. You are more likely to stick to your fitness goals and stay active over the long term if you actually enjoy it!