Are you all as addicted to The Olympics as I am? I just can't seem to get enough. Not only are these athletes inspiring, but they have given me a serious kick in the pants and the desire to set goals, train harder and make every workout count. And when the Olympics are not on? I'm thankful that Mark always gives me that extra push I need to work harder and really challenge myself. There are days that I wake up and just am not feeling it, but I always remember, that you NEVER feel worse after working out. I lost about 45 pounds back in college and ever since making those healthy changes to get my body where I wanted it to be, I have maintained my weight for nearly 7 years now and it's the best feeling ever! Knowing where I once was helps keep me on track everyday. It's not about crazy diets or unattainable goals. It's about making positive changes towards a healthy lifestyle that you yourself can maintain.
My friend Jen started a 30 Day Fitness Challenge on Facebook (Operation: LGN- Look Good Naked) and it's been so much fun! We have a huge group with daily check ins, posting workouts and just pumping each other up. Accountability is HUGE in my opinion. If you are checking in with friends, your spouse or your family, it's less likely that you will skip a workout for the day. Knowing that others are making healthy decisions, too is a constant motivator.
I am not a fitness expert or an exercise guru, but I am happy to share what works for me! Here are some of my tips to JUST DO IT.
1. Plan your workout time in advance! If you know you are meeting your girlfriends for dinner after work, set your alarm and hit the gym before work. If you plan on working out after work, don't go home to change! Pack a gym bag so you're ready to go.
2. Workout with a friend! If you have someone to meet, you are less likely to bail on them, or your workout. Plus, working out with friends is fun!
3. Mix it up! When I first started losing weight, I was running. I saw the weight just melt off but then I hit a plateau. By adding strength training, yoga and other forms of cardio, I really started to see my body tone up and change shape! I'm a huge fan of high intensity workouts like Crossfit.
4. Get fitted for proper shoes! If you plan on running, check out your local running store where specialists can conduct a gait analysis and fit you for shoes that work best for your feet. When running, good shoes make all the difference. The first time I got fitted my sophomore year of college, it changed my running life drastically. There is nothing like hitting the runner's high. And good shoes are a part of that!
5. Buy cute workout clothes! I know it sounds silly but invest in some bright colors and items that make you feel like a babe. If you feel good in what you are wearing, you are more confident and ready to crush your workout. I prefer to dress head to toe in NEON. I'm in love.
6. Pump up the jams! Music is a known mood booster and what you listen to can positively (or negatively) effect your workout. Load your iPod with an energetic playlist and keep it on shuffle so you never get bored. I also switch out new music every couple of weeks. My playlist never fails me; Britney, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and J. Timberlake anyone!? Pandora is a great music source as well! My favorite stations for workouts right now are Pitbull, Jock Jams (seriously), Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and Journey.
7. Fuel your body the smart way! When we eat properly and put good things in our body, we are more likely to take care of it in all areas. It also goes the other way around- the more on track you are with your workouts, your brain tells you to eat fresh and healthy. I know that when I get off track and have a few off days, I'm more likely to skip workouts and eat even worse. Hold yourself accountable, treat yourself once in awhile and remember that at the end of the day, a flat belly starts in the kitchen. Healthy eating could be featured in a whole separate post!
8. Keep a positive attitude! This is the most important one. Always remember that you never feel worse after working out. We all have good workouts and not so good workouts, but 20 minutes of something is better than 20 minutes of sitting on the couch thinking about doing it. Set small goals along the way and remember that you get what you put into it.
Go for the Gold. Nike style. Just do it.