We’ve all been there. The moment when you look at your friend and say you need to get back in shape. You talk about all the workouts you’re going to do, the studios you'll try, and how you’ll keep one another accountable. Naturally, you'll then high-five for figuring life out! Fast forward a few months and you’re writing this down as a New Year resolution. Neither of you committed...
Now, let me preface this post by saying I'm no fitness expert. But, I am a realist. I know that a diet won’t stick, I know that working out six times a week doesn’t fit my lifestyle, and I know spending money on a membership won’t guilt me into getting my monies worth either. After realizing what won’t work for me, I began to think of what can, realistically.
So, here are SIX ways to train your brain to get in shape and stay in shape:
1: Schedule: How many times a week can you realistically make it to the gym and maintain that schedule? By setting a realistic schedule you’re less likely to miss a session and avoid feeling disappointed. When you begin to maintain a schedule you begin to form a habit, and finding time for the gym no longer feels like a chore. The gym will become a part of your routine and something you look forward to. And if juggling friends and fitness is a struggle, why not book an evening yoga classes together that can begin or end with a tea date!
2: 80/20 vs Diet: Train your brain rather than scare it into starvation mode! It’s information overload for your brain when you begin to give it a laundry list of things to cut out and the consequences should you fail. Most weight-loss diets, in my opinion, are difficult to stick to. I tend to feel hungry when indeed I’m not, I crave sugar more than ever, and once it’s over I tend to gain all the weight back. So, rather than tell yourself you’re on a diet, why not implement a lifestyle change? By following an 80/20 rule you’re eating healthily overall while allowing yourself small splurges. The “cheat meals” allow you to snack (in moderation) and not feel as though each week is filled with restrictions. You will ultimately feel more satisfied and less likely to reach for those office pastries! The weight change may not be significant, but, there will be other benefits that will help you become healthier overall! Oh, and don't forget to keep your digestive system happy. A chia hydrator is an excellent idea!
3: Open Relationship: If you’re a creature of habit or simply love the schedule you’re on, try and explore the thought of an open relationship. While we may find what works for us and something we love, don’t be afraid to spice things up and try a new class or form of exercise. This can help keep exercising exciting and possibly even lead you to things you’d never consider otherwise. Prefer working out solo? You might be surprised at the level of motivation you’d find in group classes...such as F45.
4: Setting Goals: No one is perfect. We all have and will continue to have something we want to work on. So, set healthy and realistic goals because nothing physically happens overnight. I prefer to have an overall goal of where I see myself in x amount of months, but along the way, I set small goals such as the number of push ups I can do, the strength I can build when doing weighted squats, and the definition I can get in my arms. You may not love your entire body from head to toe, but you can learn to love the progress and be kinder to yourself along the way.
5: Reap The Benefits: When you begin to read about the benefits of exercise how could you not add it into your life? The main benefits of regular exercises are known to be; improvement in your emotional and mental health while reducing stress and anxiety, improving cardiovascular health and decreasing your risk of a handful of chronic health conditions, weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, and an increase in your strength and overall endurance. So tap into those benefits, even if it's only working out once or twice per week or walking during your lunch hour. After all, it's for your own benefit!
6: Outfits: What? Like you weren’t thinking it. The saying “dress for success” applies at the gym. When you throw on a pair of leggings that provide comfort and support, wear a t-shirt with an encouraging slogan or wear a pair of running shoes that can improve your performance, you give your brain a serious boost! You get excited, you feel more confident, you begin to look forward to your workouts, and the comfort those running shoes provide has you running longer. Okay, it might not be running for most but there is something to be said about what you wear affecting your performance. An ill-fitting sports bra, shorts that have lost their elasticity, running shoes with minimal cushion…these all affect how you train. Your brain no longer worries about form but rather about keeping your shorts up or the blister from forming on your toe. Your athletic wear doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to provide the support and look you'll love so that you focus on fixing your form...not your outfit.
If you miss a day or something important comes up causing you to skip a class, don’t punish yourself or feel as though you’ve fallen off the rails. Life happens. Chips happen! I don’t know how but sometimes you watch a show and the bag is gone. A mystery I have yet to solve. Point is, find what works for your schedule and body because some exercise is better than no exercise. And as you continue to engrain this into your brain it will become second nature. Working out will be less of a chore and part of your lifestyle. So, finish off that episode of How To Get Away With Murder and start getting excited about making some healthy changes!
Wearing: Leggings by 90 Degrees, Jacket by Aritzia, Bag by Lululemon, Top by Calvin Klein activewear, Sneakers by Nike.