Workout With Others

After weeks and weeks of staying motivated and working out I think that it gets harder to go to the gym, especially since I usually workout by myself (minus a few times).

I’ve always been torn when it comes to working out with other people or whether I should just work out solo. I always have a lot of fun when I’m working out with my friends and family, but at the same time I feel as though I’m not as focused on why I came to the gym in the first place.

After working out by myself these past two weeks I’ve realized that although working out with other people can be somewhat distracting, it makes it enjoyable (and that’s saying something).

This article lists a few different benefits of working out with friends, but I’m only going to talk about the few that I think are very important.

You’ll actually show up.

I know what you’re thinking…why does working out with someone else determine if I’ll show up or not? Well, I personally know that if someone else has scheduled me into their day with a workout I feel like I can’t back out. I don’t like to cancel plans (and I hate when people cancel plans with me). Also, if I know that someone else is going to be doing the same workout as me, I don’t dread it as much because at least someone else will be struggling along with me.

You’ll get a free therapy session.

The gym is suppose to be a time where you focus on yourself and your body, but I’ve noticed that whenever I’m working out with someone else I talk a lot more, especially if I’m with my best friend or cousin. With all of the talking you may not get as much out of your workout, but you will help your emotional health by venting!

They’re a free support system.

The best thing about having friends to work out with is that they want to see you succeed in your workouts. According to this article, having a support system is one of the most important thing that a person can do to have a successful long-term success in their health and fitness. This support leads to accountability and motivation and sometimes a little bit of friendly competition, like seeing who can do the most crunches.

“They can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader — all while working out,” says Michelle P. Maidenberg, PhD, MPH, and clinical director of Westchester Group Works in Harrison, N.Y in this article.

The article also discussed that it is wise to choose a workout partner that has similar fitness or health levels as yourself. It says that if you work out with someone who is at a different fitness level, that it might be a distraction and negatively affect your own workout.

Although working out with other people can have negative affects on your workout, I think that having a physical person that you know be around you when you are working out will help you stay motivated. Two is better than one as the saying goes.

Until next time…

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At Home Workouts

I know that some weeks are hectic and you feel like you don’t have any time for the gym, but I’ve got good news… the gym can come to you! There are easy exercises that you can do at home (or in your dorm room, if you’re like me).

Did I mention the exercises are easy and that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home?

I figured it might get your attention, because it sure caught mine when I first read it.

This Fitness Blender article has a huge list of workouts that you can do at home, varying on what you want to focus on and how long you want your workout to be (I personally like this exercise that I found on YouTube. It really works on toning and creating lean legs).

There are a lot of different exercises listed on the Internet in general, and I think that the only way that you’re going to know if a certain exercise works for you is to try it out. There’s no harm doing that!  Though, before doing any exercises online, I do advise to read the comments to see how the workout went for other people (it can help you save some time in the long run and I know how important time is)!

Finding workouts online are easy, but will actually doing the workouts be?

 

I believe that you’ll succeed in doing exercises at home if you follow these few easy rules:

Pace yourself.

If you’re anything like me, you have little to no patience when it comes to working out. One common mistake that I keep making time after time again is pushing myself too much right away. When you’re just starting a workout it’s okay to take your time.

Just keep reminding yourself that you don’t have to push yourself right away and that you’re journey to fitness and a healthier life is a long-term thing, so you don’t need to rush. You have time!

Commit to it!

I know that sometimes it’s easier to complete workouts or different exercises when you are at the gym because you feel like you’re held accountable by all of the other people working out around you. Even if this might not be the case, many people (including myself) think that everyone else around them is watching their every move and will judge them if they don’t workout long. This helps some people stay motivated.

When you’re alone at home, you don’t have anyone to hold you accountable. Without anyone to keep you motivated into doing or continuing your workouts, it’s easy not want to do a workout. But don’t do it! Commitment is key to creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Think about all of the progress that you would lose if you gave up now… you’ve done too much!

Try letting your friends and family know about your workouts and what you want to gain from them. This not only allows them to encourage you, but it holds you accountable to do your workouts!

 

At home workouts are easy and convenient, just hold yourself accountable to do your workouts. You’re not going to see any progress if you don’t get up and move!

You’ve got this!

 

Consistency is Key

Whenever I go to the gym I always think that that’s the time where I really have to push myself and make the most out of the time that I am there. I’ve recently found out that I am wrong (but not fully).

I learned that you don’t have to push yourself so much at the gym.

Now, don’t get me wrong. A little bit of a push to keep going when you are tired is a good thing, but overdoing a workout is not a good thing.

According to this Self online article, although its good to go hard at the gym and make the most out of each workout, people should try their best to try and create a routine at the gym instead of going too hard at the gym and burning themselves out in a week.

When I first read this concept, I thought that they were wrong because I had always been taught to work my hardest at my workouts and push through if my energy was still high enough to do so. Though after I read the article and thought about this concept for a little bit, I also get their point. In the long run you’re not going to improve your body and your health if you do long, high-intense workouts a few days each week and give up because you can’t find the motivation to do the same workout the next week.

I can honestly say that I have made this mistake before.

I used to go and workout on the elliptical for an hour three different times during the week. I loved the results of burning a lot of calories during the week, but I would notice that the next week that I would  have to drag myself to the gym because I dreaded the thought of being on the elliptical for a whole hour. Going to the gym turned out to be a chore instead of something positive that I was doing to improve myself in the future.

I knew I had to change my workout habits and this Self article helped me do that.

Trainers told Self that people should choose workouts that they genuinely like to do, because then they would be more likely to stick to the workouts and get to the gym weekly. It’s easier to workout when you’re doing things that you like to do. Though it might not be as intense as other workouts, the more workouts that people complete each week will lead to consistency which will lead to better results in the future.

Instead of doing a lot of things during each workout session, this site recommended to work out for shorter sessions, like 30 minutes instead of an hour. They claimed that this work out routine for each week would be easier to achieve during a busy work than a longer workout.

Consistency is key. It’s not always about how far you push yourself, it’s about if you are consistent and motivated enough to do the workouts for the weeks and months to come.

So stay consistent in your visits to the gym and keep your motivation high. You’re future self will thank you.

 

Better Your Workout

I don’t think that there is a single person who doesn’t want their workouts to do more for their body.

I stumbled across an article from Self Online that explains tips that could help your workout being more effective (and who wouldn’t want that?). This article shows nineteen different things that people can do to have better workouts, but I really want to discuss two of them.

I think that college students (or possibly any person) are becoming more and more attached to their phones. I’m even guilty of it. I think that phones have become a huge distraction in not only my life but in my time at the gym, too. I found this Time’s article that agrees with my argument.

I’ve had times where I’m at the gym and I can’t decide on a song or I take a longer break between my different workouts than I need to…yes, because of my phone. I think that it’s so much easier to cave in to technology because we’re tired or don’t want to workout at the gym. I get it. But I think that in order to work out effectively and make the most out of our time at the gym, that we need to put the phones away and focus on our mind and body.

The Self article stated that one thing that people could do to create an effective workout for themselves is to already have a great playlist made for when you work out. I, for one, wish that I would have thought about this sooner (because it’s such an easy thing to do) but I didn’t. Currently, all I do is shuffle through playlists on Spotify, but now I know that in order to save time I have to make personalized workout playlists myself. That way, I can be able to listen to the music that will keep me pumped and motivated through my workout without wasting any time.

Secondly, this article also stated that having a plan when you go to workout is the most beneficial for people to stay on track with their workouts. I can tell you that this is completely true. I can tell that when I go to the gym and know what I want to do, that I am more motivated and determined to finish all of the workouts that I have on my mental checklist. When I go to the gym and don’t have a plan, I tend to waste more time standing around or sitting on the gym mats instead of actually working on improving myself and bettering my body.

I know that these workout tips might seem easy and obvious to some, but I think they are things that can easily be forgotten in our hectic lives. We always seem to look for big workout tips that will totally change how we work out, but I think that sometimes we have to focus on all of the little things that we can change to make our workouts great.

Have Energy? Go Work Out

Last week I made a blog that talked about how people have to make time to work out in order to see realistic results. And although I think that this is an important concept for people to understand, though I know that it might not be enough to keep them motivated towards their work out goals.

Although it’s important to work out whenever you get the chance, I found this WebMD article that discusses how people would get more out of their workouts if they did them at a time when they had the most energy. If you’re a morning person, the best time to work out is in the morning and if you’re a night person, the best time to work out is later in the day. This may seem obvious to some, but I didn’t know… or rather, I didn’t listen to my body. I worked out whenever I could fit in the time (even if I was tired) just to get a workout in for the day.

Now, if you’re like me and wait until you’re tired and sluggish to go and work out, I found an article that gives tips on what to do before a workout so that you’re energized and ready to sweat it out during your workout.

This Healthy For Good online article discussed small and easy things that people can do to boost their energy in preparation for their late workout sessions. One thing that I think is the easiest thing to do that will help boost one’s energy is to stay hydrated all day. ‘Water gives people energy?’ you might be asking… well, yes. Water is something that you should be drinking throughout the day, not just right before you’re going to do a workout. According to this Explained Health online article, it takes from around 5 to 120 minutes total before water is absorbed into your body. So drink up before you work out, you’re body will thank you.

Even if water does help increase a person’s energy, the main thing that determines when a person should work out is their own body clock. According to this WebMD online article, one’s circadian rhythm influences one’s “blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate.” These things all determine how ready a person’s body is to work out. This article says that the best time to work out is based on one’s body clock, but also says that people could consider to work out during a time that works with the rest of their schedule.

There isn’t just one answer for when the best time to work out is, but from the sources I have read I believe that the best time to work out is when you’re not busy and feel energized enough to work out.

The time that you decide work out doesn’t matter, but the energy that your body has does. In order to work hard (no matter when you decide to work out) you need the energy and nutrients to do so, so power up by eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and drinking plenty of water and make the best out of the time that you have to work out!

Every Little Thing Matters

As a college student, I know that it is sometimes hard (okay, it’s always a constant battle) to get motivated to work out. With classes, homework, club organizations and maintaining a social life, it’s sometimes hard to not just lay on my bed and watch Netflix. Life can be overwhelming.

But I’m here to tell you a few easy things that you can do to work out (and it won’t interfere with your schedule- that’s a bonus!). This Buzzfeed article helped me think of some easy ways to work out, but I’ll only mention a few of them here.

One of the easiest things that I think people struggle out when they first start working out is that their goals are unrealistic. I know a lot of people, including myself, that want to see results as quickly as possible. I think that after two weeks of working out that I should see the results that I want, but that’s simply not the case.

Change takes time.

I know this is sounds like it should be an easy concept to understand, but when you’re on the elliptical or treadmill for hours on end each week and eating healthier (minus a few cheat meals here or there… we are human, after all) you think that you should be able to really see the results. Yes, that would be nice, but I’m here to tell you that you can’t see those visual changes that quickly.

Instead of thinking that you are going to lose a few inches dramatically within a week or two, try and think of goals that you can actually achieve within the time period you want it to happen in. Losing weight and trying to become the best version of yourself is easier when you see these little goals being reached rather than working hard and not seeing the big results that you were expecting. These little improvements that you see from setting little goals will help keep you motivated on your fitness journey (I know they definitely help me).

Another thing that I thought was so important for people to remember is that there is always time to work out (yes, even with busy schedules). The Buzzfeed article talked about how any type of effort being put into working out, even if it’s not an hour a day, is better than no exercise at all. A lot of the time people say that they didn’t work out because they didn’t have enough time. I’m guilty of this, but I’ve learned that even 10 to 20 minutes of working out is better than none. You’re making way more progress than if you weren’t to work out at all.

There were a few articles that I came across that showed quick things that people can do if they want to work out but are crunched on time. This article is a high-intensity workout that let’s you be in control of what cardio you want to do (to an extent).

Now, if you want a video-guided workout I recommend searching workouts on YouTube. I love watching workouts and being able to follow the trainer for each workout. A plus of going on YouTube is that you can find quick workouts that also have comments so you can see how other people like the exercise.

I know that there are a lot of excuses that people can make of why they don’t work out, but if they want to stay in shape they can’t make excuses.

So no more excuses, go sweat it out! A little exercise can go a long way.