We all know exercise is beneficial not only for our body (who doesn’t love a little extra glute-toning), but for our mental health as well. Many women track hours at the gym, have a strict running routine, or even take several group fitness classes (such as core fusion) in one day. But what’s a girl to do when she’s simply not feeling it? Do we really need to be so strict on ourselves?
Let’s face it, we are only human. While many of us strive to be superwoman at times, even the fitness fanatics among us have their “off” days. And guess what? That’s totally OK and get this…normal.
I know what it’s like to feel guilt for skipping a workout. Heck, I even skipped my 6:15 a.m. Core Fusion Cardio class this morning because the gloomy weather was a huge turnoff, and well, my need for a good night’s sleep was much more important to me. I had a busy week, I was tired and I needed some good old-fashioned beauty rest. Old me would have beat myself up over this for days, but new me simply let’s it go. Now I don’t skip my workouts every day, but when I’m not feeling it I don’t force myself to go.
Anyway, I’ve got some good news for all of you guilt-prone ladies out there. There are little moves you can do that’ll help you to be a little less hard on yourself, while not feeling like a bump on a log.
1. Make it a Clean Day: Just because you’re skipping the gym doesn’t make you “fat” or “unhealthy” at all. If you’re letting this guilt get to you, why not make it a clean day in the kitchen? Eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains and protein, like rolled oats with flax seed, almond butter and sliced banana or peaches, or maybe a cage-free egg white omelet like this Vegetarian Farmer’s Omelet filled with sauteed veggies and a slice of Ezekiel bread.
Then drink lots of water throughout the day to flush your system of toxins, and get rid of any extra belly bloat. For the rest of the day, fill yourself up with lots of green leafy vegetables (think kale, spinach, or collard greens), healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil for cooking,fresh fruit, and lean proteins like antibiotic-free natural chicken or fish. As I always say, the more real and simple the food is, the better so try to avoid anything that comes from a package especially items that have dozens of ingredients.
2. Move It Along: Just because you’ve made the decision to take a break from that whole working out thing doesn’t mean you have to sit around and eat pizza on the couch all afternoon, although we all have those kinds of days too and that’s completely OK.
If you’re feeling up for it, why not go for a walk with a friend around town? As you chat away, you won’t even realize you’ve walked nearly 3 miles around the city! If you’ve been running like a maniac lately and have really been feeling it in your knees, a local yoga class may be a good alternative for you. Maybe it’s just the weather is what’s keeping you from going to your favorite class. Whenever this happens, I chose to do an at-home workout DVD or On Demand exercise instead so I can still start the day on the right food, and get a mini sweat session in.
3. Relax Alright, so you took a day (or even a week) off from running and you’re feeling a little blue. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe your body needs that break? Have you been to hard on yourself lately? Did you find yourself in a workout rut where you become angry instead of excited to take a class? These are all signs that maybe your body is craving a mini vacation from strenuous exercise.
When you find yourself feeling this way, it’s best to just take some time for yourself. Cuddle up after work with some peppermint herbal tea and a good book. Close your eyes for ten, even five minutes and just breathe. Meditate. Take a long bath or shower with some aromatherapy oils. Taking care of our mental self is just as important as taking care of our physical body, so try to give yourself a little leeway.
If you’re prone to guilt when you skip a workout, find it hard to relax and be at peace with yourself, or are looking for a way to revamp your diet without going on a diet, I may be able to help you. As a health coach, I work with women who are looking to get that “zest” back into their lives & escape a lifestyle of yo-yo dieting. To learn more you can visit my website here or schedule a FREE initial health consultation with me today.
Have a wonderful day,
Well, since there are only two days left of 2010, I thought this 10-10-10 workout I did this morning was only fitting, and I just had to share it with all my favorite readers. While it may have only been 30 minutes of exercise, I feel wonderful and extra “glowing” today. Follow this 10-minute increment routine if you’re one to get bored easily and are also pressed for time. Enjoy!
Step 1: 10 minutes of intense cardio – on a bike, swimming, on the treadmill, on the elliptical SPRINTING hard so you’re dripping in sweat. You want to make this step quick ‘n’ sweaty.
Step 2: 10 minutes of strength training/weights: I started with an interval routine I absolutely LOVE which goes like this: 10 step-up lunges, 10 lat pull-downs, 20 sit ups on an exercise ball; repeat three times with no rest in between. After my fave interval routine, I did three sets of 10 dumbbell swings with a 15 pound dumbbell. For the rest of my 10 minutes, I did various abs exercises including crunches and side bends.
Step 3: RELAXATION – this is my “cool down” meditation segment. Do 10 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation or 10 minutes in the steam room. I chose the latter because I wanted to clear my pores in ultimate relaxation. I gotta tell you, nothing beats the steam room after a great workout.
So, there ya go – that’s all there is to the 10-10-10!
I did this workout today because I was pressed for time, and boy do I feel good. Just because it’s only 30 minutes, doesn’t mean you don’t work hard. This interval routine gets your blood flowing and your metabolism boosted up for the day. Enjoy!
What you Need: A treadmill, 30 minutes
1:00-2:00: walk briskly
4:00-6:00: walk briskly
6:00-8:00: walk briskly at a 15 incline
12:00-14:00: walk briskly
14:00-16:00: walk briskly at a 15 incline
16:00-18:00: walk briskly
20:00-22:00: walk briskly
22:00-24:00: walk briskly at a 15 incline
24:00-26:00: walk briskly
28:00-30:00: cool down
Follow with Core Fusion or another strength training routine if you have time!
I’m a morning person. I always have been. My roommates in college used to envy the fact that I could wake up right when the sun came up perkier than ever. They also used to loathe the fact that I’d stomp around the apartment with my sneakers slamming cabinets and shuffling around pots and pans to make my morning omelet, as they tried to get their beauty sleep (sorry girls!) So yes, I’ll admit that getting up in the morning is a tad easier for me than the average human being.
However, I am not Superwoman and I too have my days where I want to throw my Blackberry out the window as the annoying alarm rings in my ear. Take this morning for instance. I set my alarm for 7:30 a.m. because I wanted to get my morning run over with before the horrendous 100-degree weather hit. However, I was angry when I heard my alarm go off this morning. Not only did it interrupt a good dream (don’t you hate that?) but I also was not ready to get up. So I sat there for a few seconds debating whether I should go back to sleep or not, and decided to rip the Band-Aid off. Yes, the first few seconds are painful, but once I sprung out of bed I was good to go. Then when I put on my running outfit and sneaks, I knew there was no turning back!
So, no I wasn’t born with super powers, nor do I have any magical advice to give you on how to get yourself going in the morning. But I do have some motivational tips that’ll help you make it through a tough workout painlessly.
1. Spring Out of Bed: As I already mentioned before, getting out of bed is the hardest part, then the rest is a piece of cake! Do whatever you need to do in order to move your body from your comfy cloud-like mattress to a standing position. I use the “rip the Band-Aid off” method, where I give myself a few seconds of recuperating then just jump up before I can talk myself out of it.
Thinking about how great I’ll feel AFTER my workout also helps me get through the initial doubts. Just think: if you go back to bed you’ll already waste a few hours of your day, and probably won’t end up achieving your goals for the day. Just take the day on my friend…really you won’t regret it!
2. Fuel Up! Confession: I didn’t listen to my own advice this morning, and boy do I regret it. Before you set out, make sure you’re properly fueled. First things first: drink a good amount of water before you head out. Then, eat something small yet substantial that’s going to get you through your workout. An apple with some natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, piece of toast, protein bar, or half of a fruit smoothie all work. Eat something small that you know your stomach can handle. Then when you return from your workout, you can dive into something more filling.
3. Set a Goal… It’s always good to have some sort of goal in mind, whether it’s going a certain distance, doing a certain amount of reps at the gym, or trying a new yoga class. Today my goal was to run another 5 miles, as I hit the 5-mile mark last week and wanted to see if I still had it goin’ on. Alas, I mapped out a route and set off to see where my legs would take me…
4.…But Don’t Take Your Goal Too Seriously: Goals are always great, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve what you set out to do. Today was HOT out. Yes, even at 7:30 a.m. the temperature was already nearly 90 degrees. (So much for beating the heat). Anyway, midway through my run I had to re-access whether running the full five miles was right for my body. I thought about stopping and walking the rest (around mile four) but realized that my breathing was in control and another mile was definitely doable, so I simply slowed down my pace.
Sure, I didn’t run the five miles in record-breaking time, however I DID IT and felt amazing afterward! Had I felt faint or dehydrated, I would have stopped and felt OK about that. It’s all about listening to your body, and not pushing yourself beyond what you’re comfortable with.
5. Take Advantage of Mind Tricks: I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes exercise can be strenuous and downright painful. That’s when I start playing tricks with my mind. If you know you still have another three miles to go (or another 30 minutes in a challenging group fitness class), thinking about it (and looking at the clock every 10 seconds) is going to drive you absolutely crazyyyyy.
Instead, play mind tricks. Today I blocked out any discouraging thoughts, and instead started thinking about what I was going to do the rest of the way. All the sudden, I was half way around the loop again without even thinking about it. I also like to look at the smaller picture; that is when I’m running a far distance, I’ll use street signs or telephone poles as different benchmarks. That way, instead of thinking about an ADDITIONAL THREE MILES, I’ll take it one sign at a time. Music also helps get your mind off the struggle, which leads me to my next point…
6. Jam Out: Seriously, I don’t know how people exercise without amazing tunes to go with it. But I suppose if you aren’t an Ipod person, chatting with a friend, watching the TV at the gym, or listening to the surrounding noise helps—any distractions really! But if you’re like me, I like my jams, and lately I’ve been really feeling my newest playlist, “Workout Baby.”
I recently downloaded “I Like it” by Enrique Iglesias (feat. Pitbull) and absolutely love it. Actually that’s an understatement. Confession: I played it THREE times during my run this morning; that’s how obsessed with it I am. So, download some new tunes, have your hip, music-obsessed friend burn you a few CD’s. I’m telling you: new, upbeat songs can make all the difference during your next workout.
Hope this helps! Please share your personal motivating tips that help you charge through…