Lately I’ve been trying to bring my workouts outside as much as possible, because we FINALLY are having some decent weather in Chicago. I’m still getting to the gym to lift and swim (a little), but otherwise, it’s been walking, running, and biking around my neighborhood. I’m just so happy breathing fresh air while working out, and my music definitely changes with my mood and reflects that. Here are the feel-good summer tunes on my iPod right now:
This one make me feel so happy and positive. I like to warm up to it because it’s not super fast, but it gets you going. And because ‘Everybody’s Got Their Something’…
This next one I like for a steady run (I JUST started running again and oh so slowly), because it doesn’t ever get crazy, and I can kind of zone out and reminisce about college. Not that I was waking up with strangers in my bed or breaking the law, but I was in a sorority and had my fair share of fun, inebriated nights, and I can remember just what it was like to wait for next Friday night because of the last ridiculous Friday night.
Oh, Gaga. You can always count on her for good workout tunes, no matter what you think of her as a pop personality. This one is oddly uplifting, and always makes me think I’m running toward something or going strong to get to the end of a set. I don’t think that’s what she’s talking about at all, but it inspires me to keep it moving, so I turn it on right at the beginning of a workout to get me excited or right as I feel my energy waning so that I can bump the intensity back up.
I’m on a major Joss Stone kick, because I think she and her music just both SCREAM summer. That hair! That bass! That voice! Summer jams at their finest. This song reminds me of summer crushes, and I would love to just dance around to it, but I guess it would work for a run or bike ride too. Just try not to stop and bust a move out in public. It’s allowed, but you’ll get some funny looks.
Snoop cracks me up. Don’t ask me why. It might have something to do with the fact that my sister is super creeped out by him ever since ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot.’ Either way, I really like his music, and this is no exception. This song also makes me laugh because it’s just kind of ridiculous. But it has a great steady beat for strength training, and it makes me want to get a really good workout in, and then go home and get dressed up to go out on a hot summer night. (It’s amazing how much less of a homebody I become when we get decent weather around here.)
I just love pop music. Especially in the summer. I can’t help it, and I’m not afraid to admit it. My personality is quirky and awkward enough that I really don’t need to be alternative in any other way. Mainstream, top 40 radio music makes me happy, and it makes me want to move. Just like this song.
Another Joss Stone jam, this one is perfect for a cooldown and stretch. I love the positive message, and I can just imagine rolling down the windows and cruising around the city on a sunny day (if I had a car in Chicago, that is).
These are my picks for the summer, but I’d love to hear yours! I’m always looking for new suggestions, so lay ‘em on me! Spill!
Now, I know I’ve given you my gym pet peeves, and I’ve gone off on a (necessary) tirade or two about things that irk me, but usually I’m a pretty happy person! Occasionally though, something just gets on my nerves, and I have to say ‘Enough!’
Well, today, my friends, that thing is the phrase ‘beach ready’ when it comes to whipping ourselves into shape for warmer weather. I know everyone wants to look their best when strutting across the sand or running about town in their shortest skirts, and I’m not telling you to stop striving to be the best and fittest you can be (I am a trainer, after all). But I get a little annoyed by phrases like ‘summer-ready’ and ‘bikini-worthy‘ because they imply that if these individual body parts aren’t ‘ready’ by whatever publication’s definition, then, well, we better not let them be seen! Arms aren’t rock solid yet? Better keep those long sleeves on. Don’t have abs of steel yet and there’s still some muffin top hangin’ around? Better keep your top on and don’t even think about trying on anything but a one-piece bathing suit. Riiiiiight.
Well, here’s the thing, friends. I didn’t drop 20 pounds or trim inches off my thighs by the time June rolled around. But did I think my legs were prepared for shorts? Yes! Because it was hot! My legs were ready to be freed, no matter what state they were in.
I really feel that phrases and articles like these can be really damaging, and can keep women (and men, too!) from believing that they can do whatever they want right now, no matter what size or shape or weight they happen to be. It keeps the mentality of “Oh, I’ll do this when I drop 10 lbs’ in place, and keeps us from living our lives. I know, because I’ve done it, and I’ve been there, and actually, it was when I was much smaller than I am now. I had it in my head that I had to keep preparing for the main event, but I was always ‘getting ready,’ so it never seemed to roll around. I spent a lot of time waiting for myself to get ready, and in the process, put actually living and loving life on hold. But once I finally figured out that life keeps happening, whether I’m ready or not, I stopped obsessing as much. As author Jessica Weiner points out, ‘Life doesn’t begin five pounds from now.’
So instead of asking yourself if your tummy or your butt is beach ready, why don’t you ask yourself if YOU are beach ready? Do you want to lie on the sand soaking up the sun (with SPF, obvi)? Do you want to play beach volleyball with your friends? Do you want to splash in the water or even bring out your inner kid and build a few sand castles? Then do it! Whether Fitness or Health or Shape says you’re ready or not. Summer’s almost over, and you’re ready, I promise!