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Wednesday Workout!

So remember when I said I was going to try to shake up my workout routine? Well I switched it up this week!

Monday and today, I went to a boot camp at Chicago Fitness Coach, and it kicked my butt!  Monday I thought I was going to die, but today was a tiny bit easier.  The instructor and founder, Tony, is super motivating and really pushes you — but does it all with a laugh and a smile on his face!  On the agenda today?  Treadmill sprints mixed with pushups, tons of squats, lunges, mountain climbers, Spiderman pushups, sumo squats, and LOTS of core work.  I was sweating like crazy (and wiping pink toner onto the towel since I had my hair dyed RED!). It’s all very basic stuff, but honestly, it didn’t matter.  We were moving nonstop and everyone was dying by the end!  Plus, I’m getting my workouts in early since the class is held at 9am! (Ah, the perks of not having a regular 9to5.)

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And remember how I said it was pretty easy to sweat on the cheap?  I got this month-long, 5x/week boot camp on Tippr for $20!  Getting my butt handed to me weekly is even sweeter knowing I’m only paying $1 per class! Can’t beat that!

What have you done to switch up your workouts lately?  Ever tried a boot camp or another super tough class like it?  Scored any awesome deals on fitness stuff lately? Spill!

No Excuses

Woo! Yeah! That elliptical looks super exciting! TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

No excuses.  When it comes to exercise, that’s what I’m supposed to tell you, right?

Well, I would, but I know that we’re human and we’ve all got excuses when it comes to fitting in our workouts.  However, the trick to getting past those excuses is to hear them and then beat them  by using a little bit of strategy and planning.  Here are a few of the most commonly heard excuses for not exercising (some of which I may have used myself) and how to get around them.

1) Not enough time.  You work 10-hour days, you volunteer, you have a packed social life with a boyfriend, a great family, and tons of friends demanding your attention.  Oh, and we can’t forget your standing appointment with your DVR that’s recorded all of your favorite shows.  Sounds like you have a pretty full, pretty great life.  But you know what’s missing?  EXERCISE.  You manage to fit all of these other things in, but you aren’t able to squeeze in a few sweat sessions?  Grab your calendar and pencil in at least 30 to 45-minute workouts per week.  Honestly, to improve your health, that’s all it takes.  A little more if you’re trying to lose a few pounds, but if you’re already where you want to be, for less time that it takes to primp for work or happy hour, you can get your heart pumping.  And please, please, PLEASE don’t let TV be your excuse.  First of all, go ahead and say that one out loud.  It just sounds silly.  And second, if you must watch that show, why don’t you tune in while working out?  Do an at-home strength program while watching or ask the gym if they’ll turn on your show when it’s on.  You can’t be the only one obsessed with “Glee.”     

2) Not enough sleep.  Uhh, why not?  I understand that the above crazy busy life may limit your time spent snoozing, but getting enough sleep is so important!  I didn’t realize how much better I felt with more sleep until I switched jobs and stopped working 13-hour days (which is ridic, btw).  I started getting 8 or 9 hours of sleep almost every night, and my mood and my health both improved!  It takes a whole lot more to get me stressed or upset now, and I even lost a few pounds just because my body was rested enough to repair itself and do its thing.  Rachel had been telling me I needed to sleep more for the longest time, but it wasn’t until I experienced it myself that I became a true believer!  But let’s just say that you’re still struggling in the sleep department, moderate exercise will actually do nothing but wake you up! That’s the great thing about it. And if you you’re missing out on Zzz’s because you just can’t fall asleep then exercise will help with that too!  Regular activity = regular sleep schedule.  Just make sure you get your sweat on at least 3 hours before bed so you can sleep soundly.  Either way, get moving! 

3) Not feeling like you can do enough in the time that you have.  You think that that 20 minutes you have every weekday won’t do a thing, right?  Not so!  Bump up the intensity on most days, and you can really elevate your heart rate.  Try intervals in your cardio, and limit or eliminate your rest between strength sets altogether.  My favorite is treadmill intervals of 90 seconds at a steady pace with 30 second all-out sprints.  For my resistance training, I like to do supersets between my back and chest or quads and hamstrings (biggest muscle groups burn the most calories!).  You can still do a LOT in a little time.  Trust me.     

4) Not exactly loving the whole ‘working out’ thing.  You’ve tried running because it’s supposed to burn the most calories, but you ended up getting bored or a case of shin splints.  You’ve tried swimming because it’s supposed to be a great full-body workout, but you ended up doing two laps and coming up gasping for air, making you feel like an athletic failure.  You tried a cardio kick class, but the instructor was just a little too peppy for your liking, you couldn’t follow the moves fast enough, and the guy behind you really could have used some deodorant.  Whatever you tried, you hated it, and you stopped working out altogether. But why?  Why did you only try that one thing and give up on exercise entirely?  There are so many options out there!  Try a yoga-cardio fusion class if you need something a little more zen.  Get a mountain bike or a pair of hiking boots and find a trail if being in the gym is just not your idea of a good time (you can even do a little resistance training outside! Squats and pushups, anyone?).  Hire a personal trainer that fits your workout style and personality if you like being in the gym and need a push, but don’t like sharing with other people.  Whatever gets you moving, do it!  And don’t limit yourself to what you see your friends or family doing.  Find what’s right for you and start sweating!

Alright, so those are the most common excuses I’ve come across, but what others have you heard (or used yourself!)? How do you combat those excuses or the ones I’ve mentioned? Spill!      

Monday, Monday

It's been this kind of day... times two.

 

I know, super creative title, right?  Anyway, it’s been a coffee kind of day.  I visited Starbucks twice before 10am today, but in all fairness one was before 6am since I had to be up at FIVE (for one of my fave clients though, so I didn’t really mind).  Also, I think I should let it be known that Starbucks itself is enabling my java addiction by giving me a gold card with my name on it and everything.  It’s so shiny and it gives me refills and a free drink for every 15 I buy or something (that doesn’t take too long for me to rack up, sadly).  So…it’s not my fault?  It’s a good thing I just drink plain coffee instead of anything fancy, but STILL.  I love my coffee and all, and I refuse to completely give it up, but maybe I should find some other ways to perk up besides getting an IV of espresso. 

What about you?  What are your favorite (non-caffeinated) ways to wake up in the morning?  Give me your best suggestions and help a sister out!

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