Fitness Tips Friday

by Jen on November 18, 2011

Heeeey!  Another Friday is upon us.  Do I hear a woot, woot?!  What do you have going on this weekend?  I’m headed to a local blogger’s dinner Saturday night.  I can hardly wait to meet some other bloggers from around town.  Should be fun!

Since I’m sure you’re all sick of my Fashion Friday posts, I thought it would be fun to do a Fitness Tips Friday post.  I often get asked what I do for fitness, how do I stay so motivated, and what foods keep me lean.  I thought over the next few weeks, this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my secrets tips with you.  Who knows, maybe this will be become a regular thang!

Tip #1: Write down your goals

It’s easy to say, “ I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to eat better”.  But when you just say the words, they don’t really mean anything.  Who are you accountable to?  And what does “eating better” really mean?  I suggest writing down specific goals for the month.  Realistic goals.  Things like losing 5 pounds, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, exercising for 30 minutes each day, limiting treats to once a week, etc.

When you write your goals down, you can actually see them everyday as a reminder.  You are being held accountable.  And don’t be afraid to share your goals with others.  Tell them your goals.  That way, not only are you accountable to yourself, but you are accountable to others.

Once you’ve written down your goals, you’ll need to place them somewhere you can see them everyday.  When I first started losing weight, I posted an old picture of myself in a bikini, when I was a healthy weight (actually, it was taken on our honeymoon!)  Each day, I would see that picture and it would motivate me to keep on track.  Each time I reached for a chocolate bar, I thought of that picture.  Each time I was too “tired” to workout, I thought of that picture.  That one little picture kept me motivated the entire time.  It was a clear picture of where I wanted to be.

Tip #2: Find an activity you love

Once you’ve decided that you want to make exercise part of your daily routine, you need to find which type of exercise you love.

When I first started exercising, I would run on the treadmill.  Period.  Well, guess what?  That got boring.  Fast.  I realized that I am not a runner.  Actually, I hate it.  So I signed up for a boot camp group fitness class.  And I fell in love.  I loved the atmosphere of a group class.  I found it very motivating.  You can feel the energy of the people around you, and trust me, you don’t want to be the one slacking off in front of 30 other people!

After having kids, I didn’t have the time to take group fitness classes.  But I certainly wasn’t going back to the treadmill either.  So I went online and researched at-home fitness videos.  And I found one.  Well, actually, a couple. ChaLEAN EXTREME and TurboFire, both by Chalene Johnson.  Believe me when I say, I have found my soul mate workouts!  I love these videos.  They are so fun and motivating, that I actually look forward to my morning workouts.

But everyone is different.  Some people love to run, while others like to dance, while others like to lift heavy weights.  Whatever it is, you need to find it.  Try joining a fitness class in your area, or research some fitness videos online, or join a sport/activity that you’ve always loved.  It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s getting you off the couch and you’re having fun doing it!

Tip #3: Schedule your workout

How many of you have said, “I’m going to workout today!” and then you find yourself lying on the couch at 9:00 saying, “whoops, I forgot to do my workout today.”  *Raising hand*  I was notorious for making up excuses why I couldn’t workout.  I don’t have time.  I’m too tired.  I’m not feeling up to it.  I’ll do it tomorrow.  I’ve got an injury.  Etc, etc, etc.

After having kids, my main excuse was time.  When was I going to find the time to workout?  It was impossible during the day, my kids never napped at the same time.  It was impossible at night, I was too tired after watching the kids all day.  And it was definitely impossible in the morning.  Good God, who works out before the crack of dawn?!  So what did that leave?  Nothing.

But how was I ever going to look like that girl in the picture hanging on my bathroom mirror if I didn’t have time to workout?  I needed to FIND the time.  For me, this was first thing in the morning.  The reason I chose that time is because everyone else is in bed, and I’m least likely to get interrupted.  It’s the only time I have to myself.  Sure, the first couple of weeks were hell.  Who likes getting up at 5:30 everyday?!  But once I got in the habit, my body adapted.  Now that I’ve been doing it for so long, I can’t workout at any other time!

You need to schedule your workout like you would an important meeting.  Pick a time that you are least likely to be interrupted, whether that be first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, or after the kids have gone to bed.  And then write it down in your schedule.

Tip #4: Look at exercise as a privilege

Instead of looking at exercise as a chore, you need to start looking at it as a privilege.  You need to start thinking positively about the benefits and results of exercise.  Do you know how lucky you are are to be able to do physical activity?  Do you know how many people would love to be able to exercise, but due to a disability, disease, or injury, they can’t?!  I bet you a million bucks that person would trade places with you any day.

And think of the positive changes that will happen to your body and your mind:

  • Lose excess fat
  • Build muscle
  • Increase metabolism
  • Decrease stress
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Healthier sleep habits
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Increased energy

Of course, the list doesn’t end there.  The benefits of physical activity are endless.  There are no negatives to exercise, so why would you want to deny yourself all those benefits?!

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These are just some of my fitness tips that keep me motivated and have helped me though the tough times, when I all I wanted to do was skip my workout and indulge.  If you find this information useful, I look forward to sharing more tips with you in the near future!

Question: What are some of your favorite fitness tips?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth November 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

I started working out in September. At first it was just walking, then going to the gym for a more intense cardio workout, and most recently I took your rave reviews of ChaLEAN Extreme and ordered the dvds. What keeps me working out day after day (and I, like you, have found that the only time I can consistently commit to is 5:00 a.m.) is how good I feel afterward. When I don’t want to exercise, I remind myself of that AMAZING feeling that comes after a hard workout. It is SO worth the effort!!

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2 Jen November 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

You are so right, Beth. The feeling of accomplishment after finishing a tough workout is the BEST! Keep it up :)

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3 Leslie November 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Great tips! I’m going to enjoy reading Fitness Friday :) see you Saturday.

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4 Samantha November 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Thank you for this. I need a serious fitness kick in the ass after my mom’s recent serious health scare. I’m petrified of being in her shoes in 20 years, I need to fix things now and not put them off until later. And I need to set a good example for my kids.

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5 Lori@ Teacher Turned Mommy November 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I know finding the groove is hard, but so worth it. I think the other thing people try so often to do it eliminate all that is “bad” for you. But, if you treat yourself from time to time you will stick with it more

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6 Janell H November 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I absolutely love your blog and so glad I found it! I hope you do more reviews on Lululemon!

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7 Jen November 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks! So glad you like it :) Don’t worry, there will be plenty more Lululemon reviews ;)

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8 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance November 19, 2011 at 6:45 am

Scheduling exercise is such a great tip, and I find that it’s one of the only things that works for me. I can’t possibly expect to work out if I don’t tell myself what I will be doing and when I will be doing it– it just doesn’t happen that way haha

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9 fitness tips May 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

I’m very happy to discover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to see new things in your website.

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10 Jen May 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Thank you :)

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