Stress Less: Working Out

spring workout

Exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle or weight-loss regimen is a no-brainer! Although diet plays a major role in the results that we see and how we feel, physical activity is its complementary counterpart and whatever goals we desire are much harder to reach in its absence. Both elements, the right proportions will produce big results.

What keeps you from working out or what are the struggles with your current workout routine? For many, they find that there isn’t enough time for them to exercise daily because of work or family obligations. Another reason may be that they simply do not like going to the gym. (Between sharing equipment with uber-fit and therefore intimidating people plus how boring it is to run on the treadmill day after day…I guess you can’t really blame them.)

No matter what your daily agenda is or what responsibilities you are obligated to take care of, there’s a solution for you and an easy way to make enjoyable exercise a part of your everyday routine.

Here are my top recommendations to make working out an easy task to tackle:

  1. Start from where you are right now. There are no shortcuts! If your last workout was months ago and it was a 30-minute power walk in the park, it isn’t realistic to think that you are going to be prepared to sign up for unlimited Boot Camp classes starting tomorrow. Not to say that you wouldn’t be up to it physically–I agree that more often than not, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for how much we are capable of, but mentally, it will be no easy feat to adopt this drastic change.Take it easy on yourself and plan to take two 30-minute walks during the week. Observe how easy or how much of a struggle this is for you. Did you knock out two 60-minute walks without feeling much of a struggle? Awesome! Aim for walking on three different days next week and for extra credit, turn one walk into a jog.
  2. Go beyond the gym. The world of fitness is ever-expanding and all sorts of new fitness centers and workout programs are constantly making their debut into the world. Not into big gyms with lots of equipment but little to no guidance? Make a beeline for a specialized fitness center–one that offers yoga, barre or even “twerking” classes. Trust me, there is something for everyone out there. If classes aren’t your thing, get outside with portable equipment like a yoga mat, dumbbells, jump rope, etc. and create your own workout at the park. And if you’re a real homebody, you have absolutely no excuse because the number of online streaming services and effective DVD workouts available is Mind. Freakin. Blowing. Beachbody, Hulu, Netflix, The Daily Burn, Gaia…Your list of resources goes on and on.
  3. Keep it consistent. Once you get yourself into a regular routine, there is much less resistance to working out. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to exercise every single day–at least not in the sense of the word “exercise” that everyone expects. Burning calories and keeping your body limber can be as simple as doing a 10-minute yoga sequence on the mornings that you don’t have an intense workout scheduled. Other low-impact and more leisurely activities that count towards your overall physical activity count include swimming, bike riding, having a walking meeting with a colleague, taking a 5-minute dance break in the middle of the work day, etc. You may only be going to kickboxing or yoga three days a week, but you can still get moving on the days in between.

Spring is the perfect season to start a fresh physical activity routine. The weather invites you to spend more time outdoors and the sunshine gives your energy meter a natural boost. Challenge yourself and keep things fun by getting friends and loved ones involved. Remember to progress one step at a time, explore all of your options and find creative ways to make exercise a part of your daily life.