Beating Those Lazy Days

Friends, it has been weeks since we made our New Year’s resolutions. How can we motivate ourselves to stick to our plans for healthier and happier selves? We know that exercise is good, but also how easy and comfortable it becomes to slack off burning the fat off.

As the saying goes, When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We’ll break own the three pillars to gym motivation for when being lazy seems so easy: Why you shouldn’t skip the gym, How you can avoid skipping the gym, and You missed the gym…now What.

Why you shouldn’t

Gyms across the country have the slogan “You’ll never say, I wish I hadn’t worked out today” across their walls. Why? Because it’s 100% accurate. You may not appreciate the soreness, or you may feel fatigued later on in the evening, but in a world filled with guilty temptations, one thing about your day that you’ll never regret is that you spent time improving your fitness.

It’s February. Before you know it, you’ll be trading winter coats and boots for bathing suits and sandals. Put the work in now, future you (the one catching rays by the pool) will thank you.

When you work out, you feel more confident. When you skip the gym, you feel more self-conscious. It’s simple. You can’t put price tags on confidence and positive feeling about yourself. Working out is also known to relieve stress and release endorphins. If you care about how you feel, then you know you have to keep a regular workout regimen.

We live in a social media dominated world. Whether it’s a celebrity favorite or your neighbor down the block, you can count on being subjected to photo evidence that other people are working out. A healthy lifestyle is a personal journey, but boy does it brighten your day when you know you too are putting in work at the gym.

Physically speaking, working out has far more benefits than just helping you to look good; but it can actually help regulate your sleep cycle. When you skip the gym, you’ll feel tired and sluggish all day and then wide awake and restless at night. This is easily one of the most annoying phenomenons your body will subject itself too, and the fatigue will negatively affect the productivity of your work week.

Are you worried about food cravings? Do you want to eat a little dessert guilt free? Well when you work out, it’s easier to eat healthier. You feel accomplished about your day’s work and the mindset you have when you return home is to keep the good habits rolling. Also, when you weight train or interval train your body feeds off calories hours after you’ve completed your workout. So if you so please, you can consume a few more calories than if you chose not to work out, without worrying about fat gains.

Remember, if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse

How you can avoid it

Now that you have plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t miss the gym, here’s a few tips on actually making it out there:

Your pilgrimage to the gym doesn’t have to be alone. Willpower is much stronger when you have a gym buddy there for support in solidarity. Join a group, carpool, set appointments with friends, whatever is necessary to get you in the room. It still counts if you are only there to not look bad in front of a judging peer.

Take the time to plan out a schedule. Whether it is what you actually want to accomplish in the gym on that day, or when you can make it, it is much easier to stick to a well organized plan. Improvisation is akin to procrastination.

You know what really boosts your motivation? Activities that you actually enjoy. 45 minute treadmill sessions aren’t for everyone. Join a recreational basketball or dodgeball league and get those competitive juices flowing.

Rats… You did miss the gym. Well now what?

So despite my words of wisdom and impeccable advice you still couldn’t make it out the gym. Never fear, here’s a few tips on what to do now:

Don’t overeat, feel yourself getting full. You should drink lots of water and other non sugary fluids throughout the day to mitigate your appetite. You shouldn’t hit 1000 extra calories on top of already missing the gym.

Take the stairs, take a walk around the neighborhood, or run all those errands you have been putting off for some time. It may not be the hour long sweat-tacular , muscle crunching workout you had hoped for, but the day does not have to necessarily be lost.

Take some time to analyze the day and see what happened. Be true with yourself on what caused you to miss on a promise you made to yourself. Was it a party the night before? Improper planning? Work to get better or plan ahead to ensure you won’t miss many more workout days again.

Last but not least, get ready to hop back on your bicycle go again the next day. You lost the battle, not the war.

You can do this, I believe in you.

Mood Boosters

Weekends are for spending time with family and friends, running errands, and relaxing, but as most people know, there is never enough time between Friday night and Monday morning. Those pesky Monday mornings always come too quickly.

Here are four little things that help me get through the week.

  • That first sip of coffee:

Nothing pulls me out of my warm bed more than the thought of drinking coffee. It’s an addiction I’m only slightly ashamed of. I look forward to drinking my first sip of warm coffee, freshly brewed with just a dash of almond milk. (Honestly, I look forward to drinking coffee all the time — in the morning, during the afternoon lull. The best time for coffee is when you get to grab a cup with a good friend.)

  • Hearing your favorite song on the radio:

I have no shame about admitting I cannot sing. Even still, when my favorite song comes on the radio I can’t help but sing along. It’s a good thing there’s usually no one else in the car to hear it. If you’re feeling blue, turn your favorite song on and don’t be afraid to sing and dance along, it definitely can bring a smile to not only your face, but anyone who happens to see your sweet moves. Might I suggest ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall & Oates.

  • A quick workout:

Even if I can’t get in a full workout during the day, I always try to do a little something. Whether that’s a yoga session, a walk around the neighborhood, or dancing around to a few songs, the littlest amount of exercise can improve one’s mood. As Elle Wood’s once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” All Legal Blonde quotes aside, get out there and go. I promise it’ll significantly improve your wellbeing.

  • Casual Fridays:

I sincerely apologize if your office doesn’t have a casual Fridays policy, because being able to dress a touch more comfortably does wonders for brightening the mood. As superficial as it may sound, I think that sometimes how you look helps you to feel like you can take on the world. Whether that’s wearing your favorite pair of shoes, your workout clothes, or throwing on a touch of red lipstick before you head out the door.

All About That Positivity

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We all sometimes find ourselves feeling a little down. Homesickness, stress, and many other reasons can lead one to feel a little saddened or perhaps lacking in enthusiasm. It is during these times that I find having a certain hobby or activity, can really help turn things around. For some that activity is drawing, reading, cooking, etc. There are a variety of hobbies out there that you can try and I believe it is important to find that one thing that will always put a smile on your face. So here are my five suggestions for simple things that can perhaps help you out next time you find yourself a little down.

1. Watch a movie or t.v. show from your childhood.

There is something comforting about watching one of those classic films or shows that you grew up on, whether it is a classic Disney movie or saturday morning cartoons.

2. Do something artistic.

Art has a certain element to it that allows it to serve as the perfect method of expression, and sometimes what we really need most is a way to express our feelings. Whether you participate in one of those paint night sessions or do some arts & crafts at home, doing something that requires you to engage and think will help get your mind off other things.

3. Take a walk.

I once learned that something as minor as a small change of scenery could help one feel a little more positive. Next time the stress is getting you down, grab your comfy shoes and go stroll around to explore parts of your neighborhood that you rarely find yourself in.

4. Participate in a workout class.

We are often told that exercise helps boost endorphins and thus makes us happier, but I think that you can actually take this a step further. One of the best ways to enjoy exercise is through a class such as Zumba or yoga. When everyone in the room is working towards the same goal it can make for fun times, be more motivational, and you can also make news friends in your workout class!

5. Try something out of the ordinary.

There are may be certain hobbies that you particularly enjoy, but there’s probably many more out there that you haven’t tried. Try something new next time, whether it’s archery, paddle boarding, pottery class, etc. There are so many things for you to choose from and you may even discover a new affinity or talent!