Truth: I hate routines and thrive on change. Some days I wake up and think it’s a wonderful time to pen a chapbook of poetry, some days I wake up wanting to plant chives and cilantro from scratch, some days I want to fill up my time learning a complicated new programming language to build sites from the ground up. It’s never the same two days in a row, and that’s what keeps things interesting for me in my day-to-day life.
Where this fails? The gym. Workouts mean routine, especially the 30 days of yoga I keep starting and stopping as I please. So this year, while I was illustrating my resolutions on beautiful heavy-duty paper and daydreaming about visiting the Guggenheim, I added a simple resolution: work out 3x weekly. And so far, snow days aside, it’s been going well! I have a couple reasons I think it’s working better this year, and I’d love to share them with you if you’re not into routines but still want to get fitter this year.
GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
You’ve no doubt heard this one a thousand times before, but seriously, it matters. Getting enough sleep helps your body bounce back from 10 p.m. power pilates or that yoga pose that makes your joints pop, and it helps you stay fresh the next day so you can do it all again. If you’re a constant night owl (surprise, surprise…I am!), cut back on the caffeine so you can really unwind.
INVEST IN-HOME GYM ESSENTIALS
I pride myself on shopping within a budget and the subject of the home gym is no exception to this. I took $40 and started from scratch at TJ Maxx earlier this year to pick up a few things I know I can use often and things I’ll actually want to grab: 3 pound weights, 5 pound weights, a jump rope, a set of three resistance bands, yoga mats, yoga blocks, and a kettle bell (almost all of these are pink / purple, so bonus for girly-girls who still want to tone up!). There are so many options it’s almost sinful to pass them up!
GET GOOD GEAR
You know how you keep that leopard skirt and black blazer tucked away for interviews or presentations you want to crush at work? Or you save that swipe of red lipstick for your Valentine’s date? Well, workout gear is no exception, and I found the number one article of clothing you should invest in is a great pair of trainers. Choose something lightweight and comfortable for low-impact workouts, something cushioned for running, and something plush to wear in between – your feet will thank you!
DON’T START WITH CLASSES – YET
A great way for you to find out what you like in terms of your workout is to try a few things at home. If you’re looking for a weight bench and all that comes with it, then no, you probably don’t want to invest in all of those materials right off the bat. But if you want to see whether you’ll like yoga or Barre3 or pilates or nearly any form of cardio, you can sample it out using a combo of YouTube gurus (they’re surprisingly inspiring) and iTunes app downloads (seriously motivating). My point is you should feel comfortable trying a few things out before you lock in a series of six classes you don’t know if you’ll love. And bonus, when you do find a workout that feels great and gives you the results you’re after, you’ll feel even better knowing a bit of what to expect in class.
I hope these help you achieve your fitness goals this January!