Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Finding your fitness routine

I’ve always been aware of my health, but I feel like now that I’m (sort of) an adult, I need to be more focused on it. When I was dancing/playing sports, I didn’t even have to think about working out. With the days of high school athletics behind me, I’ve found a pretty solid routine that works for me.
I learned very quickly that what works for one person does NOT work for everyone. I have friends that love swimming- I hate it. Swimming laps is probably my least favorite form of exercise and reminds me of lifeguard training in high school, a memory I try VERY hard to block out. I actually enjoy running, but I have friends that hate it. Now (when I’m home), I usually run 3 days a week, weight train 4 days a week, do 15 minutes of yoga a day, and toss in a couple of fun classes like barre, pilates, etc.
It took me a while to find a routine that worked, and in the process I learned a few things I thought I’d share with you:
1. Gear up appropriately. If you’re going to take up trail running, don’t go with a pair of 2 year old cross training shoes that are totally worn down because you will get injured (and shin splints are the worst). If you live someplace warm, make sure you have lightweight, breathable clothes and toss some ice in your baseball hat before heading out. If it's cold, make sure you have thermal clothes, running gloves, and a hat or ear warmers. It's an investment, but places like 6pm.com, TJ Maxx, and Target all have great discount options.
2. Fuel yourself properly. I take a HIIT class at 5:30 am 4 days a week, and even though I’m usually not hungry before I don’t do as well if I don’t eat. I like grabbing half a macrobar on the way out because it has a ton of protein and tastes good but doesn’t have any extra junk. Seriously, it’s gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and macrobiotic so it’s compatible with most dietary restrictions. Go for something light that has complex carbs and protein before your workout and something more substantial after you train. 
3. Take care of yourself before, during, and after training. Wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside. Drink tons of water. Soak in epsom salts after a particularly tough workout. Stretch! Even if you don’t want to take the time to do some of this stuff, you’ll feel so much better if you do and that will help keep you motivated.
4. Make your workouts fun! Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running. Yeah, it’s good exercise, but so are a million other things. Try a hip hop class. Take tennis lessons. Create a great workout playlist. Your primary reason for working out should be that you enjoy it and it makes you feel good, not because you feel like you have to.
5. Take the bad days in stride. I don’t exactly spring out of bed at 4:50 every morning, but when I get to go up on weight in an exercise or I notice my running times going down, it gives me so much satisfaction. Yeah, there are days where I am silently (or very vocally) cursing my trainer throughout the entire session. Just remember that even professional athletes have bad days.
Hopefully that helps and gives you guys a bit of motivation! Share your best workout tips in the comments below.
xoxo,
Yasi “Writing this while still literally dripping sweat and now I’m going to sanitize my computer”