25 Ways to Improve your Workout Mentality Before the Holidays
Yikes! It’s December 1st! We have yet again managed to plough through another successful year at an unprecedented speed. Save the nostalgia for Christmas dinner, it’s crunch time! We all come down with a little bit of a crazy hay fever this time of year. Between shopping, working, eating, cleaning, and sleeping (if there’s time!), it’s easy to let your workouts take a backseat with your packages. I’m here to tell you to unbuckle your workout conscious right now. Take those packages into the house and put on your unopened package of workout warrior make-up.
New Year’s resolutions are an ad-driven time of year. Gyms make mega bucks off of the “I think I cans” floating about in your head. Why not show the gym and body who’s boss by dabbling with a new mindset of your own?
P.S.- I am not a certified exercise consultant, just someone who believes in time management and willpower.
- Create a solid routine- Make your shopping rounds only on weekends. You’ll be well rested and able to get up early for that 7 A.M. spin class you love! OR (insert other form of endorphin-inducing exercise here)
- Get a mobile fitness journal. Jot down how you are feeling throughout the day- include before and after your workouts.
- Take Supplements. Consult your doctor prior to taking the supplement plunge, but I recommend taking a multivitamin and B-complex.
- Drink Coffee before a workout. This is a tried and true practice of mine. Drink one cup about 1-2 hours before working out – or even during- to keep you energized.
- Get a babysitter. Use your petty cash stash and if you have kids get a babysitter. Even if it’s just for a few nights per week. You can no longer say “I don’t have anyone to watch the kids…blah blah blah”
- Workout for FREE! You don’t need a gym. I’m a believer in using what you have. Your whole house could be used for gym if you think about it. Stairs for cardio and strength training. Chairs for yoga/upper body. Beds/Floors for abdominals. Etc. etc.
- Grab a best bud. Taking a friend with you- even if it’s just for a walk in the park will make you feel better physically and mentally.
- Demolish Your Plateau. If you have been overdosing on the same types of exercises every week, switch it up. If you usually work out in a gym try a class. If you workout at home try a different DVD. My current at-home fave is called Piloxing.
- Dress for success. Most of us wear comfy clothes to the gym. That is absolutely the right idea. Just make sure you yourself are happy with what’s looking back at you in the mirror before you walk into the gym, class, or plunge into that DVD. Wear clothes that inspire you, show off a particular body part, or encourage you to work on something (without making you feel down of course).
- Subtract the A/C. I suggest working out without air conditioning. It’s not the greatest for the respiratory system, plus you’ll sweat more, which means more fat and calories burned! J
- Go for a swim. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, swimming is one of the best workouts for your body. It’s therapeutic for your joints and is an excellent form of cardio.
- Listen to different genres of music. Studies show by switching what you listen to brain function improves and this may also be linked to increased happiness after getting in a good sweat.
- Create a protein shake. There are so many ways to create your own form of fuel these days. Take a base milk- like soy, regular, almond, hemp, etc. and add in tofu, fruits, veggies, chocolate chips, extracts, you name it! Just make sure it’s a normal portion size and don’t go overboard with the processed stuff.
- The Tortoise and the Hare. Ever heard of the Aesop fable,”The Tortoise and The Hare?” If you’re in a gym, pretend everyone around you are hares and you’re the tortoise or vice versa. It’s a secret mind game that will motivate you to run faster than the person next to you.
- Turn your phone off when working out. I see too many people at the gym or during classes run over to that mobile device like it will self-destruct if not answered to. This ruins your workout mojo.
- Take a furry friend. Dogs are man’s best friend. Why not take the poor guy or gal along with you for a fast walk or run?
- Need a day, take a day. If you are physically and mentally exhausted your workout may not even provide you relief. It’s rare but when I’m feeling incredibly down or so tired I’m unable to keep my eyes opened, I call it quits. (just for ONE day)
- Avoid carbing up with processed foods. Do not engage in a carbohydrate filled feast before a big workout. Ten minutes in when you’re performing crunches, you will feel nauseous and exactly like that sack of potatoes your just shoveled down.
- Perform 2 minutes of exercise in the A.M. Even if you really are pressed for time, just by getting in a few rounds of jumping jacks or yoga stretches in the morning will jumpstart your metabolism.
- “Cry Wolf” to a therapist. If you are having difficulties due to injuries or health related problems, talking it out could be a great way to overcome your obstacles.
- Play a sport. Athletically challenged? No need to worry. Grab a few friends and play beach volleyball, a game of H-O-R-S-E basketball, or have a Frisbee throw contest.
- Change your sneakers. Sounds like a no-brainer, but all too often many do not heed the simple rule of changing your sneakers every 3-6 months. First, they smell. Second, they smell…and third, they are worn, which could cause chin splints, bone fractures, or even joint problems!
- Control your body image. Every morning and every night try to make a habit to tell yourself one part of your body you love. Do not focus on the negative.
- Run a 5K. Since it’s the holiday season, many organizations are throwing benefits for those in need. If you attend that holiday soiree, make sure the following day you attend the company’s annual 5K. Your thighs and mind will thank you.
- It’s opposite day-change your scenery. If you have PTO, plan your vacation in a fitness oriented place. Make sure if you live at the beach, you go to a colder climate and try winter-related sports.