The new year is upon us, and fitness content is EVERYWHERE. Whether you work out once a day or once in a blue moon, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Should I be doing more? Should I be adding more variety to my routine? Wait, how am I supposed to feel excited about going to the gym when it’s 20 degrees and pitch black out?
For me, working out has always been a must. In high school, I played sports on the weekends, but I never gave much thought to additional exercise except until my senior year of high school when I started using the elliptical my parents kept in the basement. I’m now an elliptical fanatic, so I guess that wasn’t such a bad idea!
When I got to college, my friends and I would often go to the gym in groups, but once classes kicked into gear it became harder to maintain a schedule. I remember at one point during my freshman year, my dad–a true exercise fanatic–told me to think of working out like homework. It was something that I just had to do and incorporate into my daily routine.
I was great at getting to the gym in college, and often I’d go right before dinner so that I wouldn’t grab a snack instead (I was an early bird in a friend group of late dinner eaters!). I’d walk into the dining hall wearing my black leggings or Nike shorts, no shame at all. My college emphasized wellness and physical activity, and everyone on campus was in tip-top shape. Most years, the gym was somewhat far from my dorm, but it was free (and not to mention, it wasn’t a bad spot for people-watching). 😉
In the real world, though, getting exercise has been harder and is something that I’m not exactly looking forward to after a long day of work, commuting, and a looming bedtime. When possible, I enjoy taking Flywheel or SoulCycle classes or experimenting with ClassPass, but these options can add up! I’ve found a very affordable gym in my neighborhood, but it’s still a 10-15 minute walk.
But the thing is…and it’s so cliche…I generally do feel better after I go. Whether it’s because I’ve crossed something off of my to-do list or because I feel less stressed, it’s usually a good decision. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has days where they need to go home and relax or spend time with friends or just get to bed early, but working out usually yields good results across the board.
I do need some tips, though. I basically have to work out after work given how early my job starts (even the 6 am SoulCycle classes are too late for me to feasibly attend, eek!). And I’m definitely not waking up earlier than normal to get to the gym, because I value my sleep in the morning too much (plus, a girl’s gotta do her hair and get ready before work!). But any tips on fighting the urge to take another rest day or new workout music suggestions or things like that…send ’em my way 🙂