I used to think of working out as a necessary evil. I did it to balance the carb and wine intake I just wasn't willing to give up. Lately it's taken on a role in my life. Working out helps me get out of my head. You see, I'm not what you would call a patient person. I'm the one who wants to get things done when I'm ready for it. And I don't hear back from someone, I obsess about the million reasons why.
This has wreaked havoc on my life when I've been in the middle of a job search or on the cusp of a big life decision. While I've been so busy anticipating what's going to happen next, I'm not producing good work.
I've been going to the gym consistently for a few months now and while I can say I see the changes in my body, I also see the changes in my stress levels. The more I work out, the more balanced my life feels. It's helped me to step away when I'm stuck in decision-making mode and come back to my work with a new perspective on the issue.
You'd be amazed at how many ideas spring up when you're not sitting at the keyboard trying to force them out.
By focusing on how my body feels and is reacting to an exercise, my mind has no chance to think about anything but the present moment. It also demands focus. I can't be texting and emailing if I'm going to stay balanced on that elliptical. This is my time to turn the music up and drown my thoughts out.
Below are the top four ways I've found a gym routine that I can stick to. It's made me more effective at work and more comfortable with the idea of taking breaks from the grind. I have no doubt it can do the same for you.
Put it in your calendar
It's too easy to ignore on your to-do list. Schedule a time each week when you're committed to your work out. Don't let anything come between you and this time. Maybe it's finding a class you love that meets every Saturday morning. Or maybe you commit to stopping by the gym every Tuesday after work. You can start small with just 1-2 planned workouts each week. After a few weeks it will feel like a natural part of your routine.
Dress it up
Not a whole lot makes me feel unmotivated as looking sloppy does. I'm definitely not advocating for putting on your whole face to go to the gym, because ain't nobody got time for that and honestly you're going to look a hot mess when it starts to melt off. What I am saying is invest in a few pieces that pull you in, don't slide down your bum, and are actually cute.
I've said before that when you look good, you feel good.
Find a workout that works for you
I tried yoga briefly but I got super anxious that I couldn't just "let the ideas flow away." This made me worry even more that I couldn't be calm....so I wasn't calm...and well you get the point. It wasn't a good fit for me.
A few months ago I started working with a trainer and boy has my outlook changed! He pushes me to get wayyyy more out of a workout than I ever would on my own (meaning stepping away from the treadmill and into the weights area) and I always leave feeling like I got as much out of an hour as humanly possible.
Find an accountability partner
Whether you have weekly runs with a friend or make friendly with other ladies in a workout class, making a commitment to someone else makes you more likely to follow through. To me accountability means sticking to a weekly schedule with my trainer and seeing the same faces every Sunday morning in boxing class. It makes it so much easier to get out of bed and lace up if you're in it with someone else.
Tell me, what kind of workout is working for you and why?