May 23, 2018

Share Your Love of Fitness!

Get Fit Quick Tip:
Share your love of fitness!

Sharing your love of fitness with others is easy- simply invite a friend or family member to join you! You never know who will be inspired. Many who wish to begin an exercise program are unsure how to begin. A buddy workout is a great first step! At the very least, those close to you will see how much you love fitness and be happy to see how you spend your free time. Here’s how to make it a positive uplifting experience for all:

Keep it user-friendly. This is not the workout to shoot for your pull-up PR or your sprint interval personal best on the community track. Keep the intensity low, duration to 20-30 minutes and workout mode easy as far as coordinate/agility required.

Keep it interactive. Chat it up, take water breaks, focus on having fun.

Keep it to a small group. A large group or the most popular fitness class at the gym may be intimidating to a new exerciser. Choose off-peak times and classes, or times when the trail is not packed with runners.

 

Cross-Train for Consistency

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Cross-Train for Consistency.

Consistent workouts is what leads to results. How do you stay motivated enough to be consistent? Cross-Train!

Do an entirely different workout anywhere from once a week to once a month. This means you’ll be working your muscles in a different mode or angle than during regular workouts. Changing the angle your working your muscles most days allows you to still log a workout but also decrease risk of injury from overworking or doing the same thing for days and weeks. Try a class. Join friends. Go outdoors. Doing something completely different will keep your mind interested, your motivation up, and your body changing.

WHY you’re not working out

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Why are you not working out?

Often skipping a workout comes from 3 areas that you’re lacking: interest, focus or time. Here are a few ideas how to get motivated again.

 

No interest?

Revisit childhood. What activities did you enjoy? Remember, not all exercise has to be structured to count toward your fitness. Run, jump, hop, play, bike, walk, swim, play basketball, soccer, dance…

 

No focus?

Do circuit training. Perform 1 minute of cardio, then perform 1 strength exercise. Repeat alternating until all sets are complete. Time will zoom by, keeping your mind and your body busy.

 

No time?

Split up your cardio and strength training into 5-20 minute sessions. For example, do a 20 minute walk in the morning followed by a 5 minute body weight strength routine in the evening. Find little bits of fitness to add into free moments during the day.

Your Workout Choice

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Workout by Design.

Get what you need from your workout. Exercise is not a one size fits all approach. Just as your mood, energy and motivation changes, your workout approach can change with it. Do a body scan from head to toe, how are you feeling? Here are a few ideas to get started:

Need to de-stress? Try yoga.

Need to expend energy? Go for a run.

Want the motivation of a group? Take a cycling class.

Need to exhale? Join a stretching class.

Looking for peace and quiet? Try hiking.

 

 

Exercise Gear Matters

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Wear Proper Exercise Gear!

It’s true that often the top, most expensive, new, latest and greatest exercise gear is not urgently required for workouts. However, appropriate and proper gear is! And shoes is where most exercisers miss the mark. For example, wearing flip flops on the treadmill may not be the safest approach. (Yes, this really happens!) Or wearing jeans or work pants for an outdoor boot camp style workout will slow your fitness. (Yes, people do this!)  Ask yourself a few questions to determine proper exercise gear for your workout:

Is it outdoors or indoors? Dressing in layers, appropriate for the expected climate, which means you should be aware of forecast conditions! Outdoor workouts may also require shoes to provide traction. Sunblock, hat and sunglasses versus no need.

On what surface does the workout take place? If the workout occurs on sand, dirt or gravel trail or grass, your gear will vary. High socks versus low socks that allow pebbles into your shoes. Pants versus shorts in the event of a fall.

Is the workout high-impact, low-impact or non-impact? The mode of exercise will call for different foot and ankle support and cushion. High impact and high-intensity may require different hydration and caloric needs than to which you’re accustomed.

Does the workout require quick pick-ups, rapid change in direction or moving quickly from one exercise to the other? Shoes that support quick change in direction, but that are light-weight will be important. Wearing clothes that allow you to move easily will help.

Know what the workout entails AHEAD OF TIME. When in doubt, ask the instructor!

 

Burpees: Love to Hate Them?

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Try Burpees for high-energy cardio fitness!

Consider adding burpee intervals into your fitness routine for a cardio-burst and total body challenge. Simply mention the word, burpee, and you’re sure to be greeted with a few moans and groans. However, here’s the bottom line: They work for cardio conditioning and strength building for just about every muscle. There are many variations and modifications. Here’s how to begin:

Begin standing. Squat down and place both hands flat on the floor in front of your body. Kick or step out both legs behind you into a pushup position. Perform one pushup. Hop or step both feet in to a squat position. Immediately jump straight up with both arms overhead, and with both feet up off the floor or stand up straight to complete one rep.

 

*Consult a physician before performing exercise.

Racing? Here are your race prep basics.

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4 Racing Basics

There are a few racing basics important to keep in mind heading into your race day. Here are 4 to commit to memory:

 

Embrace your nerves. Many athletes experience pre-race nerves. Nerves mean the event is important to you and you want to do your best. Nerves happen with uncertainty or with the unknown. Accept your anxiety simply as part of the process. Instead of allowing nerves to paralyze you, enable them to empower you.

Master the art of letting-it-go. You’re distracted by someone along the race course? Let it go. Your pre-race ritual was interrupted? Let it go. Another athlete cut you off at the hydration station? Let it go. Focus on your race, your miles.

Stick to your race plan. Never try anything new on race day. Only do what you’ve practiced in training. Stick to your pre-race meal plan. Your clothing. Your hydration schedule. Your pace.

Visualize your finish daily. Every night before going to sleep, visualize in full detail finishing your race strong. During your race when miles become tough, play back the well rehearsed mental picture of your strong finish. You’ll be able to change your emotional/mental state mid-race and reset your resolve to keep moving forward.

 

Set Weekly Goals

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Set Weekly Goals!

Short term goals of 3-6 months are important, as are long term goals of 6 months or longer to keep our focus. However, setting weekly goals keeps motivation high day in and day out. Write down your weekly goals and check off your progress as you go. 

Here’s how to get started:

Break it down. Set a weekly mileage goal or weight training goal by workouts logged, or even number of exercises, sets or weight mastered.

Reward small steps. Every workout counts and should be acknowledged as important.

Adjust as soon as possible. Weekly goals allows feedback sooner than short term goals. This means less time wasted moving in a direction not supportive of our goals.

Ask for Accountability in your Fitness

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Ask for Accountability!

Find a workout partner or exercise group to hold you accountable to your fitness. Simply knowing you have to report your progress, means you’re less likely to skip a workout. Here’s how to start:

 

Talk to your friends, coworkers or family. Ask if they have fitness goals. If so, ask how they stay on track.

Ask for what you need. What exactly are you asking of them? Be specific.

Define your terms. Be clear how you’ll communicate progress, how often and what the ramifications are for falling short.

Follow through. Stick to your agreed upon plan.

 

Get Motivated by Voluteering

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Volunteer!

What’s one sure fire way to ramp up your workout motivation instantly? Volunteer at a local athletic event or race. As each athlete passes, you’ll be inspired to reach your own fitness goals. Get motivated by giving back to your community where you train and race.

Here’s how to get started:

Research. Look in your local newspaper for a listing of events or do a simple online search of your community events. You’ll truly find a volunteer niche for everyone from walking, running, cycling, track competitions, weight lifting events, swimming, triathlon, and many supporting many charitable organizations.

Reach out. Call or email the event director or volunteer contact and ask where you may be most helpful. So many volunteer duties exist from a few days prior to the event to the event day itself such as from working the check-in tables, timing,  manning a water stop, to crowd control at the finish line.

Invite friends to join you. Send out a quick email or group text with time, day and details encouraging others to join in.

Be cheerful. Athlete volunteers have an extra special understanding of the details needed for competition. You’ll be able to make the athlete’s experience extra special by anticipating what they need, when they need assistance and how they need your support. Draw from your athletic experience and pay it forward.