Posted on Leave a comment

7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

The best laid plans don’t always pan out, and workouts are no exception. When your motivation is low, here are 7 ways you can turn it around and still get your workout in!

personal trainer

1. Schedule it like an appointment

Set a time in your calendar that you can’t miss. Block it off like a meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Better yet, tell people that it’s your workout slot, which will add more accountability on your end.

2. Save your favorite content for your workout

Give yourself a show that you can only watch while working out, or a podcast you can only listen to while running. Get creative! This will serve as an extra motivator when you don’t want to move but you do want to see/hear your favorite episode.

3. Enlist a buddy

This one can be tough during a pandemic, but you could meet a buddy for outdoor workouts or even zoom/FaceTime to workout together. Having a friend makes you more accountable as you don’t want to let them down, and it adds a little more fun to the occasion.

4. Follow a plan

The lower the barriers, the more likely you are to complete your workout. And the more results you see help propel you too. This is why a structured plan is so important: it helps with both. You can remove the time and space it takes to plan your workout and see improvements that make you want to keep coming back. I have lots of options, my favorite being HIIT at Home 1, 2 + 3, but feel free to reach out and see what’s the best fit for you.

5. Hire a coach

Coaches take the planning work off of your plate and hold you accountable. Not to mention, your results come quicker when working with an expert than relying on yourself to piece it all together. I’ve worked with so many people in this position, and together, we’ve built sustainable workout habits and achieved improvements in body composition, mental health and more. If changing your lifestyle is important to you, send me a message and let’s chat about working together.

6. Try different things

Experiment with morning, evening, or lunch time workouts. Try different formats (HIIT, cycling, strength training, barre, running, etc). See what sticks! Especially if you are new to working out or are feeling burnout from what you’ve been doing.

7. Start small

Workouts do not need to be long to be effective. Set a timer for 5 minutes and go for a walk or do your warmup. Often times that little momentum will keep you going! And if you still don’t feel like doing anything more after those 5 minutes, walk away. 5 minutes of activity is better than 0, and you still created a little positive momentum. Try adding a minute the next time you use this strategy and build yourself up.

Do you use any of these strategies to motivate yourself? Tell me what’s missing/what works for you in the comments!

Posted on Leave a comment

Why You Should Be Resistance Training

What’s stopping you from trying resistance training? If it’s fear, motivation, or not knowing where to start: bookmark this page and come back to it as many times as you need! Let’s start by addressing each of these reasons why you wouldn’t strength train:

  • Fear: are you afraid of getting hurt? Choose a program or a trainer that you trust to help you get started. I recommend looking for certifications and experience. Are you afraid of “getting bulky”? Let me qualm this by sharing just how difficult and time-consuming it is to build muscle. You will not immediately “bulk up” by picking up a weight that’s more than 5 lbs–this idea came from the way the fitness industry marketed to women for years, and it’s completely false.
  • Motivation: are you struggling to feel motivated? The good news is, once you start, it’s easier to keep going because it becomes a part of your routine. I also find that setting a goal, or finding a routine that excites me plays a huge role. If you need more, check out my instagram for regular fitness motivation and inspiration!
  • Not knowing where to start: are you interested in strength training, but overwhelmed by learning how? Start simple. My Get Strong At Home program uses the basics to help you build strength before picking up any weights. And from there, I would again say, work with a trainer or find a program to follow that you trust.

Benefits of Resistance Training

  1. Boost your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’re burning just by existing. You read that correctly. By building muscle, you are able to burn more calories at rest. Muscle requires a lot of work and a lot of calories for your body to build and then maintain. By doing cardio, you are manually burning calories in the moment with hard work that raises your heart rate. This doesn’t mean cardio is bad and you shouldn’t do it, but having a faster metabolism due to muscle mass is highly advantageous when it comes to eating the way you want.
  2. Sculpt your body. While spot reduction (losing fat from a specific body part of your choice) is not possible, building a body part up with resistance training is. Lifting allows you more control over the physique you want. Do you have a flat butt that you’re hoping to grow? A properly programmed strength training routine can help you get there.
  3. Build stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises not only build strength in your muscles, they build strength in your bones–something you’ll want as you age.
  4. Increase brain power. Studies have shown that lifting weights can improve your memory and rewire your brain. There has even been speculation that resistance training can stave off/lessen the impacts of Dementia/Alzheimer’s. On a lesser scale, I know I feel mentally stimulated after a good workout and find it easier to accomplish tasks. That’s why I love my morning workouts.
  5. Improve self discipline. Setting and achieving performance goals requires commitment, and how you do one thing is how you do everything. By sticking with that commitment and doing the hard work, it carries over into other aspects of your life.
  6. Boost confidence. I remember walking into a CrossFit gym, seeing the weightlifting movements and thinking I couldn’t do it. Trying new things and seeing improvements week over week did so much to build my confidence. As a woman, I also felt like if I could unexpectedly lift those weights, there was nothing I couldn’t do.

How to Start Strength Training

This can feel a little more challenging than usual as this post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic, where most people are staying home. Luckily, if you’re brand new to strength training, my Get Strong at Home program is designed for beginners and requires no equipment so it can be done anywhere. If you’re more advanced (and able to train again), there are strength days in my HIIT the Gym program. And I’ve shared plenty of free workouts on my instagram!

Do you strength train? If not, what’s holding you back?

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Reasons I Love To Work For My Beer

One of my favorite things about this city is the overwhelmingly popular beer fitness scene and all of the balanced living enthusiasts that come with it. That’s why when I heard about Work For Your Beer – Charlotte’s hub for all things beer fitness – I knew I had to get involved.  There are few (if any) things that I love more than a nice adult beverage after a workout! So what exactly is Work For Your Beer?

Work For Your Beer is the place to go if you’re looking for beer fitness classes. This site serves as a guide for pub run clubs, brewery yoga classes, bootcamps that end with beer, and more (there are even dance classes — Twerk For Your Beer, anyone?). Outside of the super-helpful calendar that provides details for more than 100 beer fitness events/week, they also post interesting content. The blog shares beer releases and reviews, Charlotte-specific events, and topics that balanced living enthusiasts would relate to (read one of my personal favorites here). PS – if this sounds like your thing, sign up for the weekly brewsletter–you won’t be disappointed!

IMG_6611
Like this shirt? Enter code: christine15 at checkout on the Work For Your Beer site for a discount!

So, why am I so obsessed with being a Work For Your Beer brand ambassador? Find my top 3 reasons below:

  1. The workout variety. So many workouts, so little time (and money!). I love that the beer fitness scene allows you to vary your workouts, commitment-free, for a small price tag. Many of the pub runs are free (you just buy your own beer afterward), and classes are around $5 (which sometimes includes a beer!). So, you get to experience lots of different trainers and exercise styles for much cheaper than a membership or drop-in fee at most boutique studios! The variety of options is great for someone who likes all different kinds of fitness.
  2. The craft beers. Beer fitness is a great excuse to try different craft beers! In Charlotte, there’s no shortage of brewery options. Within walking distance of my apartment, I can go to Legion Brewing, Resident Culture, Catawba, Pilot, and more. It would be easy to fall into a rut of going to the breweries closest to me – but the fitness events offered at other breweries get me out there, trying new things! I’ve since figured out that my fave Charlotte beers are Birdsong Jalapeno Pale Ale and Wooden Robot Good Morning Vietnam.
  3. The community of people. Beer fitness events provide a great way to get out and be social on weeknights. I love being able to connect with people who I already know share two of my biggest loves! And meeting new people is so important to me, being new in town. To all my fellow beer-and-fitness-loving Queen City residents: message me to meet up at a class together!

I’d love to hear your favorite beers, breweries, and beer fitness events (Charlotte or not) in the comments!

IMG_6561

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Establishing a Morning Routine

I recently made the switch from listening to the radio to listening to a podcast whenever I’m in my car. I’ve been flying through The Model Health Show on iTunes, and I’m amazed at how much time I was spending mindlessly listening to music I didn’t love when I could’ve been learning and motivating myself. I feel like I just discovered a huge life hack and I’m HOOKED on this habit! I think I’ll dabble into audiobooks soon too..

Anyway, one of the episodes of The Model Health Show I just listened to was about establishing a morning routine (listen here). I’ve always considered myself a morning person since I have to start my day with a workout, but this got me thinking. I wake up at 6:15 every (week)day, but what am I really doing in that 45 minutes before my crossfit class starts?

I make my coffee, pack everything for work, go to the bathroom, drink some water.. but I’m not really accomplishing anything. Those 45 minutes are valuable time that I could spend setting myself up for true success, every day.

Why should you establish a morning routine?

You know the saying “you run the day or the day runs you”? Knowing how your morning will look and going about it with purpose sets you up to run the day. Starting the day by checking your phone and replying to texts, emails, social, etc sets you up to run on someone else’s time, needs and desires. How can you accomplish your goals and be your best self without identifying your purpose for the day and executing on it?

Something else that really spoke to me was the part of the podcast that outlined the stress of being “on time”. I’m regularly “on time” for crossfit – meaning I’m rushing out the door, speeding down the highway, and running into the gym in my socks because I haven’t been able to change into my sneakers yet and can do so as the warmup is announced. That’s a highly stressful way to start my morning. After hearing this and acknowledging how it affected my own life, I knew I wanted to make a change.

Establish A Morning Routine (1)

What does my morning routine look like now?

Since I made this conscious shift, I started waking up a few minutes earlier and my morning now looks like this:

  • brew coffee
  • 5-minute meditation in the legs up the wall yoga pose
  • drink coffee while writing a gratitude journal (3 things I’m grateful for) and today’s purpose
  • drink at least 2 glasses of water
  • change into my gym clothes
  • gather my work bag, gym bag, and lunch bag (all packed the night before)
  • leave 5 minutes earlier than I used to so I am early instead of on-time
  • listen to a podcast on my drive to the gym

I find the gratitude journal and meditation to be so powerful when it comes to starting my day on the right foot. I feel more positive and in control with those simple additions.

One thing you may notice is missing from this list is breakfast. Since I workout at 7, I don’t have much time for digestion pre-workout. Coffee and water are necessary, but my high-protein breakfast has to wait until my workout is done.

This routine may shift as I figure out what I like and don’t like. I’d like to work in more goal setting, planning, and stretching down the road.

How do you go about establishing your own morning routine?

Ask yourself: What do your mornings look like now? What are you hoping to accomplish and get out of each day? There are so many different options for different people, but a simple place to start that is applicable to everyone is: drink more water. Even though you’re laying in bed for hours at night, your brain and body are doing so much and using water to do it. Start by replenishing your water stores for an immediate improvement in your day!

A quick Google search will also return plenty of articles where entrepreneurs and high-power CEO’s share their morning routines if you’re looking for additional inspiration!

Do you already have a morning routine that you love? Leave your feedback in the comments!

Posted on 1 Comment

How To: Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

If you’ve been here before, you know the core purpose of my fitness journey is to encourage balance and living your best life. And if you’re like most people I know, even once you’ve found that “balance”, it can fall out of whack from time to time.

For me, it happened this weekend. I was on my first-ever trip to Boston and I wanted the full experience (aka some craft beers and hot pretzels at Harpoon – seriously if you haven’t done this you need to). I don’t regret it, but I did know I wanted to get back to my veggie-filled lifestyle come Monday morning.

Summer is full of celebrations like this. Traveling, bridal showers, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, graduation parties.. the list goes on. These weekend experiences are key to enjoying life (who wants to say no to a party?) but going overboard can set you up for feelings of guilt and demotivation. We’ve all been there. But the good news is, one weekend of binge eating (and drinking) doesn’t have to be a complete setback. Read on for my tips to start the next day fresh, followed by little tricks to keep yourself balanced on those weekends where you’re afraid you’ll spiral out of control.

How To- Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

  1. Stop beating yourself up. That’s not helping. You can’t set the clock back 24 hours and knock that piece of cake out of your hands, so stop thinking about it. Also, one or two days of overeating won’t ruin your life. What matters is what you do now to set yourself up for success moving forward.
  2. Break a sweat (or two). Push yourself a little harder than you usually do in your next workout. Picture all those extra calories fueling you through one more mile or helping you hit that new lifting PR. If you usually run, add some strength or interval training to your workout in addition to that run, or vice versa. You’ll get your metabolism and motivation fired up!
  3. Hit 10,000 steps. In general, moving more than usual will help you get back on track. It doesn’t have to be high intensity. Bonus if you get outside and go for a walk – the fresh air will help you feel better.
  4. Fuel up on fresh fruits and veggies. Take a break from the processed foods that are probably sitting like a rock in your stomach. Replacing those with only nutritious foods for an entire day will help you get your glow back and increase your energy!
  5. Fill up on clear fluids. Drink water and tea to help get things moving in your system. This helps even more if drinking played a part in your binge.

And as for preventing those feelings of guilt down the road, try these tips on your next weekend of expected debauchery:

  1. Set small limits for yourself. If you love dessert, don’t go for the apps. If dip is your thang, stay away from the dessert. Make a rule that your plate has to be half full of veggies and you have to eat them before moving on to anything else. Little things like this will allow you to indulge and enjoy without feeling like you’re back at square 1.
  2. Still break a sweat. No matter what you have going on that day or where you’re traveling to, set aside 20 minutes to sweat. You’ll thank yourself later. Also, if you’re traveling, it’s fun to check out a workout class that isn’t offered where you live.
  3. Limit your calorie-laden booze. Craft beer and specialty cocktails make a great first drink, but once you’re buzzed a vodka soda or light beer will do the trick.
  4. BYOB. That second “B” being “breakfast”, if you’re traveling. Packing your own breakfast (preportioned bags of oatmeal, bananas, protein bars, etc.) can cut calories (and costs) when traveling.

How do you reset after a marathon weekend? What keeps you on track while celebrating?

Posted on Leave a comment

My Happiness Project: Part 1

A few months ago, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was really inspired by her approach to being happier in her everyday life. Rather than suggesting that you leave your job for a year of world travel, she focused on identifying behavior patterns, getting to know yourself and striving for personal growth. Since I read her book I’ve started to slowly chip away at my own happiness project – the first step of which is to identify my personal commandments (the core values by which I try to live my life).

  1. Get out of your comfort zone
  2. Make time for fun
  3. Sweat it out
  4. Reach out
  5. Live deliberately
  6. Express gratitude
  7. Embrace necessary conflict
  8. Focus on what matters

Some of these core values are easier for me than others. “Sweat it out” is so ingrained in my personality, while “embracing necessary conflict” is a challenge. I hope that by keeping these values visible, they continue to guide me in my daily life.

What books have inspired you? What are your personal commandments?

 

Posted on Leave a comment

April Goals Update + May Goals

In April, I set some pretty light/attainable goals:

  1. Go Streaking: run outside every day in April (1 mile minimum)
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers.
  3. Self Care Sundays: Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all examples

So, how did they turn out? Streaking and Self Care Sundays were easy. Were there days I didn’t feel like running? Sure, but one mile is a small enough distance that no matter how sore I was or how hard it was raining, I knew I could do it. I loved it, but I’ll be incorporating rest days again in May. I like to be able to listen to my legs and take breaks when necessary (which would’ve been nice the day before and after my half).

As for growing my Instagram: I didn’t put as much work into this as I should’ve. I grew my account, but not by as much as I wanted to. Ultimately, the purposes of my @healthydoseoflife Instagram are to inspire people on their health journey, get people to check out the blog, and connect with other health/fitness enthusiasts. I need to prioritize the “connecting with others” aspect moving forward to achieve my goals!

April Goals (1)

For May, I’ve set a few more goals and am hoping to challenge myself with a few of them:

  1. Do 3 hours of yoga per week. I feel so great when I do yoga, but I’m quick to cut it out when my schedule gets packed. 3 hours/week feels very attainable to reap the benefits without making it a “chore”. I’d love to do more classes, but to keep my wedding budget on track I’ll be youtubing from home. I love Sarah Beth Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne – let me know if there are others I should check out!
  2. Do ab/core work every day. I usually rely on crossfit and lifting to target my core, butI’m going to spend some time outside of class working on bodyweight movements.
  3. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I loved how this goal turned out in March, so I’m excited to revisit it! I’ll probably read “Start Where You Are” but would love to see your recommendations in the comments.
  4. Follow 3 health/fitness publications. I don’t read a lot of news or articles, but I’d like to change that. Starting with a subject I’m passionate about should help this become a habit down the road.

What goals are you chasing this month?

Posted on 1 Comment

10 Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow

Instagram is my favorite social media platform. Beautiful visuals, short form content, (generally) a positive message. Opening my @healthydoseoflife account first thing in the morning and seeing people’s posts can be a great motivator and help me start my day off on the right foot. I also love to use Instagram when I’m looking for new healthy recipes. Here are my fave accounts you should follow if healthy recipes/motivation/wellness are your thang, too.

  1. @ambitiouskitchen 

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.14.19 PM.png

2. @fitfoodiefinds

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.15.11 PM

3. @carrotsncake

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.15.36 PM

4. @addictedtodates

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.16.08 PM

5. @fitmittenkitchen

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.16.35 PM

6. @fitfoodiemama

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.17.01 PM

7. @paleomg

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.18.00 PM

8. @thefitfork

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.18.20 PM

9. @leefromamerica

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.18.49 PM

10. @hungryhobbyrd

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 1.19.10 PM

What are your favorite accounts? Any others I should follow? Leave them in the comments!

Posted on Leave a comment

Race Recap: Eart Day Half Marathon

As the weather here in ‘cuse is getting more enjoyable, I’ve picked up my mileage and made running a priority again. I started running when I was 11, and since then it’s never something that’s fully out of my life (the longest I’ve gone without it was one month due to injury). I do fluctuate on how much I prioritize it though, and it’s been taking a backseat to crossfit since I did the marathon in October. Marathon training takes a lot out of my body (and tends to make me love running less) so I needed a little break from high mileage training runs. Six-ish months later, I’m back at it and lacing up more often!

For the month of April, I’m actually doing a run streak: getting outside for at least one mile a day (most days range from 2-4). On day 23 of the streak, I headed out to Baldwinsville for my first half marathon since September.

IMG_1274

Since I’ve never really “stopped” running, I’m not very concerned about training for races. Aggressive training is what can make running feel like a chore instead of my mental break. Because of this, I don’t enter many races with the goal of winning or breaking my PR (of course there are exceptions to this). But today, I went in with the goal of enjoying the ride. For me, this means getting outside for a longer distance than usual and pushing slightly faster than my comfortable pace.

I also chose to run this race because I love the Earth Day Half Marathon and 5k. This event is in its 3rd year, and I’ve been there for all 3. Year 1 as a 5k participant, Year 2 as an event promoter, and Year 3 as a half marathon participant. Every year they’ve upped the bar, and this was the best year yet. A nice challenging course (country roads with a few hills) followed by BBQ, brews, and the best chia pudding in town.

IMG_1273

And as far as the actual running, I ran with one of my fellow Urban Lifers, and it made for a really fun race! My music wasn’t working, but having a fellow athlete to chat with and push me was great. We conquered every hill and picked up our pace for the last 5k, finishing at 1:44:52 (8:01 pace). I took third place for my age group and he took first for his, so we each won a six-pack of Southern Tier beer! Now I know I JUST said I don’t enter with the goal of breaking a PR or winning, but both happened today and I have to say, it did make the experience even sweeter. They say things happen when you least expect it, and this was a perfect example! Guess we’ll see where my next race takes me.

What’s the best race experience you’ve had? What races are you running this year?

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Thoughts On Crossfit and Working Hard

About a month ago, I posted recaps of the Crossfit Open workouts I participated in. A few things happened during my first open journey – one of them being that I learned a lot about myself. Now that I’ve had some time to digest what I’ve learned, I’m ready to document it and use it moving forward.

IMG_1198.JPG

Here’s what happened when I did the Crossfit Open:

  1. I fell more in love with the sport. I don’t have games ambitions (or even regionals ambitions for that matter) – but I do have more goals I want to explore when it comes to Crossfit. I’ve stopped viewing it as just my morning sweat session – I’d like it to be more than that, and I think it is now. It’s not just a workout: it’s a sport; where I will be competing with myself every time I do it.
  2. I learned the difference between doing something just to get it over with, and doing something that I’m trying my best at and pushing myself through. I think this hit me truly in 17.4 – I knew I could do each move, but that the workout would require an ambitious mindset for me to perform well. I pushed through large sets of wall ball shots and didn’t give up on the rower (a large mental task in itself). I knew I had pushed my limits when the workout was over and I couldn’t get off the floor/almost threw up. This gave me some perspective – am I really pushing myself hard enough throughout the week? I know I shouldn’t always go 110% or be on the verge of throwing up every day (I need at least a little bit of recovery to be at my best) but was I ever pushing as hard as I should? Since then, I know I’ve improved my mental toughness and stamina. I push beyond what’s comfortable in a workout, even if the moves aren’t my strengths. I perform more reps per set and I move at a faster pace. I go all-out for at least 2 workouts per week. It’s that push that will make me better.
  3. I nailed a move I’d been struggling with previously: the bar muscle-up! Call it open magic (even though it didn’t happen during a workout) or call it focus. Either way, I’m pleased to have accomplished it, and it’s made me less scared of my weaknesses.

What does hard work mean to you in a workout?