Well, let’s start with the basics today. I’m often asked what I do to stay in shape and the short answer is it depends. It depends on the time of year and what my goal is at that time. It depends on the weather outside. It depends on my energy level. It depends on the transportation situation that day (side note: commuter life can ruin lives…and fitness goals 🤣). I’m sure you can think of a million and one other variables in your own life that can affect your workout routine. While there can be great variation in the above, the important thing is to always keep moving each day.
Let’s take a moment to be honest here. Even the most dedicated among us sometimes just don’t feel like working out. Personally, I’ve had a very hard time finding the motivation since I’ve moved to San Francisco. My commute went from a lovely five-minute drive to a whopping 1.5-hour bus ride. This caused me to lose an hour of sleep each night which may seem insignificant, but makes quite a difference after maintaining a certain schedule for over five years. We also sold our cars when we moved, which limited the distance I could feasibly travel to a workout studio on any given day. Since it is already dark when I get home, I also tend not to do outdoor workouts on the weekdays for safety reasons. I’ve had to calibrate constantly to find a routine that keeps me excited and motivated even when life gets in the way.
That being said, this is my current routine. I’m not working toward any specific goal right now other than general “maintenance”.
- Vinyasa yoga twice a week. I sometimes substitute one of these for a hot yoga class, typically when I’ve been eating poorly or drinking plenty.
- HIIT such as Barry’s Bootcamp via Classpass once or twice a week.
- Home workout at my apartment gym once a week. I’ll typically get on the stair master for some cardio for about 20 minutes and spend another 20 using the weight machines and dumbbells for some strength training. Some days I just walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and call it a day. Either way, this time is a great excuse to listen to an audiobook or catch up on some podcasts.
- One mile walk each way to my bus stop to get to work. YES, people, I said it. One of the greatest adjustments I’ve made has been incorporating fitness into tasks I already have to do. Sometimes, this is my only movement for the day, but as mentioned before, it is movement and thus it is progress.
- Five minute stretch EVERY DAY. People always want to know the secret to becoming flexible. This is really all there is to it guys!
Here are some tips I’ve found helpful as I’ve navigated these changes…
- Be patient and trust the process. When you are starting from ground zero to build your workout routine, it is easy to get discouraged at first. Be patient with yourself, because it takes time to figure out what works for you. In fact, it is healthier this way! Significant weight loss in a short amount of time can work against long-term progress and is an indicator of other issues at hand. Take the time to calibrate your routine for your body by trial and error. Mark your progress in movement, not in numbers. The scale may not budge at first, and in fact, you may gain weight as you gain muscle. Just be patient with yourself, because the hardest part is starting in the first place. You’re way ahead of the curve already!
- Listen to your body. Make sure to do what feels good FOR YOU. In today’s era with so many “fitness influencers” on social media, it is easy to think that we should be doing this or should be doing that. However, not every workout works for everyone. Go at your own pace. If something causes you pain, let that ish go. It is probably not serving you. Above all, stay safe because we only have one body so we need to respect it.
- Do what you find most fun, not what you think you’re supposed to be doing. I cannot stress this one enough, beauties. If you hate working out, you will never bring yourself to do it. We naturally come up with excuses as to why we “can’t” do it. Find an activity that makes you excited (more to come on this in a future post), and trust me, you will make time for it. Think about it…somehow we can never find the time to do our taxes, but we can always find the time to attend the latest Marvel movie on opening night.
- KEEP MOVING. Above all, the biggest thing is to keep moving and get the blood flowing through your limbs every day. In fact, you should get up from your desk to stand or grab a cup of coffee at least once every hour. Even if you don’t work out that day, this alone will improve your circulation and help negate the effects of prolonged sitting. If you make just this one change today, you are already on a path to a fitter life!
I’ll update periodically as my routine changes but for now folks, that’s all she wrote. Stay tuned for some very specific routines I’ve followed in the past (such as half marathon training, wedding toning, and others).