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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Creating a Fitness Habit

I've tried and failed so many times in life to create and maintain a habit or commitment to my health and fitness. I've had the best and most consistent results in the last 3 years or so, even during my last pregnancy. So, what worked for me?

There are so many different ways that you can accomplish this. One that I've liked is to be a part of a Challenge Group. It is so helpful to keep company with like-minded people, or people who have similar goals. On those days you don't feel like working out, you know that someone from your group will notice your absence, or that your coach might give you a call or text to check in! If you are having problems or feel like you're failing, let your coach or partners know, that's why you're a group!

Many programs also come with a Workout Calendar, or you can create your own. I love having a physical calendar where I can cross out my workout for the day and see those X's adding up over the course of the weeks! When I consider skipping, my obsessive personality is bothered by the fact that the day will have a blank.

Combine Fitness with Nutrition:
 This one is HUGE for me! When my workouts are in line, I am less likely to fill my body with things that aren't going to fuel me for my workouts and specific goals. I'm not talking about deprivation, but making sure that you're choosing wisely. I've always felt that I eat healthy, but realized that I often come up short on vegetable and protein portions when tracking them for my workout goals. I have also been using Shakeology for several months now, and have noticed a huge energy boost and reduction in cravings for junk!
Solomon and I enjoying our Greenberry
Create and Use Incentives:
One of my favorite incentives is to choose the workout that I will accomplish next and buy it for myself as a reward.

My reward for finishing Insanity Max 30 this Friday is 21 Day Fix Extreme.

People often choose to buy a specific piece of clothing that they are hoping to fit into by the end of a particular workout program.

Another incentive that works well for me is to have workout outfits that I enjoy wearing. Rather than throwing on those old running shorts from the bottom of the drawer, choose something new to go with a new workout, or reward yourself with a new pair when you've stayed on track for a set amount of time.

It is hardest in the beginning to develop a new habit. When I started Insanity Max 30, I decided to switch my workouts from evening to morning. I am most definitely NOT a natural morning person, but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I've finished something of worth so early in the day.
It was extremely hard to make myself do my workouts when I felt so lethargic, but now my dependence on caffeine is gone, and I feel strange if I have a schedule issue that makes it impossible to work out in the morning. Creating consistency takes the most work for the first few weeks, but with the other steps, you will have a habit that becomes as normal as making that morning coffee!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Favorite Workouts

When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, post-baby changes were one of the more minor things on my mind. After my daughter was born, I started walking any day that it was above 30 degrees and doing some yoga when she was a few weeks old.

My first introduction to intense at-home workouts was Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, which I completed in summer of 2008.

I was very happy with the results from this workout series. Most workouts marketed to women weren't nearly intense enough, and I wanted to get good results!

I stuck with Jillian after this, and have done her Ripped in 30, 6 Week Six-Pack, No More Trouble Zones, and Yoga Meltdown. Yoga Meltdown and Ripped in 30 are my favorites of everything she's created.

 I still do some of Jillian's workouts occasionally, but I've found some new workouts that I love even more. A friend of mine had gotten some awesome results doing Turbofire and invited me to join one of her Clean Eating Challenge groups on Facebook. I needed some accountability to get eating healthy again after having my son in 2013, so I joined. She was recovering from a knee injury at the time and couldn't do workouts with any jumping, so she posted about a new Beachbody workout called PiYo. Its a Pilates/Yoga hybrid strength workout with Chalene Johnson, and let me tell you, its my favorite workout series ever! It includes the same kind of strength/yoga combinations as some of Jillian's programs, but Chalene is such a fun trainer! The program also includes so many more workouts that Jillan's program, so its a lot harder to get tired of it!

I still felt like I needed to make some gains in the muscle department, so when another friend started posting about Insanity Max 30, I decided to do something crazy and order the Challenge Pack with Shakeology. I'm finishing the 60 days this Friday, and the results have been amazing so far! I can do pushups and burpees like nobody's business!

What's my favorite overall? I'd have to say that PiYo has been the most fun, its the workout I most genuinely look forward to doing, and my flexibility has improved tremendously too! I was also inspired to sign up as a Beachbody Coach, so that I can inspire others in their journeys toward wellness and a full life.

What are your favorite workouts? Are there any challenges to your health that you would like to improve through better fitness and nutrition?