Fitness Friday | Do You Need to Change Your Workouts?

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I'd love to categorize myself as a runner, but I'm not a hardcore runner.  I do enjoy it and it's definitely part of my fitness routine, but I can't say it's my passion.  When it comes to fitness, I like to do it all! Well, maybe not zumba! I run, I lift weights, I do plyometrics, high interval training, and even some pilates!  It's fun to change things up and keep your workouts interesting.  

I've read articles that talk about the benefits of changing your workout routine.  Just google it, you'll find tons! I really enjoyed this article, 7 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout.  I also found this series of articles, Changing Your Workout Routine Too Often: Are Frequent Changes Needed? and When, Why, & How Often Should You Change Your Workout Routine really interesting.  It's geared mostly towards weight training, but I think it has some valid points for most workout routines too.  Basically, if it ain't broken don't fix it.  The articles suggest you only need to change your routine if you are not seeing results.  

I am a creature of habit.  I love having a set routine and I love schedules.  However, I don't like monotony.  For example, I do Pure Intensity Training classes on Mon. & Wed., I meet with my trainer on Tues. & Thurs., Pilates on Fri, and run Sat. or Sun!  This is my fixed schedule and most of the time I work everything else around it.  Yes, there are times when I have to make adjustments, and I'm ok with that.  There has to be some flexibility to life :) But you see, I am not doing the same thing every day.  Although there is a routine, my workouts are not the same day in and day out.  This keeps things fun & challenging for me.  

So, I am not suggesting you jump around from class to class or machine to machine without a set plan or without purpose.  What I am saying is to enjoy your workouts (as much as anyone could enjoy working out!)  Don't dread it!   You don't want to end up hating your workouts because that will lead to quitting. You don't want to be bored with your workout.  You want to challenge your body! 

When you're in a rut, you'll know! That's when it's time to change it up a bit!  Sometimes it could be something as simple as changing your running route or adding new songs to your playlist!  You could try doing a Boot Camp style class, where they do different workouts each class.  Maybe trade one of your go-to classes for a different one.  Go for a bike ride, instead of a run or go for a hike.  The point of exercise is to get you moving and feeling good about yourself.  Do what you love, do what works, and keep it fun!  

Because no post can be without a photo! Here's me having a super fun time in the mud at Tough Mudder! 

Because no post can be without a photo! Here's me having a super fun time in the mud at Tough Mudder! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Now, I'm off to Pilates! xo

The Core Challenge Update

Here's where I'm supposed to tell you that I rocked that core challenge and never missed a day, right? Well, the truth is I kinda failed my own challenge, but I kinda didn't.  I'll explain that logic in a sec. But first, let me explain the core challenge.  Basically, I challenged myself to do this set of core exercises every night in addition to my regular 6 days a week exercise routine.   

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You can read all about why I challenged myself (and my readers) HERE!  I didn't complete the challenge of doing this set every day. I think if I had just tacked this on to the end of my gym workouts or runs, I may have been more successful.  But I didn't, I waited to do the set at the end of the day before bed time.  I am a creature of habit and once the kiddos are in bed, I want to chillax! I want to cuddle on the couch with the hubs and watch a tv show, chat about our day, or just read a book.  I don't want to do planks and crunches.  So, that's the part where I failed my own challenge.  However, I have been focusing more on my core during my regular workouts and actually lost half an inch from my waist in the month of January!! So, I'm gonna take that as a successful win and be happy with the progress I'm making.  I think I'll be adding this routine after my runs, though.  So, how about you?  Did you rock your core challenge? Let me know in the comments ;)  

Workout Wednesday | Survival Tips for Going to the Gym Alone

Earlier this week on my facebook page I asked if wether people preferred to workout alone or with a buddy.  I asked because a few weeks ago my husband and I were talking about it.  Turns out, I prefer to workout alone for the most part, while he needs a buddy.  As for the responses to my question on facebook, most people said they were ok with both.  Exercising or running alone was seen as "ME" time, while working out with a friend was also motivation to work a bit harder or a nice distraction from the miles ran.  

When I first joined the gym almost 2 years ago (WOW! I can't believe  it's been that long already!) I had to go with a buddy, usually my husband but also some friends of ours that would go in the evenings.  We tried to go regularly about 2-3 times a week but I found way too many excuses to not go and evening workouts took it's toll on our family time.  Kids ate before us, we rushed to get out the door, put the kids in the playroom, rushed to come home and shower and get them to bed and we would end up having dinner around 9pm.  It was not a routine we were accustomed to or one that worked for us.  I was paying a monthly membership and I am not one to throw money away so I had to get my money's worth.  I figured I had to find a way to make it work.  So, I put my big girl panties on and went to the gym alone one morning after dropping our oldest off at school and my daughter went to the gym's playroom.  I was so scared!!! I did a Body Pump class and although I was sore for days and felt completely inadequate compared to the other people in there, I kinda liked it.  I kept going and also tried out a few more classes until I found what worked for me and I created my schedule.  Soon, even though I was going alone, I knew I would see some familiar faces in my classes and I didn't feel so alone.  So, if you are scared to go to the gym alone, here are a few suggestions from me, someone who has been there, done that! 

  • Do Research.  Check out your gym's fitness group classes schedule, find a few classes you want to try out, and put them on your calendar.  
  • Be consistent. Don't give up on a class because you don't know the routine.  It will take a few times of going to figure it out and get into it.  If there was something about the class you liked, try it again.  Don't give up.   
  • Make gym friends.  We are all creatures of habit and tend to stick to what we know.  So, let's say you found a class you liked and you go for your second try.  Stick to the same general area where you were stood the first time.  Why do I say this? Because the other people will probably do the same and you'll start familiarizing yourself with them.  I'm not saying you have to become BFFs with the lady standing next to you at Zumba, I'm just saying a familiar face is nice. And, if you happen to grab a juice together and become BFFs, well, you can thank me later :)  
  • Have a plan.  If group classes aren't your thing, that's ok.  Put a workout routine together (there are tons of them on Pinterst and I even have a few on my Workout Motivation Board), save it to your phone, and walk in there like you own the place.  It's ok to look at your phone to see what's next, I do it all the time!  Oh and have a backup plan or don't be afraid to go out of order in case the machine you need is being used.

Well, there you have it.   My tips on surviving the gym alone!  Oh and I know that I am very lucky to get to go during the day, so if you have to go in the evenings, I suggest going directly after work if you can.  This way, it's done and out of the way before all the demands of home come flooding in :) 

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