I’m touching bases from Southern California where I am over half way through my 5-week trip. It has continued to be a sweet mix of speaking events, surf contests, time with friends and some fun adventures that we don’t get in Hawaii. Dave and Levi have joined Luke and I now, so it’s even more fun.
But we’re definitely off schedule. We are staying up late, and having trouble waking up. We’re eating out more than usual (I’m looking at you, In N Out Burger) and no doubt, certain things are hard to prioritize.
Because when your schedule is all messed up, workouts are easy to push aside, right? I know I’m not alone in this; we can all agree that it is so much easier to workout when you are on a regular schedule. But then things happen. Like:
Guests in town.
The heat. (or cold, depending on which hemisphere you are on.)
A virus, injury, (your period, or _______ )
You’re simply not…in…the…mood.
I relate to every one of those. Especially right now.
I’m also familiar with that little voice that comes into your head, suggesting…“You can always start again on Monday (or after the vacation/when kids go back to school and so on).”
Saying those things might make us feel better at the moment, but at the end of the year, that often looks like a whole lot of “I’ll start again” statements, and very few workouts.
But workouts are important for so many reasons. Especially if you want to live long and feel good while you live. 🙂 (Read this list of some of my personal workout motivations.) And there is no denying, it’s a lot easier to workout when you do it consistently. Remember Newton’s 1st law? An object in motion will tend to stay in motion. The 2nd part of this law really hits home: Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, unless acted upon by an external force. It’s so true: Starting up again can be so hard.
Because I cringe at the whole starting up again thing, years ago I made a personal commitment to avoid that by working consistently. For the rest of my life. Not a commitment to workout fanatically, or even impressively. (And it’s definitely not always pretty.) But I committed to doing a little something as consistently as I can.* No matter what.
*I shoot for three days a week, which is very reasonable, and sustainable for the years to come. (Sometimes I hit 5 days a week, occasionally it’s 2. But 3 is the goal.)
In case a few of you are facing hectic schedules, travel or the temptation to “start again” later, I thought I would share a few of my personal fitness hacks with you. These are ways I get my fitness on during the busy times…the holidays…the book writing deadlines…the guests in town…and the I just don’t feel like it times. I hope a few of them are helpful to you, too!
1. Something is better than nothing. (Keep it simple.)
“Have bands, will travel.” Simple resistance bands, hand weights (if you’re home or at a gym) and your own body weight can provide all you need to do some simple resistance work. Luke and I travelled with a few resistance bands, and after 15 minutes of push-ups, core work, and arm and leg exercises with bands, my muscles are talking to me. It doesn’t take a lot to get a good burn, tone some muscles and check a mini-workout off your list. Do these quick workouts at hotels, in the office, or in your closet if you must.
2. Use workout apps!
Workout apps are great! They can motivate, instruct, and push you through a workout that would be easy to cut short (or skip altogether) otherwise. I know there are a lot of apps out there, but I discovered the Aaptive app while I was here in California last summer and I have stuck with it. I love that I can choose everything from super short body-weight exercises, to running (outdoor or on a treadmill) workouts. I have done stretching classes and core workouts, all to the voice of an inspirational instructor (and a really good beat.)
3. Look local!
When I am traveling, I love to find a local gym or yoga or pilates studio to try. It’s fun to try out different classes and it adds a little local flavor to your travels. I have also always claimed that runners (or walkers) experience travel in an extra special way; I’ve explored many neighborhoods and back streets while on vacation than I would have never seen from a car or hotel room.
4. Team up with a workout buddy.
Finding a friend with a similar schedule (and goals) to yours can make all the difference in the world. I have one friend who actually found a crew of women who needed to go running before 5 AM to fit their schedules (I’m pretty sure they’re all crazy.) But how cool that they could do that together? Finding a workout buddy is great for goal setting, accountability and to get some social time in while you workout. My only warning: Don’t let your workouts depend on your friend. You can’t blame a flaky friend when you miss the mark on your workout goals.
5. Set Goals and incentives!
Set some goals and plan to reward yourself. Most of us are willing to help our kids set goals and promise rewards, but why not reward yourself? Set a workout goal and plan to reward yourself to new tennis shoes or, workout clothes!(<– BTW, Those tights, which you’ll see in my above photo, are my very favorites — super comfy and made of recycled water bottles!) Reward yourself for a period of consistent workouts with a trip to your favorite juice bar, or scheduling a massage. Every little thing helps! (I keep coconut waters in my garage fridge that I only allow myself to have after I have exercised! Sometimes it’s the little things that help push me out the door.)
Share in comments? Do you have any tips or hacks that help you stay consistent with your workouts? A favorite workout app or video? Or, share your biggest challenges when it comes to sticking with a workout program. Hopefully we can all support each other with more helpful ideas.
I hope you have a great summer, without the dread of having to “start your workouts again” next fall.
With much Aloha,
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