Sneaky guide to exercise

Sneaky guide to exercise

It’s almost three weeks into the quarter and when classes start picking up and homework becomes more important, working out becomes less. There are some days I’m out of the house at 8:30 a.m. and don’t come home until 10 at night. (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But, if you’re finding your schedule is often like this you might ask, “When am I going to workout?!”

If you’re feeling motivated enough, by all means, get to the gym at 6 a.m. and your problems are solved. But if you’re like me, working out at 6 a.m. on such a busy day just isn’t going to happen. Here are some tips for sneaking in exercise when you have super long days:

  • Walk up stairs whenever possible! Now I don’t mean walking to the 35th floor of the building, but if your class is on the 4th floor of Arts & Letters Hall, then don’t be lazy and take the stairs.
  • 10 minutes of walking between three classes = 30 minutes a day. Some people think that in order to get good exercise you have to be running uphill sprints on the treadmill. 30 minutes of  walking a day is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and will still help you achieve your weight loss goal. It’s better than not walking at all — Think of it that way.
  • 5 minute wake-up drill. I find it hard to believe you wake up at 7:50 and are out the door at 8:00 – If you can do that (without looking like a hot mess) I applaud you. However, most normal people need time to physically wake up in the morning. After you wake up before getting in the shower do: 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute mountain climbers, 1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats and a 1 minute plank.
  • Check out FitStudio.com and register for “Drop 5 in 30 days.” It’s comprised of multiple quick 10 minute workouts by Andrea Metcalf that are simple and you can do them with a small space.
  • “There are many paths to Oz – don’t let the monkey scare you.” – Andrea Metcalf

How are your fitness resolutions coming along? I’ve been working at holding this plank for at least 30 seconds and finally got it! Keep working at it! Would love to hear feedback. Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at Monica.Kucera@gmail.com.

Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
Finally held this for 30 seconds today!
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3 ways to hold your fitness resolution accountable

3 ways to hold your fitness resolution accountable

Despite the 30 degree Chicago weather, I toughed it out for a nice run along the lake!  So worth it!
Despite the 30 degree Chicago weather, I toughed it out for a nice run along the lake! So worth it!

It’s easy to stay on top of your fitness new year resolution the first week when you’re super motivated about it – but as soon as the stress kicks in again and busy is taking over your life, your goals are put second. After listening to Andrea Metcalf talk about creating concrete goals, she offered some great advice for holding yourself accountable.

  1. Create Measurable Goals: Don’t just say things like, “I’m going to eat better this year,” or “I want to work out more.” Instead say, “I’m going to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday,” or “I’m going to work out three times a week.” Adding numbers to the equation forces you to hold yourselves more accountable and allow a support system to help you along the way.
  2. Create Direction: Know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. If you’re going to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables, how will you go about doing that in a way where you won’t get bored of the same foods? If you want to work out three times a week, how will you manage doing so with work and all of the other things you have going on? Create a schedule and stick to it. If you have to wake up at 6am to get to the gym then do it. If you don’t, the only person you’re letting down is yourself.
  3. Track Your Goals: Write down your goals for each week – and I seriously mean only week by week otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed. Setting goals and following them isn’t supposed to be a stressor in your life, it’s supposed to be fun. Make it exciting. Find fun recipes for reaching your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and have them planned for the week. If you want to work out three times a week, know on Sunday which days you’re going to do it. Therefore, you can cross things off the list after you accomplish them.

As for me, I’d like to work out at least three times a week as well as cut my calorie intake to 1250 a day. I plan on doing that by creating a list for each week as well as keeping a food journal. I know that if I don’t write out what I eat, I won’t care as much. If you can blatantly see the calories you’re eating, you’ll think twice.

What are you new year fitness resolutions? I’d love to know what your goals are and how you plan on reaching them! Tweet me @GoalsForGals or Email me at monica.kucera@gmail.com. Good luck!

Got a BOSU ball and free weights for Christmas! Feels great to keep fit in my own home! PS, did I mention I'm getting my personal training certificate? ;)
Got a BOSU ball and free weights for Christmas! Feels great to keep fit in my own home! PS, did I mention I’m getting my personal training certificate? 😉

 

New Take on Resolutions

New Take on Resolutions

By Monica Kucera

A new year is the perfect excuse to throw away old habits and start new, positive ones. Some of the most common resolutions pertain to fitness, health or dieting, which are great, but can result in negative traps if they aren’t concrete ideas. You have to make sure your resolutions are not vague because it will lead you to failure.

Mistake #1: “My new years resolution is to go on a diet.”

Personally, I hate the word diet. What is a “diet” anyway? Instead of saying you want to diet, choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Diets have such a negative connotation aside them because they make people believe that they’re going to become deprived and depressed by thinking all they can eat is salad and fruit. By living a healthier life you can opt to maybe give up fast food, cut back on drinking pop or switch from white bread to whole wheat bread. Simple things like this will help lead you to a healthier life. Start by reassessing your diet and getting rid of the foods you know are no good. However, we all know this isn’t easy. Start by cutting back and in no time you will be able to fully eliminate the junk.

My food issue is definitely ordering the wrong foods when I go out. In 2012, I really want to look at restaurant menu’s online before I go anywhere and pick a healthy option.

Mistake #2: “My new years resolution is to work out more.”

No, you can’t just simply say you’re going to work out more. It gives you too much room to let yourself slack. If you already work out one day a week, say you’re going to shoot for 3 days a week. If you already do work out a good amount, try switching up your routine a bit by attending fitness classes or trying a work out video, such as P90x. Push yourself by going out of your comfort zone. Sign up for a 5k or check local gyms to see what they’re offering. Most of the time gyms will let you try things out once for free or a small price if you’re not a member.

For this year, my goal is to run a 15k. I’ve accomplished a 10k and hope to run the marathon one day. But I want to take is one step at a time and just go for the 15k next. I don’t want to psyche myself out by going for the half marathon because I know I’ll tell myself I can’t do it. I’m going to get my confidence up with the 15k first. Also, my goal by the end of the year is to be able to do 50 consecutive pushups.

Something that helps me is writing my goals out and taping them somewhere visible where they’ll be in the back of my head. According to SELF, “Nearly one quarter of respondents in a SELF.com poll say they keep their New Year’s goal on the down low. Bad idea. We’re more likely to achieve our resolutions when we make them public.”

Resolutions aren’t meant to be stressful, they’re supposed to motivate. Use the new year as fuel to your engine that drives a new lifestyle!