How to Get Motivated

I get asked how I stay motivated to work out so often, especially if I am not training for an event or taking a class at the gym. Honestly, it’s a habit now and one I miss when I don’t do it. It wasn’t always and there are days when I have to talk myself into making spin class or go out for a run.

Some days I give myself a pass and I just do something else. If I really don’t feel like running I’ll choose a dance class or break up my run with strength training. I get running intervals in but I’m not running for 3 or 4 miles straight. I’ll also make a deal with myself that I will work out for 15 minutes. If I truly still don’t want to workout I will stop. I’ve stopped about four times in 20 years, usually because I just didn’t feel well enough to keep going.

Yes, I’ve been working out pretty consistently for over 20 years. How the heck is that even possible? I didn’t start with hard exercises and I didn’t workout for long periods of time when I first started exercising again. I periodically add try new fitness trends to keep things interesting. Some I liked and some I didn’t.

Trying new to you workouts keep things fresh and can spark motivation. I had no idea that I would love belly dancing, bosu, or Pilates. I didn’t like Pilates very much when I first tried it, nor did I like spin – not one little bit. Now I do them regularly. Sometimes you have to try a few classes to see if you like it or not. An unskilled instructor could put you off something you might otherwise like.

On the other hand, if you truly dislike a workout there is no point in trying to stick with it. Fitness shouldn’t be something you dread, find something you like doing and that makes you feel good afterward.

I motivate myself for long runs by finding someone to run with. It makes it easier to get out the door knowing someone is waiting for me. Group fitness classes can also provide that accountability; my spin and Pilates instructors will ask me where I was if I miss class as do some friends I’ve made in the class. Knowing someone is waiting can be a great motivator.

Finally, get your clothes and gear ready the night before and exercise first thing in the morning. There’s less time to think about reasons as to why you can’t or won’t when you just get moving right away. Starting your day on a positive note is a great way to build a habit.

To recap:

  • Make a deal with yourself to workout for 15 minutes
  • Choose a different workout then what you planned on
  • Try new workouts
  • Give a workout a few tries before deciding if you like it or not
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Find a workout buddy or group
  • Do it first thing in the morning

Do you need help in creating healthy habits? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to see how I can help you create the healthier lifestyle you desire.

 

Pilates Reformer Sessions and What I Learned From It

photo by: Balanced Body Video

I finished up my Pilates reformer private sessions and I enjoyed them, much to my surprise. I had never been a huge fan of Pilates, I’ve taken mat classes here and there over the years. They never excited me enough to go regularly but injuries and insistence, uh I mean encouragement, from my cousin had me give it another shot.

Theses sessions had me working hard and they were an eye opener. It’s always humbling to start a new exercise and realize that even though you’re in good shape there are things you need to improve. I was aware that I had imbalances but this definitely highlighted where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

I would not say my core is my strongest part of my body but it has gotten stronger with a variety of core targeted exercises and mat Pilates classes. The reformer sessions really took things up a level and I can see why people get hooked. I was also able to try the Pilates chair and have signed up for small group classes so I can keep working on my imbalances and strengthen my core.

I noticed that it helps in my running, I can feel my glutes engaging more as I run. Before I run I add in a set of marching bridges to my warm up to fire up my glutes. Having a stronger core also helps with my running form and makes breathing easier. Gotta love that.

In general it helps more with my posture, both in daily life and while working out. I sit at a computer for large chunks of time where I slouch and hunch over. This causes tight hip flexors and lower back pain. It’s been a while since I haven’t had back or hip pain, I’m working on changing that.

As with most classes I do recommend taking one with a live teacher before you do dvd or on-demand class. They can help you adjust your posture and do the moves safely and correctly. For instance, I tend to hike up my hip in Warrior III, which can exacerbate the imbalances and add to injury. Now that I know this I am much more aware when I practice on my own.

What new exercise have you tried lately? Did you like or dislike it?

Are you fan of Pilates?

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Spinning, Pilates, and What Do You Want to Talk About?

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I wasn’t running due to injury and felt that my voice wasn’t fresh when it came to my other posts. I wanted to be authentic in what I wrote and not just regurgitate what everyone else is already speaking about. To that end I think what I do best is write about what people actually ask me or comment to me. If you have a question or want me to talk about a particular topic, please email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.

I’ve been taking a few different classes at the YMCA and doing my strength training there. I’m using the assisted pull-up machine and while I am a while off from doing unassisted pull-ups I definitely feel stronger and notice more muscle definition. I am also trying to get those lazy glutes activated and my hip stronger.

It feels like a never-ending battle to keep the glutes and hips strong and stable. I do the exercises but I feel like there’s some key that I’m missing. In my o quest I’m trying Pilates Reformer sessions for 5 weeks. I know that it will help my core, which will alleviate some back pain, make spinning, running, and day-to-day life easier. Will it make my hip stronger? One can hope!

I’ve been taking regular spin classes as well as mat Pilates. Neither of these were favorites of mine previously. In fact, I down right despised spin. Having an injury and wanting to maintain fitness will have you doing things outside of your comfort zone. I ruptured the fascia in my foot and spinning has been a good way to keep my endurance strong.

I happened to take the one of the hardest classes offered. It was not on purpose but I liked the instructor’s style so I stuck with it. Turns out that was the best thing for me. I’ve taken a few other classes but I still prefer the strength and endurance combination that this particular instructor uses. When I started running again I didn’t feel like I was starting from scratch.

I’ve incorporated yoga and mat Pilates to strengthen my core as well as reduce back and hip pain. While it’s helping I need more, hence the reformer classes. I’m a bit nervous about them and tomorrow is my first class.

How are you stretching yourself physically?

Do you stick with the tried and true or do you branch out into other exercises?

Had an injury? Do you cross train, when allowed by your doctor?