My favorite workouts, and why I think you may love them, too!
Happy fit Friday, babes!! Today I’m super excited to share my most favorite workouts, and why I love each of them so much.
I’m a firm believer in making fitness/working out something that is genuinely FUN for you. If you literally hate it with all your heart and soul, it’s not something you’ll ever be able to consistently commit to. Consistency and commitment are arguably the two most essential components of maintaining a high level of fitness – so it’s critical that you choose workouts that you enjoy.
Now, am I saying that I’m jumping up and down before I go out and do my 5 mile run at 5:15am? Not at ALL. But am I ALWAYS so satisfied and happy I did it when I’m finished? Absolutely.
When I say I love these workouts, I guess what I’m primarily referring to is the feeling after. Because during, I’m often cursing myself/Shaun T/the weather/whatever else is making it difficult. But afterward I’m elated, high on the endorphins, ready to tackle any challenge the rest of the day may present because in my eyes, the hardest part of my day is over once I’ve killed a workout!
So here’s my list – like I said, what I may love may not work for you – but if you haven’t tried some of these, I HIGHLY suggest you at least give them a chance. Keep an open mind – I never thought I’d grow to love running as much as I do now. These are in order, but 1 and 2 are definitely tied!
- Running – I know a lot of you are eye rolling/about to switch back over to Facebook/Pinterest/whatever else at this point, but stick with me. Running is totally something you can grow to love. When I played sports in high school I LOATHED running. Hated it with every fiber of my being – and that was when we only had to do a 1 mile warmup! Now I run 5 miles multiple times a week, and I ran a marathon with my husband last April. Running has become a love of mine for several reasons. Letting go of the pressure of the athletics themselves allowed me to just run free, without worrying about time goals, “beating” others, etc. It’s also a great time for reflection/deep thinking, time to yourself – or rather, some time to just not think at all. What I love the most about running is how accomplished I feel after. To some 5 miles is not much, but to me I think it’s a pretty solid distance and I always feel great when I’m done. We did run a marathon though! So if you’ve got big goals, that’s wonderful, and if not, just get out there and run enough to make you feel good. Enjoy the time to yourself, and relish the feeling of improving your physical and mental health at the same time!
- Insanity – Where to even begin with this one?! If you aren’t familiar, Insanity is a program created through Beach Body by Shaun T (AKA my idol). It’s super high intensity, you’ll literally think you may die at several points before you’re finished, and it’s guaranteed you’ll be sweatier than you ever thought possible. I LOVE Insanity because it’s so intense. What’s the point of working out if you don’t even feel like it was worth your time? Insanity doesn’t leave any question. You dig deeper, and you feel every single move working muscles you didn’t know you had. The nice thing about Insanity is that it’s an at home workout. There’s something so nice about not having to leave your living room, especially during the cold months when working out outside isn’t an option. Oh, and a lot of people are really put off just by the name, writing it off before they even try because they think they aren’t in good enough shape – good news, every move can be modified! So if you need less impact, less range of motion, whatever, you can make it work for your current level of fitness. Check it out if you haven’t before! I love this one so much, I got certified to teach Insanity Live group classes. Dig deeper, y’all! 🙂
- Elliptical/Airdyne bike – I have to start by saying that these totally depend on the actual machine for me. My parents have a super nice Precor elliptical I used all throughout grad school, and it was awesome. But some ellipticals that aren’t super high quality are pretty rough, and it’s sometimes hard to feel like you’re working out hard enough or using muscles in a natural way. But if you find a machine that feels good and you know you’re working hard, ellipticals and bikes can be great! I prefer the Airdyne bike (old school, with the fan on the front where you pump the handles while simultaneously pedaling) over a typical stationary bike because it forces you to use your whole body to move the machine. I like doing something like this a couple times a week to prevent injury – I just need to force myself to do some stuff that’s still high intensity, but lower impact to avoid too much stress/overtraining. These machines are great for intervals – rather than boring yourself to death going at a steady state for an hour, go for 30 minutes, 100% effort for 30 seconds, then recover for 1:30, and repeat until the half hour is up.
- Yoga – This is another one I never thought I’d grow to like. I did a hot yoga class with my bridesmaids the day of my bachelorette party, and it was so fun! I don’t do yoga as my main workout, because I tend to gravitate toward high intensity (see 1-3), but yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, and to clear your mind. Mental and physical health, always hand in hand! This is a great one for people that have a lot of joint/physical movement issues, as it’s a lot lower impact/intensity but still really works all muscle groups.
So there’s my list of favorites. I can’t imagine a day in my life that doesn’t include working out – it’s such an integral, necessary part of my day because I’ve been so consistent for so many years. I think a big part of what makes working out daily so easy/automatic for me is that I enjoy the workouts I do. Yes, sometimes I’m tired or sluggish, but I never dread a workout. Most of all, nothing can beat the feeling of finishing a tough workout. NOTHING!
I’d LOVE to hear what workouts you guys love!
Have a FABULOUS FRIDAY, get those bodies moving!!