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#FitStrong: Keeping the Fun in Fitness!

How do you stay committed to training when Kits beach has started calling your name?

It has been thirteen years and I am still going to the gym. Trust me, I know it can get monotonous!

As with any routine, boredom sets in. The same weights, same exercises, same faces. If you are like me, you crave adventure. You want to take in new sights and smells—and not the same sweaty body odour.

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CONSISTENCY is fundamental to fitness. Consistent effort begets results.

Here are 9 tips on how to keep working out:

Train in the AM
Free up your evening by going to the gym in the morning instead. That way you have the rest of the day to enjoy an art show or have dinner with your friends. Another option is to exercise during your midday break, which is a fantastic way to clear your mind and reintroduce flexibility and blood flow after hours of sitting.

Wean off the Caffeine
Our bodies naturally abide by a Circadian rhythm that makes us rise with the sun. Over time, our daily Starbucks makes getting up harder and harder. It raises our cortisol (stress hormone) and inhibits melatonin (sleep hormone). If you workout earlier, switch from coffee to a superfood smoothie, plant-based protein shake, or matcha green tea. Matcha is full of antioxidants and does not cause that jittery spike and crash.

Hire a Personal Trainer
I am in the industry, so this may be biased… But, as with any area of expertise, turning to a professional may be smartest. It took me a year of miscalculated taxes to hire an accountant. Now I do not have to worry about visits from the CRA. Instead of you researching rep ranges, incorrect form, best foods for fat loss, progress plateaus—find a certified pro you trust. Their expertise and guidance will accelerate you to your goals.

Do Supersets
These are so effective for maximizing your gym time! Supersets are two exercises performed with no rest in between. There are two ways to superset. You can train the same muscle group to exhaust those muscles completely, like pull-downs and rows. Or, you can switch between two muscle groups, like chest fly’s and rows, which allows each group of muscles to rest adequately.

Add Sprints
An simple and effective strategy that ramps up your training progress! Throw in a 30 to 90-second sprint after each exercise for high-intensity fat burning. If you do not sprint often, start your first week at a jog so your joints can become accustomed to the high impact. Once your running pace flows smoothly, rev up to 7 to 8.5 mph. After a few more weeks, throw in a 1-5% incline for maximum results.

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Push Your Limits
We tend to stay in our comfort zone, like the 10-12 rep range. Why not 13, 14, or 22 reps? Perhaps laziness, lack of creativity, or fear of failure is holding us back. It is time to level up. Always do 60-lb pulldowns? Try 80-lbs! Never over 15 jump squats? Squeeze out 18. Challenge: Add five reps to every set to shake up your rut.

Jam to a Different Tune
As simple as searching up hits like Cyndi Lauper. Music is powerful. It can pump us up like a double shot of espresso and energize us like we took stimulants. If you need a pick-me-up to make the gym more fun, put on a totally offside genre. Perhaps tracks from high school. My current go-to? Rap by Eazy E and Method Man, a 180 switch from my usual bass-heavy electronic.

Make Friends
Not so many that you end up chatting more than training, but having workout buddies can give your gym experience a facelift. Simply smiling and saying “Hi” can do wonders. In my experience, most gym goers don’t look approachable at first, but warm up instantly—many are just shy. Knowing you have friends there is hugely motivating. You may start timing your workouts together. It brings out the accountability in you.

Workout Outdoors
An outdoor parkour park can be found beside Empire Fields on Hastings Street. With bars galore, an incredible variety of full-body circuits can be put together on this adult playground. If you hate spending summer indoors, training outside is the solution.

Do this total-body circuit anywhere:

  • 15 pushups
  • 15 jump squats
  • 5-8 pullups
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 15 hanging knee raises

repeat 4x

Tell me – what are your go-to strategies for sticking to your fitness regimen?

Keep on swinging!

Maria Lee

 

The views and opinions expressed in the #FitStrong series are solely those of Maria Lee and her collaborators. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of BLUSH and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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