There are so many obstacles to getting to the gym, often they have to do with feeling ill-prepared for the class, or for the day to day things you need to get done. Most of the time our own mind is our biggest enemy when it comes to making time for fitness; we can find a million excuses not to work out and that break in your resolve to get fit is what you need to condition yourself to overcome. As a father of a 4 month old, with both my wife and I working; it is really easy to say, I’m too busy, I have errands, I need to wash diapers, I’m exhausted; sometimes those are very valid reasons and I do skip the workout but the best way to avoid these conflicts is to be organized. I wanted to share with you a few tips to help you get prepared for a successful and healthy week! The following tips are from my personal life, what my wife and I do to make sure we both get in enough exercise throughout the week.
Meal Prep: Planning out your week’s meals means that you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store for the whole week thus eliminating multiple runs to the store. You can chop and freeze your veggies ahead of time, prepare smoothie jars, prepack a few days of lunches, etc…weeks that we don’t meal plan are always way more hectic and I found that we don’t eat as healthy either.
Pack your bag : Pack your bag the night before, that way it doesn’t feel as daunting or rushed when the time comes to go to your class.
Don’t sit down : Some days you can’t imagine leaving your sofa after you get home from work, the best way to overcome this mental obstacle is to power through and just do housework until you have to leave for class. Clean the house, cook dinner…doesn’t matter what as long as you stay active. Another way to motivate yourself for an evening class is to put your workout clothes on as soon as you get home.
Drink a coffee/tea : My wife is a teacher and she says that at least once a week after lunch, she often feels like she knows she wants to skip the gym after work because she feels too tired. On those days she will drink an afternoon coffee or green tea so that she has the energy to get to the gym.
Drink water : It’s a really good idea to hydrate through out the day. When you don’t drink enough water, your body can feel sluggish, drinking enough water can keep you energized throughout the day and make sure you are properly hydrated for a sweaty workout.
Eat Properly : Make sure you eat enough throughout the day to keep your body happy but don’t eat so much that you need a nap after lunch.
The 2 Hour Rule : Do not eat anything heavy within 2 hours of going to exercise…It’s best not to eat anything at all within that 2-hour period but sometimes with our chaotic life we can’t always plan things out so neatly. If you are STARVING then have something small and easy to digest like a banana, a handful of nuts, a piece of cheese.
Get Enough Sleep : I know this is a tough one but getting 7 good hours of sleep consistently, lays the foundation for a successful day. You’ll have enough mental and physical energy to accomplish what you need to do!
As with any good habit you want to adopt, consistency and frequency is key. Prioritizing your health might feel like you have to sacrifice down time, or social time, but after a while it won’t feel like a sacrifice at all and you’ll find yourself looking forward to that endorphin rush. Tell your friends you’ll meet them after your workout and they’ll admire you for your resolve and lament their inability to get to the gym. On the days that it’s toughest to get to the gym, those are the workouts that will make you feel the best because not only will you have those happy exercise endorphins rushing through you but you’ll also have the knowledge that you put mind over matter and really earned an evening on the couch!