July 20, 2014

Working Out for The Working Girl

I'll be the first to admit it, working out after working all day at the office is hard. After facing rush hour traffic, most of the time I want to put on sweatpants and curl up on our couch. Sticking with a fitness routine, however, is very important to me - and in my twenties, I know I need to develop healthy habits that I'll be able to follow for a long time.

Here are my tips and tricks for working out throughout the week...
  • Buy cute new workout gear. Even if you have a tight budget (like me), it's worth it to invest in workout clothes you love that will make you feel more inspired to go to the gym. I recently stopped into Lululemon and was pleasantly surprised at their sale rack - I sealed the deal last week on a fun light pink/tye dye top that was marked way down. Summer is a prime time for retailers to put clothes on sale, as they want to clear out their inventory for fall. My other favorite places to shop for gym clothes on a budget? Nike Outlet, GapFit, TJ Maxx and Old Navy.
  • Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes specific to your workouts. Comfort > price in my book, and after being a pointe ballet dancer for so many years, my feet have to have good support. Focus on fit and quality rather than brand.
  • Pack your workout bag the night before. This is a huge motivation for me to get to the gym after work. I'll pack everything I need for the gym - headphones, water bottle, gym clothes, sneakers - and put it in my passenger seat so I can go work out straight from the office. No excuses!
  • Find a workout class you love, and stick with it every week. Having the same instructor each week was something I loved about a spin class I did throughout my senior year. You start to make friends with the people in the class, and after a few weeks, it's nice to see your progress (and even get complimented by the instructor!).
  • Schedule workout dates. Whether it's working out with a friend each week to catch up or using classes as a way to get to know someone, I've found that I'm always more motivated to go if I know I'm meeting someone. The coffees and lunches when getting to know new people can also really add up, and working out together is a great way to change it up. (I'm not against iced coffees afterward though, trust me).
  • Plan to do workout videos when your schedule is crazy. Yes, there are some days all I want to do is crash on the couch if I've had a packed day. I'm not a fitness fanatic by any means, but I do feel guilty if I haven't exercised and just sat at a desk all day. Putting on a quick workout video, even one that's just twenty minutes, is much better than nothing. Try and squeeze it in while you're waiting on dinner to cook or before your favorite TV show. Amazon Prime has a huge selection of workout videos for free if you have an Amazon Prime account - and just know that many of these videos can sometimes give you an even more intense workout than you would have gotten at the gym!
  • Go explore. Especially during the summer, it's hard to want to beat the heat and go outside, but on days where it's not 90+ degrees, go find some trails in your area! This past week, Katie and I explored a few trails in Mountain Brook. It was fun to change it up, and see the neighborhoods that we've been driving by on foot. 
  • Set fitness goals. Find a type of exercise that you really enjoy and start by setting small goals. And it doesn't have to be running! I love practicing yoga, and it feels so rewarding to know when I've reached a goal I had for that month. The goals don't even have to be that specific - for me, just setting a goal that I will keep regularly going to a spin class is enough!
  • Fitness apps are your friend. I love using MapMyRun when I want to track distance, but there are so many other apps out there to track calories burned, heart rate and everything in between. Other favorite fitness app? Nike Training Club. It has workouts that you can do anywhere, and you can target your workout depending on your goal.
Hope you all are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend!


Photo via STYLE'd AVENUE

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