Hey Ya’ll! Here it is the second part of our Working Girl series. We wanted to talk about different ways that we sneak in workouts here and through a busy day, and tools we use to keep track of our fitness goals.
I absolutely LOVE to workout. The first thing I thought about when my car got hit back in March was the fact that I wasn’t going to have a way to get to the gym anymore and the thing I’m looking forward to most when I do get some new wheels is going back to the gym. (I know I sound crazy, go ahead and say it.) Fitness has become something that helps me decompress and unwind from my day, it’s something that males me feel balanced and calm. Me being able to go to the gym has really become apart of my identity. The gist of this post is how to handle your business and lead a busy life while still being able to get some exercise in. There’s a lot more back story that explains why I love fitness so much, but I’ll save that info for another post on another day!
So here it is…
3 easy ways to workout on a daily basis:
Tip #1. Get Creative: The trick to this is remembering that a workout doesn’t always have to be getting up and going to the gym. There are a million different ways to get exercise in without even leaving your house or desk. My sister had a fitness competition that she was in last week and I was occupied the ENTIRE weekend helping her prep so I didn’t have time to go to the gym. I really wanted to get a workout in so around 6:30 AM while I was up doing her hair for her competition I did calf raises and standing leg kickbacks while holding the curling wand….literally. These two exercises can be done almost anywhere because that are very isolated movements. Some suggestions would be: Calf raises, kickbacks, standing abdominals, Tricep dips, and squats. Sometimes I’ll do calf raises while standing and talking to someone (no joke, gotta get it in where I can fit it in).
Tip #2. Turn your home into a gym: When I first started exercising a couple years ago me and Jillian Michaels became best friends. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was the homie. She saw me sweat, work my ass off, and almost give in multiple times, but she was right there to tell me to keep going! I started using her home tapes and lemme just tell you they work! I used to do them in the entry way of my parents house, but I would put my workout clothes on like I was going to the gym. If you’re going to do a home workout you have to take it seriously and look the part; so ladies and gents get out of your pajamas, brush your teeth like your actually going to leave the house and prepare to take your workout seriously. For those of you that don’t want to spend money on tapes or weights, there are several ways to use what you have around you as equipment. Turn the edge of your bed into a space for you to do tricep dips, turn the step on your porch as a ledge for calf raises, or use a chair as a guide to do squats. All you these exercises can be done without all of that, but if you have it, use it! (in my Jillian Michaels voice.)
Tip #3 Reduce your calorie intake for the day. I know this might sound funny, but if you regularly reduce your calorie intake 3 days out of the week and don’t binge on the days you’re not reducing you will lose some weight. It takes a negative balance of 3,500 calories to lose one pound and dieting and exercising in conjunction will allow you to reach that balance more quickly than just dieting alone. If you diet consistently you will eventually reach that negative balance. My suggestion would be cut out alcohol if you plan on cycling your diet. On the days that you want to decrease your calorie intake, you can have minimal amounts of things like sugar and carbs . Overall alcohol is just an easy way to drink your calories for the day. (Yes, I know easier said than done but sacrifices have to be made.)
Apps to help track your weight loss and fitness:
The most popular app that I know of that helps track exercise and weight loss is My Fitness Pal. I actually used this app about a year ago when I wanted to lose 15lbs. I only ended up losing 5 (not the apps fault, I blame my love of food) but it was super helpful in breaking down the amount of calories I ate including the nutrition. If you’re someone that counts your macros this app is great for you; because it breaks down the percentages of carbs, fat, and protein that you’re taking in. If you’ve had a bad day and decide to eat everything in sight it also tells you how much weight you might gain if you continue to eat like that (very crafty, scare tactics.) Another really popular tool is a FitBit. I’ve heard really great things about this and I also saw a news report that listed some not so great things about this (specifically it causing some discoloration around your wrist, but if you don’t mind having a black wrist maybe you can try it). I’m not the best judge because I have never used one myself, but if you’re interested in a high-tech pedometer then this might be the product for you.
Tips and tricks to sneak in a workout during a busy day
Use your lunch break wisely: If you normally sit and chat with your coworkers at lunchtime or spend your precious 30 minutes-1 hour on the phone cupcakin with your boo thang that is time that could be used to walk. That’s right I said it, WALK!. Berkeley, where I work, is great for that. There are a ton of little café’s and eateries within walking distance, around 15- 20 minutes to get there, so a lot of times I will call ahead and order my food to go and then walk to pick it up. When I bring my lunch to work I use my break to walk and then I come back to my desk to eat. If this is something you have been wanting to try, set a goal for yourself to start 1-2 times a week and then you can always work your way up or down from there.
Don’t forget that the little things count: Sometimes I don’t have time to do any of those things above and mentally I psych myself out thinking that I haven’t gotten any exercise today. Remembering things like parking really far away from the entrance to the grocery store because I had to go shopping after work and forcing myself to walk the extra distance or spending 2 hours laughing with my coworkers at an after work happy hour (yes, laughing burns calories. The happy hour drinks do not) makes me feel better. Life is about balance and I’ve been at a point where I became obsessed with working out and counting every little calorie that I ate and let me tell you it’s not fun, nor is it a place I want to go back too. I make a huge effort to not get crazed if I skip a gym day because I live by the motto that life is for living.
Ps: Check out the other post from our series: Morning routine for the working girl.