How to Make Working Out Part of Your Routine

"To workout or not to workout. That is a dumb question!"


If you know me, you know I workout fairly regularly. I've gotten into the habit of going to gym at least 3-4 times a week and I'm proud of that - especially not having any sort of fitness background, and being a generally lazy person (just being honest here - I love the vegging out on the couch as much as the next girl!).

Of course, going to the gym isn't always easy, and in fact, often times I don't feel like going. But, it always holds true that when I do go, I'm always so glad that I did.

I put together a small list of ideas to help those of you trying to get (back) into a routine. These things have helped me TREMENDOUSLY and I know they'll help you.

1. Get a buddy.

Funny story - when I first started getting into the gym, I got on Craigslist (yes - Craigslist - it's actually kind of creepy) to find a workout buddy, and guess what? I did! My first workout partner was a girl named Claire and let me tell ya, we were dedicated! Sometimes we met TWICE a day at the gym (morning and after work). Claire got me running - for the first time ever, and let me work out with her and her trainer. Claire and I eventually parted ways (weddings, jobs, babies, you know how it goes) but it wasn't long after that I started working out with coworkers. I started off going running with one guy, and then, two girls joined the same gym and three of us eventually all chipped in to get a personal trainer!

2. Get a Personal Trainer.

That same personal trainer was the one who got me in tip-top shape for my wedding day! (Personal trainers are a great resource if you DON'T have a gym buddy.) Below is a picture of the personal trainer I have at my work gym. His name is Larry but we call him Scary Larry because of his crazy workouts!


I think the convenience of a work gym makes a huge difference, but to be honest, I wouldn't go as often as I do if it wasn't for this girl, Karlye! She keeps me dedicated! We try to go at least twice a week to workout with Scary Larry.


There's also my hubby who keeps me going to crossfit. There are so many nights after work, when I just want to go home, but I know he's pumped and ready for Crossfit, so I go! (Again, it's the buddy system. Refer to #1)


I swear gym buddies make the biggest difference!

3. Do workouts that make you happy!

I've gotten to a point where I don't particularily enjoy traditional weight lifting or using weight machines in the gym. I've never really enjoyed weight lifting (until I started CrossFit and began doing Olympic lifts), so if I'm going to the gym after work, it's more than likely going to be to go to a class, do some running, or come up with a routine using my workout sticks. I'm not going to force myself to do something I don't enjoy. If I did force myself, chances are I'd half-ass it or quit really early on. Hate running? (Or, like most people, cardio in general?) Then try weight lifting at the gym - everyone's different. I really like this beginner's guide for weight lifting.


4. Change at work for an after-work sweat fest, or sleep in your clothes to workout first thing.

It sounds silly but it's so true! Once you're dressed, you're practically out the door. Of course this isn't a sure thing (what is?), but you're one step closer. This has really worked for me lately. I used to workout at lunch and going after work has been HARD. Around 4 or 4:30, I'm thinking of ways to bail out. But then, I get dressed and voila, suddenly, I feel like going. Suddenly, I AM GOING.


5. Challenge yourself.

I love a good challenge, especially one that helps me get into a habit bootcamp style. If you're trying to get into the habit of getting to the gym, challenge yourself to go 4 days a week next week. But like REALLY challenge yourself, don't just say it and then not do it. Declare it and then actually follow through.


This is me challenging myself to do a pull-up. Even with a band they're hard!

6. Track your progress.

I love Streaks for tracking my progress sticking to an everyday goal. I've been using it to hold myself accoubtable for practicing handstands and eating paleo. If you've set a challenge to go to the gym 3 times a week throughout January (read above), find someway to track your progress. I'm a huge fan of visual motivators - try making a calendar out of sticky notes like I did, or any of these tactics to stay inspired.

What tactics do you use to get to the gym?

Is going to the gym part of your routine?

5 Tips for First-Time Mudders

Greetings all! I've been holding this post for awhile, but I think it's time to run it! Mud races are so popular this time of year and Aaron (my husband) keeps urging me to sign up for a Spartan Obstacle race with him... I have to admit, I'm a bit apprehensive! I had no idea what to expect at my first mud run (last year) and I remember going into shock within the first few minutes. From the the dirt roads to the dangerously slippery obstacles, I was like, Holy Crap! This is HARD!

Almost immediately, I also realized I needed to be careful. The hills were steep and the trenches were MUDDY, which makes sense, cause it is a mud run, but there’s no doubt courses like this breed injuries. Now that I’ve done it, I think I would do it again, but with these tips in mind!

The Mudfactor Run in Maryland, 2012

1. Mentally prepare: a mud run is more than just running- I thought the obstacles would be before or after the running part. Wrong. The obstacles are throughout. At an event like this, you're going to do a lot more than just run! You’ll be jumping, climbing, and crawling!

2. It’s unpaved. It’s hilly- If you’ve never run on an unpaved road, you might want to test the waters before you run a race like this. All of the running is either in the woods, on dirt and through trees (and stumps coming out of the ground) or through muddy hills.

3. One for All, All for One- One of the best parts of the race was helping people over the rope climb and slanted walls. Lending a hand for your fellow runner!

4. Dirty doesn’t describe it- Wear sneakers you’re prepared to throw out afterward.

5. Easy does it- This is actually not a race at all. Take the approach, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The point is to finish. TAKE YOUR TIME. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll get injured. This is especially true for obstacles. When you get to the peak of the walls and ropes, be careful climbing to the other side.

Have you ever done a mud run or been interested in doing one?