5 Tips for Fitness Beginners

JamieKraussHess

Summer is here, and headlines everywhere are screaming at us to be prepared.

“Summer Slim Down!,” they shout.

“Get Beach Body Ready!,” they command.

“Learn How to Pick Your Most Flattering Bikini,” they instruct, assuming you feel anywhere near comfortable enough to don a two-piece.

It’s an easy time to feel overwhelmed, especially if you’re an exercise beginner. It’s also easy to feel frustrated by the washboard abs we see all over social media, leading to a feeling of defeat before you’ve even begun.

Fitness should be about how you feel from the inside out. Beauty is about how you show up in the world, and when you feel good, you look beautiful. Summer is the perfect time to start a fitness routine as a beginner because it’s lovely outside, but most beginners need some guidance and motivation to take that first step.

Here are NYCfitfam’s top five life hacks to help beginners take the first step towards achieving their fitness goals.

1. Make small, achievable goals rather than having the “Superman Syndrome”

Superman had to leap tall buildings in a single bound. You do not! By making lofty goals like “I’m going to lose 20 pounds this summer,” or “I need to have a flat tummy by next weekend,” you’re setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set goals that can be accomplished, contributing to a sense of pride in a job well done. Here’s a few we like:

  • I will calendar my weekly workouts to fit comfortably with my schedule and make them non-negotiable
  • I will fit in 30 minutes of movement each day, even if it’s a brisk walk or a good stretch session
  • I will look ahead on the calendar, set a goal, and train for it. Whether it’s a 5K, a planned group hike, or an upcoming vacation, give yourself about eight weeks of training time to allow for safe, steady progress towards your goal. Don’t forget to take pictures along the way to track your progress!

2. Enlist accountability buddies

We can already hear you reading our last tip and saying “if I was able to stick with an exercise plan for eight weeks, I wouldn’t need to read this article!” Understood! That’s why we recommend enlisting “accountability buddies” to stay on track.

 

Nobody finds self-discipline easy, us included! Often times we’ll go to the gym with a goal to run a certain number of miles on the treadmill, only to find that within a few minutes of beginning, we’re fantasizing about hopping off to grab a smoothie instead! Luckily for us, as a married couple, we’ve committed to being accountability buddies together, which really helps us stay on track.

Here’s how it works: Say one of us has a goal to run four miles that day. We’ll set the intention by letting the other one know our plan, and then we’ll text them a picture of the treadmill dashboard at the end to prove we completed our goal. It seems simple, but it really mitigates that “maybe I’ll just do three miles and hop off” thinking and helps towards achieving goals and feeling proud of yourself after the workout.

3. Failure to plan is a plan to fail!

Entering a gym as a beginner can be completely overwhelming, and no one is expecting you to magically know what to do. The trick is, never enter a gym without a plan. Trainers are great, but if you don’t want to pay for one, the internet and even social media is full of quick, easy fitness routines you can save on your phone to help guide you through. Signing up for a class is always a great motivator too, and having an official “start time” will help you get your butt in gear. Pro tip: make sure to tell the instructor right away that you’re a beginner – that way you won’t feel pressured to “keep up” or like they’re judging you, and they can give you extra help throughout the class.

4. Inspire

Any time you can turn your attention from inward to outward, you’re taking a step towards a better chance at happiness. Enthusiasm is contagious, and when you dole it out to others, it boomerangs back to you. For instance, when we’re running a 5k, we’re “those people” on the race course high-fiving strangers on the sidelines and yelling words of encouragement to our fellow racers who may be struggling. Why? Because by sharing the enthusiasm of the moment, we boost our own morale.

By getting excited about your fitness journey, you will create a layer of positive energy around the experience that will help boost you forward. Here are some examples:

  • Reach out to a friend and invite her to join you in a 30 day yoga challenge.
  • Post about your experience on Instagram, where there’s a beautiful community of likeminded fitness beginners to share in the excitement of your journey.
  • Chat through your plan of action with family and friends, and encourage them to participate.

Make an effort to always use positive terminology when discussing your plans, rather than focusing on set-backs. Make fitness joyous and revel in the excitement of transmitting that joy to others!

5. When all else fails, trick yourself!

This is one of the simplest, most effective tactics we’ve got! If you know you’re one of those people who tends to get wishy-washy towards the day’s end, let your “morning self” guide your “evening self” into successful behaviors.

Here’s our favorite trick: On your way to work, stop at the gym and place your gym bag with your house keys in a locker. That way, you have no choice but to stop there on the way home… and once you’re there, you might as well just sweat!

#MotivationMondays - Enthusiasm is Contagious

We decided to revisit our popular MOTIVATION SERIES each Monday. Let us know what you think and how you apply these tools in your own life! #MondayMotivation!!


 

Motivation tip #1: ENTHUSIASM IS CONTAGIOUS! Yup, we'll admit it - we're “those people” in class at Barry’s Bootcamp or on the race course during a 5k giving UNSOLICITED HIGH FIVES. Why? Because by pumping up others, we boost our own morale. It’s like a MOTIVATION BOOMERANG!! 

 

Try carrying this over into your every day life. At work, be the office cheerleader and you’ll find that pretty soon, you’re hyping yourself up as well. For example, help your team reframe negative feelings about a client (“she is so difficult, requesting so many time-consuming research projects!”) into opportunities to encourage positivity (“this research will give us a great chance to learn more about the competitive landscape, and with all the hard work we put in, think of what a great case study this will make!”).

 

Make it an awesome week, friends!

Alpe d'Huzes, Here We Come!!!

Sometimes, life is surprising. Sometimes the universe delivers an opportunity that you can’t pass up. Sometimes, you are invited to run a charity race in the French Alps! When this happens you don’t ask questions, you just say YES!

 

But let us back up a step here to explain…

 

We are both blessed to have jobs we truly love, Jamie working in PR (largely in the fitness + wellness space) and George in music marketing. One of George’s biggest clients is Armada Music, the home of superstar DJ Armin van Buuren.

 

Armada has become like family to us both, so when we heard that Mick, the 6-year son of co-founding partner, Maykel Piron, was diagnosed with leukemia, we were heartsick. Luckily he is doing well, but as someone with family who battled cancer (Jamie’s mom beat breast cancer in 2015), we understood all too well the physical and emotional pain that accompanies this diagnosis.

 

Armada decided collectively to run the Alpe d’HuZes, an 8k race in the Alpes that spans part of the Tour de France path and raises money for cancer research. The course takes you on 23 turns up the mountain, and you can bike or run it. Armada is one big family, so their team signed on one by one to participate. Then they asked us to join.

 

What else was there to say but OF COURSE? We’ve been blessed to travel with this amazing group of people often, and in every city we visit, we’ve laced up our running shoes. When we joined them in Ibiza, we ran along the coast of the Mediterranean sea. When we visited their offices in Holland, we ran an 8k affiliated with the Amsterdam Marathon. And now… we can add this to the journey.

 

We are honored and humbled to be a part of Team Armada, raising money in honor of Mick’s brave battle. We would be very grateful if you could contribute to support our participation and to help find a cure for cancer.

 

To donate, please follow this procedure:

·         Go to: https://deelnemers.opgevenisgeenoptie.nl/donate

·         First (very important): click on the ENGLISH FLAG at the top of the page

·         Click on DONATE

·         Then go to SUPPORT A PARTICIPANT

·         Search for [GEORGE HESS] / [JAMIE HESS]

·         Click on SUPPORT PARTICIPANT

·         Fill in the form and choose CREDIT CARD as PAYMENT METHOD

 

Thanks in advance, dear friends!

Xx Jamie & George

New Year, New You!

Jamie Krauss Hess

The holidays are always jammed-packed for us, and whether it’s spending time with family & friends or celebrating at the office holiday party, it usually means EATING! We firmly believe that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little indulgence (read: baked goods!), as long as you stay aware of your consumption and don’t let it snowball out of control. Having said that, we took stock after a period of holiday revelry, and Jamie decided she really wanted to take her body back for the New Year.

 

She set her intention on Friday evening (12/16). Upon waking on Saturday (12/17) we took the “before” picture and she got to work. She took the second pic three days into the commitment (12/20) and the third pic after nine days (12/27).

 

Here’s the basic plan of action that got her there:

 

EXERCISE:

 

Daily gym session at Equinox OR Barry’s Boot Camp

(Some days we’d include a yoga class too to keep it fun!)

 

Gym routine:

 

Round 1 (each 3x):

10 push-ups

10 spiderman push-ups

10 walking planks

20 mountain climbers

10 side planks w/ hip dips (R then L)

 

Round 2 (each 3x):

 

25 side bends w/ 30 lb weight (R then L)

15 woodchoppers w/ 15 lb weight (R then L)

20 rows w/ 20 lb weight (R then L)

 

Round 3 (each 3x):

 

60 russian twists w/ 15 or 20 lb weight

12 sit-ups w/ 20 lb weight push overhead

60 bicycles

12 right hand to left leg (w/ 10 lb weight)

12 left hand to right leg (w/ 10 lb weight)

15 knee-ins (at end of bench)

15 knee-ins for oblique (angled, sitting on R butt cheek then L butt cheek)

 

FOOD INTAKE:

Breakfast: Either egg whites w/ grilled chicken & avocado OR plain almond milk yogurt

All Day Long: Grilled chicken and Apples (you can snack all day long and NEVER get hungry this way!)

Dinner: Grilled chicken or Tilapia w/ roasted & steamed veggies. We season the protein w/ cinnamon, paprika, and garlic. Veggies are Brussel sprouts, onions, cauliflower, and carrots (we rotate). We squeeze lemon juice over them for taste.

 

Snacks: Dried apricots (but SPARINGLY). Apples. Baby carrots. No protein bars – those open up the door to wanting sugar!

 

Black coffee.

 

The final key ingredient to this diet is WATER! Chugging a large bottle an hour after every meal was critical to Jamie's success. Not only does it stave off hunger, it washes out the sodium induced puffiness/bloating, and contributes to an overall feeling of being refreshed!

 

MINDFULNESS:

 

This is a big part of the program for us. Taking time to meditate and get grounded truly helps with cravings and control. Don’t forget to get present and quiet the mind!

5 WAYS SHARING FITNESS GOALS CAN IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Let’s face it: relationships are hard. Co-habitating, being patient and kind (even when you’re in a crappy mood), and putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own aren’t always easy to do and can come with their share of stress.   We all know that fitness has many benefits, and one of those key perks is the ability to bring you closer as a couple and make life together better.   We started our joint fitness journey shortly after we began dating and it has enriched our lives in indescribable ways. We have such a blast sweating together, engaging in our mutual #fitfam community, indulging in mindful movement like Yoga, and watching our bodies reap the rewards of hard work and commitment.   Here are a few ways shared fitness can improve your relationship:   1.    You’ll spend more quality time together ·      Some of our favorite moments together are spent in sneakers, whether sweating it out at the gym or running side-by-side on the open road. Whenever we travel together either for work or vacation, we get the added bonus of seeing the locale on our two feet (cue visual of us running along the Mediterranean Sea in Ibiza. Yup, that happened!). We’ve even plan fun weekend getaways around 5k and half-marathon races, which is a great reason to travel.   2.    Working out releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happier. ·      During a workout, the body triggers cells to release endorphins, the magic little hormones that block the transmission of pain signals and produce a euphoric feeling. That post-workout glow? You’re not imagining it. Plus, people who stick to a fitness plan feel the pride that comes with accomplishing goals. We build self-esteem by doing estimable acts, and this confidence can bolster a relationship by contributing to a greater sense of mutual well-being.   3.    You can make like-minded friends and share a sense of community. ·      Lots of couples, especially those who work in totally different career fields, have two sets of friends that don’t have a ton in common. Couples who build fitness into their lives, especially those that find shared fitness communities, often find as an added benefit that they build a shared friend-base, which can be really fun and rewarding.  Try joining a running club together, hitting the same after-work boot camp class a few days per week, or attending a weekly Saturday morning Yoga class as a duo.   4.    You’re both hotter – but not just physically. ·      A hot bod is awesome, but there’s actually nothing sexier then knowing your partner has dedicated themselves diligently to a fitness routine all week. It makes you feel proud of each other, and reminds you of all the great attributes that made you fall in love in the first place.   5.    Better sex (!) ·      There is no doubt that the fruits of your labor will be evident in the bedroom, and there is a proven direct link between sex and exercise. Not only will you both feel better about yourselves (which is half the battle!), but your chemistry will be turned up a notch as your bodies continue to change. Plus, your shared increase in endorphins will fuel the fire. When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins that stimulate the release of sex hormones. So have fun getting’ your sweat on in the gym and between the sheets!

Let’s face it: relationships are hard. Co-habitating, being patient and kind (even when you’re in a crappy mood), and putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own aren’t always easy to do and can come with their share of stress.

 

We all know that fitness has many benefits, and one of those key perks is the ability to bring you closer as a couple and make life together better.

 

We started our joint fitness journey shortly after we began dating and it has enriched our lives in indescribable ways. We have such a blast sweating together, engaging in our mutual #fitfam community, indulging in mindful movement like Yoga, and watching our bodies reap the rewards of hard work and commitment.

 

Here are a few ways shared fitness can improve your relationship:

 

1.    You’ll spend more quality time together

·      Some of our favorite moments together are spent in sneakers, whether sweating it out at the gym or running side-by-side on the open road. Whenever we travel together either for work or vacation, we get the added bonus of seeing the locale on our two feet (cue visual of us running along the Mediterranean Sea in Ibiza. Yup, that happened!). We’ve even plan fun weekend getaways around 5k and half-marathon races, which is a great reason to travel.

 

2.    Working out releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happier.

·      During a workout, the body triggers cells to release endorphins, the magic little hormones that block the transmission of pain signals and produce a euphoric feeling. That post-workout glow? You’re not imagining it. Plus, people who stick to a fitness plan feel the pride that comes with accomplishing goals. We build self-esteem by doing estimable acts, and this confidence can bolster a relationship by contributing to a greater sense of mutual well-being.

 

3.    You can make like-minded friends and share a sense of community.

·      Lots of couples, especially those who work in totally different career fields, have two sets of friends that don’t have a ton in common. Couples who build fitness into their lives, especially those that find shared fitness communities, often find as an added benefit that they build a shared friend-base, which can be really fun and rewarding.  Try joining a running club together, hitting the same after-work boot camp class a few days per week, or attending a weekly Saturday morning Yoga class as a duo.

 

4.    You’re both hotter – but not just physically.

·      A hot bod is awesome, but there’s actually nothing sexier then knowing your partner has dedicated themselves diligently to a fitness routine all week. It makes you feel proud of each other, and reminds you of all the great attributes that made you fall in love in the first place.

 

5.    Better sex (!)

·      There is no doubt that the fruits of your labor will be evident in the bedroom, and there is a proven direct link between sex and exercise. Not only will you both feel better about yourselves (which is half the battle!), but your chemistry will be turned up a notch as your bodies continue to change. Plus, your shared increase in endorphins will fuel the fire. When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins that stimulate the release of sex hormones. So have fun getting’ your sweat on in the gym and between the sheets!

WHAT RUNNING MY FIRST HALF MARATHON TAUGHT ME ABOUT BUSINESS *by Jamie

If you had told me five years ago that I would have any desire to run around the block - let alone a half-marathon!  - I would have said you were completely nuts.   While I liked working out, I didn’t like running. I had old injuries that would flare up, but mostly I was terribly fearful to try something that I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. I’m a perfectionist, so if I can’t do something perfectly, my brain tells me I probably shouldn’t try at all.   After discovering a love for Barry’s Boot Camp, where short treadmill intervals made running less overwhelming, I eventually felt strong enough to give outdoor running a try.  At first it truly seemed impossible, but after some persistence I got the hang of it, and even started to like it. I began participating in 5k and 10k races, and eventually decided that I wanted to try a half-marathon. Today, I've run three half-marathons and the NYC marathon, which is a complete miracle and have provided some of the most exciting, gratifying experiences of my life.   I made some fascinating personal observations back when I was prepping for that first long race. I discovered more about myself then I ever even intended to, including four valuable lessons I have carried over into my professional life. Here they are:   1.    Raise your eye level   Distance running is more mental then physical. Often times your brain wants to take over, convincing you to walk or give up altogether.  I found a very effective tactic to combat this is to simply raise my eye level from the ground to the horizon. By taking myself out of the nitty-gritty of the moment and seeing the bigger picture, my entire psyche shifts. All of a sudden, I see things differently – it’s a beautiful day, there are trees and nature, I’m running alongside other like-minded people, I’m blessed to have two legs on which to run, etc.   The same tactic works in my professional life. Sometimes getting caught in the minutia of the moment can be paralyzing. Raising your eye level to see the bigger picture can reframe the situation and help to scale your actions accordingly.   2.    Preparation is 90% of the game   Whether in running or in business, preparation is the key. My biggest accomplishment in completing my race was that I felt truly prepared. I had followed a training regimen, researched and acquired the necessary support gear, followed a targeted nutrition plan, etc. The same goes for business, where the key to success is PLANNING. Achieving a professional goal - whether it’s completing a client project or moving up the corporate ladder – takes thoughtful preparation, including building out a manageable timeline with deadlines and deliverables.     3.    Encouraging others helps bolsters my own motivation   I’ll admit it… I’m an unsolicited high-five giver. Yup, I’m that girl on the race course high-fiving strangers on the sidelines, and yelling words of encouragement to my fellow racers who may be struggling. Why? Because by sharing the enthusiasm of the moment, I boost my own morale.   So why wouldn’t the same carry over to the professional realm?   Enthusiasm is contagious, so be the office cheerleader and you’ll find that pretty soon, you’re hyping yourself up as well. For example, help your team reframe negative feelings about a client (“she is so difficult, requesting so many time-consuming research projects!”) into opportunities to encourage positivity (“this research will give us a great chance to learn more about the competitive landscape, and with all the hard work we put in, think of what a great case study this will make!”).   4.    There is no better feeling then completing something that is hard to do…   Being complacent is easy. Challenging ourselves is hard - but being brave and reaching for big goals reaps life’s biggest rewards.   Each day, look at your to-do list and identify one thing that seems overwhelming. Now put that thing at the top of the list and do it first. This is called “eating the frog first,” meaning you get your toughest task out of the way, and then everything else seems manageable by comparison. By accomplishing the most challenging task first, you empower yourself and diminish that all-day, underlying feeling of dread that comes along with procrastination.   As I learned, whether you’re running or working… the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  

If you had told me five years ago that I would have any desire to run around the block - let alone a half-marathon!  - I would have said you were completely nuts.

 

While I liked working out, I didn’t like running. I had old injuries that would flare up, but mostly I was terribly fearful to try something that I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. I’m a perfectionist, so if I can’t do something perfectly, my brain tells me I probably shouldn’t try at all.

 

After discovering a love for Barry’s Boot Camp, where short treadmill intervals made running less overwhelming, I eventually felt strong enough to give outdoor running a try.  At first it truly seemed impossible, but after some persistence I got the hang of it, and even started to like it. I began participating in 5k and 10k races, and eventually decided that I wanted to try a half-marathon. Today, I've run three half-marathons and the NYC marathon, which is a complete miracle and have provided some of the most exciting, gratifying experiences of my life.

 

I made some fascinating personal observations back when I was prepping for that first long race. I discovered more about myself then I ever even intended to, including four valuable lessons I have carried over into my professional life. Here they are:

 

1.    Raise your eye level

 

Distance running is more mental then physical. Often times your brain wants to take over, convincing you to walk or give up altogether.  I found a very effective tactic to combat this is to simply raise my eye level from the ground to the horizon. By taking myself out of the nitty-gritty of the moment and seeing the bigger picture, my entire psyche shifts. All of a sudden, I see things differently – it’s a beautiful day, there are trees and nature, I’m running alongside other like-minded people, I’m blessed to have two legs on which to run, etc.

 

The same tactic works in my professional life. Sometimes getting caught in the minutia of the moment can be paralyzing. Raising your eye level to see the bigger picture can reframe the situation and help to scale your actions accordingly.

 

2.    Preparation is 90% of the game

 

Whether in running or in business, preparation is the key. My biggest accomplishment in completing my race was that I felt truly prepared. I had followed a training regimen, researched and acquired the necessary support gear, followed a targeted nutrition plan, etc. The same goes for business, where the key to success is PLANNING. Achieving a professional goal - whether it’s completing a client project or moving up the corporate ladder – takes thoughtful preparation, including building out a manageable timeline with deadlines and deliverables.

 

 

3.    Encouraging others helps bolsters my own motivation

 

I’ll admit it… I’m an unsolicited high-five giver. Yup, I’m that girl on the race course high-fiving strangers on the sidelines, and yelling words of encouragement to my fellow racers who may be struggling. Why? Because by sharing the enthusiasm of the moment, I boost my own morale.

 

So why wouldn’t the same carry over to the professional realm?

 

Enthusiasm is contagious, so be the office cheerleader and you’ll find that pretty soon, you’re hyping yourself up as well. For example, help your team reframe negative feelings about a client (“she is so difficult, requesting so many time-consuming research projects!”) into opportunities to encourage positivity (“this research will give us a great chance to learn more about the competitive landscape, and with all the hard work we put in, think of what a great case study this will make!”).

 

4.    There is no better feeling then completing something that is hard to do…

 

Being complacent is easy. Challenging ourselves is hard - but being brave and reaching for big goals reaps life’s biggest rewards.

 

Each day, look at your to-do list and identify one thing that seems overwhelming. Now put that thing at the top of the list and do it first. This is called “eating the frog first,” meaning you get your toughest task out of the way, and then everything else seems manageable by comparison. By accomplishing the most challenging task first, you empower yourself and diminish that all-day, underlying feeling of dread that comes along with procrastination.

 

As I learned, whether you’re running or working… the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

 

HOW WE STOPPED SEEING EXERCISE AS A CHORE (AND ACTUALLY STARTED ENJOYING IT!!)

We all get an occasional case of the workout blahs. For a long time, I played out the same scenario over and over each day: I’d make a plan for an after work sweat session, but then around 4pm I’d start this incessant stare-down with my sneakers. There they sat in the corner of my office, mocking me, taunting me. “You don’t really want to lace us up and push yourself. Your couch is so comfy. You work too hard, just go home and relax. You deserve it.”   Working out means energy exertion, panting breath, and yes maybe even a little pain. The couch started to sound like a much better plan, and thus, I’d self-sabotage yet again by taking the easy way out. Later on, I’d find myself feeling frustrated and disappointed, wondering what happened to my great resolve from the morning when I packed up my gym bag with running shorts, a water bottle, and great intentions.   Over time, I discovered the perception change needed to reframe fitness from a “chore” to an “opportunity.” It is a small but seismic shift that helped light my fitness fire in those moments of weakness. Here are some tips and tricks for battling the blahs and finding motivation:     -       Get grounded in gratitude. Sometimes when I’m running, I get stuck in my head, thinking things like “this is awful!” or “when the hell will this be over?!” While these are normal thoughts, I’m able to push past them by thinking instead “how lucky am I to have two legs on which to run?” or “How lucky am I to live in a place where I have the freedom to participate in leisure sports?” I think of all the people who don’t have the same capabilities and liberties and I very quickly reframe my negative thinking into gratitude. The ability to move about freely and engage our bodies in positive, healthy, joyful movement is a gift and should be regarded as such.   -       Inspire.  Any time you turn your attention from inward to outward, you have a better chance at happiness. I like to say that enthusiasm is contagious. That’s why when I’m running a 5k, I’m that girl on the race course high-fiving strangers on the sidelines, and yelling words of encouragement to my fellow racers who may be struggling. Why? Because by sharing the enthusiasm of the moment, I boost my own morale.  Another great motivator is having an “accountability buddy.” Enlist a friend with similar goals and help each other stay on track with check-ins and encouragement. Sharing screen shots from fitness trackers and running apps or a picture of the treadmill dashboard once a goal has been completed is a fun way to keep each other accountable. Pictures or it didn’t happen!!   -       “Play the tape through to the end.” Rather then focusing on how hard the workout is going to be, focus on the pride you’ll feel at the end. Think back to other times you’ve completed something challenging and felt proud and excited at your accomplishment. Recognize that it will take some effort to get there, but that the destination is worth the journey.   -       Fake It Until You Make It.  Body language is everything. When you feel your weaker self wanting to creep in, sit up tall, take three slow breaths in and out, and get centered. It’s a simple, 30 second meditation technique that can reframe everything and help you tap into your own inner power. Afterwards, own that power! How? Simply throw your shoulders back and insist on being amazing! Find a positive affirmation to repeat in your head to pump yourself up. “I can” and “I will” are simple and can be repeated in a rhythmic fashion to help move you along. Keep this positive cadence as you move through the motions towards your workout. When you walk into the gym, smile broadly at the front desk clerk and say hello, rather then dragging yourself sheepishly towards the locker rooms. Wink at yourself in the gym mirror. KNOW that this workout is going to be amazing, and before you know it, it is.   -       When all else fails, trick yourself! If you know you’re one of those people who tends to get wishy-washy towards the days’ end, let your morning self guide your evening self into right-acting. Here’s a favorite trick of mine: on your way to work, stop at the gym and place your gym bag with your house keys in a locker. That way, you have no choice but to stop there on the way home… once you’re there, you may as well just sweat! Don’t have a gym membership? Use your accountability buddy the same way – swap keys on the way to work to guarantee you meet up afterwards for a sweat session. Sometimes outsmarting our laziness is the best way to make magic happen!

We all get an occasional case of the workout blahs. For a long time, I played out the same scenario over and over each day: I’d make a plan for an after work sweat session, but then around 4pm I’d start this incessant stare-down with my sneakers. There they sat in the corner of my office, mocking me, taunting me. “You don’t really want to lace us up and push yourself. Your couch is so comfy. You work too hard, just go home and relax. You deserve it.”

 

Working out means energy exertion, panting breath, and yes maybe even a little pain. The couch started to sound like a much better plan, and thus, I’d self-sabotage yet again by taking the easy way out. Later on, I’d find myself feeling frustrated and disappointed, wondering what happened to my great resolve from the morning when I packed up my gym bag with running shorts, a water bottle, and great intentions.

 

Over time, I discovered the perception change needed to reframe fitness from a “chore” to an “opportunity.” It is a small but seismic shift that helped light my fitness fire in those moments of weakness. Here are some tips and tricks for battling the blahs and finding motivation:

 

 

-       Get grounded in gratitude. Sometimes when I’m running, I get stuck in my head, thinking things like “this is awful!” or “when the hell will this be over?!” While these are normal thoughts, I’m able to push past them by thinking instead “how lucky am I to have two legs on which to run?” or “How lucky am I to live in a place where I have the freedom to participate in leisure sports?” I think of all the people who don’t have the same capabilities and liberties and I very quickly reframe my negative thinking into gratitude. The ability to move about freely and engage our bodies in positive, healthy, joyful movement is a gift and should be regarded as such.

 

-       Inspire.  Any time you turn your attention from inward to outward, you have a better chance at happiness. I like to say that enthusiasm is contagious. That’s why when I’m running a 5k, I’m that girl on the race course high-fiving strangers on the sidelines, and yelling words of encouragement to my fellow racers who may be struggling. Why? Because by sharing the enthusiasm of the moment, I boost my own morale.  Another great motivator is having an “accountability buddy.” Enlist a friend with similar goals and help each other stay on track with check-ins and encouragement. Sharing screen shots from fitness trackers and running apps or a picture of the treadmill dashboard once a goal has been completed is a fun way to keep each other accountable. Pictures or it didn’t happen!!

 

-       “Play the tape through to the end.” Rather then focusing on how hard the workout is going to be, focus on the pride you’ll feel at the end. Think back to other times you’ve completed something challenging and felt proud and excited at your accomplishment. Recognize that it will take some effort to get there, but that the destination is worth the journey.

 

-       Fake It Until You Make It.  Body language is everything. When you feel your weaker self wanting to creep in, sit up tall, take three slow breaths in and out, and get centered. It’s a simple, 30 second meditation technique that can reframe everything and help you tap into your own inner power. Afterwards, own that power! How? Simply throw your shoulders back and insist on being amazing! Find a positive affirmation to repeat in your head to pump yourself up. “I can” and “I will” are simple and can be repeated in a rhythmic fashion to help move you along. Keep this positive cadence as you move through the motions towards your workout. When you walk into the gym, smile broadly at the front desk clerk and say hello, rather then dragging yourself sheepishly towards the locker rooms. Wink at yourself in the gym mirror. KNOW that this workout is going to be amazing, and before you know it, it is.

 

-       When all else fails, trick yourself! If you know you’re one of those people who tends to get wishy-washy towards the days’ end, let your morning self guide your evening self into right-acting. Here’s a favorite trick of mine: on your way to work, stop at the gym and place your gym bag with your house keys in a locker. That way, you have no choice but to stop there on the way home… once you’re there, you may as well just sweat! Don’t have a gym membership? Use your accountability buddy the same way – swap keys on the way to work to guarantee you meet up afterwards for a sweat session. Sometimes outsmarting our laziness is the best way to make magic happen!

5 WAYS TO KEEP EACH OTHER MOTIVATED AS A COUPLE TO BE YOUR BEST SELVES

The most successful relationships are the kind where both parties feel they are transformed into the best versions of themselves by being together. Having a built-in life partner is such an amazing opportunity for growth if both people are on board with a genuine desire to evolve on a daily basis.   I have developed some simple tricks with my husband to help keep each other on-track and support our mutual goals of becoming better every day. Here are a few we find helpful:   1.    Become accountability buddies ·      Keep each other on-track as accountability buddies. Here’s how it works: say one of us is heading to the gym with a plan to run four miles. We’ll set the intention by letting the other one know our plan, and then we’ll send each other a picture of the treadmill dashboard at the end to prove we completed our goal. It seems simple, but it really mitigates that “maybe I’ll just do three miles and hop off” thinking and helps towards achieving goals and feeling proud of yourself after the workout.   2.    Share a daily gratitude text together ·      Getting grounded in gratitude is a terrific way to develop a positive mindset and reframe negative any thoughts that creep in. We like to do it mid-morning once we’ve begun the workday and may be starting to feel the typical anxiety of our respective workloads. We share one thing we are grateful for that day, and spend a moment focusing on all of our positive gifts from the universe. It makes the small minutia of work stress seem a lot less daunting in the grand scheme of things.   3.    Set a daily meditation practice together ·      Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or a beginner, everyone can benefit from getting quiet, centered, and focused. The problem is, most of us say we want to meditate but then never do it. We kept reading about successful people who made meditation a part of their morning ritual and realized if these CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of industry could find a few moments to get quiet, then we probably could too. Making it a joint practice can be very helpful. We like to use Gaiam’s Meditation Studio App, which has short (some 2- and 5-minutes) meditations. That’s truly all it takes to feel the positive benefits of meditation.   4.    Calendar your workout schedule for the week (and make it a non-negotiable!) ·      Sunday is a great day to take a look at your week together and schedule your workouts. Once they’re set, help each other make sure they are a priority. Work and family life can get hectic, but without prioritizing wellness, we are no good to anyone else. Make sure you’ve made any necessary arrangements (pack your bag the night before an early workout, arrange childcare, etc) to ensure you don’t get stuck having to change your plans at the last minute.   5.    Set goals together ·      Sign up for a 5k, or even plan a warm weather trip (hello, bathing suits!) so you have an end-goal in mind and can work backwards from there with a training & nutrition plan. Recently, we planned a fitness photo shoot for our Instagram handle, @NYCfitfam. This gave us a fun reason to focus ourselves and make a joint, sustainable plan that we could both follow together. We’ve also signed up for the New York Marathon this year, a bucket list goal for both of us! We can’t wait to hit our training runs together all summer. Doing it together ensures we’ll actually follow through.

The most successful relationships are the kind where both parties feel they are transformed into the best versions of themselves by being together. Having a built-in life partner is such an amazing opportunity for growth if both people are on board with a genuine desire to evolve on a daily basis.

 

I have developed some simple tricks with my husband to help keep each other on-track and support our mutual goals of becoming better every day. Here are a few we find helpful:

 

1.    Become accountability buddies

·      Keep each other on-track as accountability buddies. Here’s how it works: say one of us is heading to the gym with a plan to run four miles. We’ll set the intention by letting the other one know our plan, and then we’ll send each other a picture of the treadmill dashboard at the end to prove we completed our goal. It seems simple, but it really mitigates that “maybe I’ll just do three miles and hop off” thinking and helps towards achieving goals and feeling proud of yourself after the workout.

 

2.    Share a daily gratitude text together

·      Getting grounded in gratitude is a terrific way to develop a positive mindset and reframe negative any thoughts that creep in. We like to do it mid-morning once we’ve begun the workday and may be starting to feel the typical anxiety of our respective workloads. We share one thing we are grateful for that day, and spend a moment focusing on all of our positive gifts from the universe. It makes the small minutia of work stress seem a lot less daunting in the grand scheme of things.

 

3.    Set a daily meditation practice together

·      Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or a beginner, everyone can benefit from getting quiet, centered, and focused. The problem is, most of us say we want to meditate but then never do it. We kept reading about successful people who made meditation a part of their morning ritual and realized if these CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of industry could find a few moments to get quiet, then we probably could too. Making it a joint practice can be very helpful. We like to use Gaiam’s Meditation Studio App, which has short (some 2- and 5-minutes) meditations. That’s truly all it takes to feel the positive benefits of meditation.

 

4.    Calendar your workout schedule for the week (and make it a non-negotiable!)

·      Sunday is a great day to take a look at your week together and schedule your workouts. Once they’re set, help each other make sure they are a priority. Work and family life can get hectic, but without prioritizing wellness, we are no good to anyone else. Make sure you’ve made any necessary arrangements (pack your bag the night before an early workout, arrange childcare, etc) to ensure you don’t get stuck having to change your plans at the last minute.

 

5.    Set goals together

·      Sign up for a 5k, or even plan a warm weather trip (hello, bathing suits!) so you have an end-goal in mind and can work backwards from there with a training & nutrition plan. Recently, we planned a fitness photo shoot for our Instagram handle, @NYCfitfam. This gave us a fun reason to focus ourselves and make a joint, sustainable plan that we could both follow together. We’ve also signed up for the New York Marathon this year, a bucket list goal for both of us! We can’t wait to hit our training runs together all summer. Doing it together ensures we’ll actually follow through.