Continued from yesterday’s Part I…
It’s hard to start a workout routine, but it’s even harder to stick with it.
Early October of 2013 I started a workout routine of Pure Barre on Monday, running on Wednesday, Pure Barre on Thursday, and another run on Sunday. At first this was new and exciting and I was waking up the days after my workouts and feeling sore, a sensation I yearn for when I’m working out. But after a couple of weeks and then weeks of this schedule, I realized I had found new motivations exercising, motivations that I had never had before! Here are the new motivations I found were pushing me to keep going with my workouts:
Monday and Thursday night Pure Barre: The thing about Pure Barre classes is there is definitely a learning curve. For the first month or so I was learning new exercises, perfecting my posture and technique, and honestly just trying to keep up with the pace of the class, which can be pretty intimidating at first. But by the second month, I started noticing the changes.
I could already tell that my muscles were stronger and more flexible because I could stay in the exercises for the whole thing and get lower in my splits! And not only that, the instructors were not correcting my form as much and instead were complimenting it. And although these may seem like little changes, these made a big difference to me! This was something I hadn’t experienced in any sort of exercise class before. I had real evidence that I was getting better! Plus the motivation of taking 100 classes and being part of the “100 Club” gave me something to take baby steps towards 🙂
It’s been almost two and a half years now and I’m still going to Pure Barre. I’m still getting stronger, still getting more flexible, still learning new exercises, and still seeing new results so I couldn’t be happier.
Wednesday night run: For someone who had only ever run in suburban settings before, running in an urban setting was something completely new. And my friend, who happens to be a marathon runner, knew the city a lot better than I did. So not only was I getting to know a friend better, I was also getting to know the city. I was learning how the Seaport District connected to China Town, which connected to Copley, which connected to Back bay and so forth and so on. I started to really feel comfortable and excited about discovering and learning new routes every run!
After about a year or so of this routine, we decided to stop at a Whole Foods across from my friends apartment to grab dinner to bring back to her apartment. We watched Jeopardy and chowed down and decided that we should do it more often! We were getting a good workout in, with good food, and good TV (depending on who you ask) with good company. This quickly became our weekly Wednesday night routine. Running simply became the first part of a three part evening that led us to food and fun 🙂
Sunday run: There are two types of runs that I go on on Sundays. One type involves running with my friend (same friend that I run on Wednesday with) but a longer distance and usually to some place where we can indulge ourselves with a big brunch. If running to a restaurant with a big ole brunch isn’t motivation enough, I don’t know what is.
The other type of run I go on on Sundays is a longer run in my hometown back in the suburbs. I find running long distances here is easier because there are less stops and less pavement running, which usually gets to my knees after about 5 miles or so. At first, I wasn’t running for longer distances, but I started getting to the end of my runs and feeling like I could go for longer, so I would add a mile. And even though this was only a mile, I gained a real sense of accomplishment after adding to my longest run! Which made it a grand total of 6! The next time I would try to run 6 and if I felt good enough, I would run 7. The trick was, I never pressured myself to run longer than my longest distance. I would only plan to run a long distance and if I couldn’t make it the whole way, I stopped, but if I felt good by the end of it, I kept going. I’m by no means a marathoner but this way of thinking has got me up to running 10 miles which I’m pretty proud of.
I know these methods and schedule of working out may not help everyone, but I hope they may help some of you find some new types of motivation that could possibly work for you!
Overall, here are my top tips for sticking with your workouts:
- Find a class that is challenging and that after a little while (maybe a couple of weeks), you can see yourself improving in.
- Find a class that rewards you for completing X number of classes.
- Find someone to workout with and stick to a schedule with them.
- Make your workout with them part of your hangout time that leads to something you look forward to (a means to an end in a way).
- Run to a place that you actually want to go! (Brunch for me)
- Only push yourself to repeat your best performance and if you feel like you can, go beyond it. You’ll already have built up the motivation to crush your record cause you’ll be so close to it!