By: Malarie Barineau
For many people fitness is not at the top of their list; however, I have found that working out helps me stay productive during the work week.
When working out on a regular basis, I sleep better, am less stressed and more focused when completing my normal day to day activities. By exercising I am also giving my mind and body time to work through some of the stresses that the work day presents, leaving me energized and ready to tackle the harder tasks that loom ahead.
Why do you work-out? Is it to tone, build muscle, or flatten those unwanted areas or is it because you want to stay healthy? Is your goal to steer clear of heart disease, cancer or diabetes? Maybe it’s to release stress, help with depression, self-confidence, or many of the other benefits exercise provides. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain says, “Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance. Ratey also mentions that “Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain”. I don’t know about you, but exercise can definitely help change my mood. I can go into the gym feeling mad, but I end up feeling as if a weight has been lifted and my mood totally changes when I am done.
Understanding the benefits of working out is easy but actually finding the time and motivation to work out is always a struggle. I have honestly never regretted working out, but it’s hard to remember to do it after a rough day at work or a busy day at home. At the end of a long day, I am often times left craving some HGTV and brownies.
For some people working out is best done during the morning hours, but for others it’s late at night. Working out and making a schedule to stick to honestly takes practice… As moms always say “practice makes perfect”.
Motivation is a big key to working out as well. When I first started working out I had to push myself a lot. There were days I wanted to come up with a million excuses not to go to the gym, but after I completed my workout I felt great. You just need to find out what works best for you. One thing that has helped me keep motivated is keeping a chart or a report of my progress and goals. Just like at work, I have created an excel spreadsheet to help me keep track of different timelines, goals and projects. My spreadsheet helps me keep track of what I have going on each week and throughout the year. Programs like insanity and T-25, come with a chart to help you track your progress. I created my own and have found that sometimes just the OCD alone will make me do the workout when I am lacking in motivation. (T-25 Calendar from http://www.workout-calendar.com/focus-t25-workout-calendar/)
After reading some of the benefits listed above, if you’re currently not taking the time out of your day to work-out, why not start now? A close friend of mine currently writes about life and fitness (http://thefitamericanfamily.com/). Back in August she wrote a blog titled “If Nothing Changes, then Nothing Changes.” She discusses decision making and how to see results. Here is a short piece from her blog:
“Each decision you make, no matter how small or how large, is either getting you closer to where you want to be or taking you farther away from it. Every little decision and action adds up over time to get you to where you are right now. The compounding affect over time has resulted in this life you love or one that could use some improvement. Deciding not to take action or make changes is still a decision. You are deciding to sit back and hope for the best. If nothing you do changes, then nothing will change. If you are not happy where you are physically, financially, relationally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. what are you doing to change that? Nothing stops you from getting the success you want besides you! Everything you do matters. What might not seem like a big deal right now may eventually impact you, whether it be positively or negatively. It might not be until you reach your level of tolerance before deciding to make a change, but why wait until it is raining to fix the leaky roof?” I agree with Marissa on this. Decide to take action and improve your health which in turn will benefit you day in and day out.
You may struggle at first to find out which fitness and/or workout plan works best for you. Don’t limit yourself to only one type of workout, try them all. What works for you may not work for someone else.
Here are a few that might spark an interest:
- Free Weights
- Walking/ Running
- Workout classes
- Spin Class
- Sweat Therapy
- T25, Insanity, Jillian Michaels, & other workout DVDS
- Personal Training and much more!
Which will you try?