This summer, as with every summer, one of my main goals was to be healthier and workout more. And as we know, the hardest part of working out is actually starting the workout... which you won't do if you hate every minute of it, especially if it's something that takes you over an hour. But there are lots of fun options for working out. And even if they aren't as intense as one of those rougher workouts, you're much more likely to keep at it, which is healthier than taking a week off between workouts. Here are a few tricks I've found through these first two months of summer that have kept me working out regularly without getting bored.
Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide has 28-minute workouts, using minimal or no equipment. And you can do it while watching Netflix. (Follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration: @kayla_itsines).
2. Turn to YouTube.
You can find workouts you love on YouTube. Right now I'm watching a lot of videos on a channel called Boho Beautiful, where you can do pilates, yoga and fun workout challenges (most videos are around the 15-to-20 minute range, and all you need is a yoga mat).
You can also listen to podcasts while running or on a bike or elliptical. As much as I love audio books, I find them fairly easy to zone out to, while podcasts feel more as though someone is talking to you, making it easier to stay engaged. While music is also great for cardio, if you're trying to go for one of those longer workouts, you might find it easier to keep going if you're interested in listening to something that goes on for a half hour rather than a few minutes. I recommend the podcast "Stuff You Should Know" (thanks, Allison for telling me about this). I also like to watch Crash Course videos on YouTube; you can learn a lot about a new subject or even study while you're working out.
I know. There's a little part of me that hates swimming. Mostly because I can't listen to music and/or podcasts (see #3). But, if you can do three sets of ten to fifteen laps (which doesn't take that long), then you can tread water. Which sounds awful... unless you set up your phone on the side of the pool and watch your favorite Hulu show while you tread water. (And while taking breaks, unless you're a superhero and can tread water without stopping for a half hour.) Like with podcasts, you'll want to finish the show, you're less likely to give up after the first two minutes, and it'll give you more motivation (ex: "I can keep going until the next commercial break!"). And you get to multitask, getting a tan while working out.
This is coming from someone who used to think 3 a.m. was an appropriate bedtime: going to bed around midnight (or earlier if you can, but I've always been a bit of a night-owl, so earlier is kind of impossible for me) automatically makes you feel healthier, even if you used to go to bed at 2 a.m. and sleep until 10. And then, when you start to wake up earlier, work out before you do anything else. It's summer, which means it's already extremely hot by noon, and can actually be dangerous to work out, especially if you're not sufficiently hydrated. If you work out before it gets too hot, and before the rest of the day makes you too tired, you've already conquered a significant part of your daily checklist, helped your body wake up and started your day off right with exercise.
6. Healthy foods.
A lot of people, myself included, joke that we work out so we can eat as many cookies, pieces of cake, etc. that we want. But if you take that logic in the opposite direction... the healthier you eat, the less you need to workout and your body will use your food more effectively if you eat healthy. I'll never be a true health nut because of my love for chocolate, but I've noticed that if my breakfast is mostly fruits and veggies, I'm much more likely to continue that pattern throughout the day. And while no, a bowl of strawberries is no bowl of ice cream, they are still a yummy snack. (Pinterest has tons of healthy recipes that are delicious if you need some inspiration.)
I get much more excited about working out if I actually like what I'm wearing. I know I'm not alone. Find a few fun workout outfits to wear, to keep you motivated on the days you would rather just stay in bed.
Have a happy and healthy summer!