What I do to work up a sweat and stay sane (most of the time)…
For the majority of my life I have been a pretty active person. I grew up playing competitive tennis – an average day for me when not competing would consist of at least two practice sessions on the court plus a general fitness workout (either weights, endurance, agility etc). This totaled a minimum of four hours of activity per day. The time was already built in for me and I never had to think about scheduling my own workouts or the type of sessions that I needed to complete. However, all of this changed after college once I started working at my first desk job and realized that it was up to me to plan, schedule, and actually show up for any type of physical activity. For the first few months, it was an absolute struggle as I got used to working a 9 to 5 and was not entirely sure when/where to workout in a new city. It wasn’t until the past year or so that I think I finally found my stride and today I wanted to share what my current sweat session routine looks like as well as my top pointers for sticking with it.
I have a lot to thank Classpass for as it inspired me to partake in group fitness classes and basically re-instilled my love for being active. It is an app that you download and pay a monthly rate to attend a variety of classes throughout the city that you live. When I originally signed up it was only $100 per month for access to unlimited classes in DC. Unfortunately since then, they have had to change their model and now it costs about $100 per month for 10 classes. Definitely not as amazing of a deal, but still a great option as it works out to about $10 per class (much cheaper than any studio rates that I have seen!). Also, you can always add on additional class packs, should you want to attend more each month.
Classpass is what pushed me to experiment with new types of classes/studios that I had never done before like barre. It also reintroduced me to workouts that I had enjoyed in the past like pilates, yoga, and spin. Those are the primary types of classes that I attend and I feel like between the four of them, I get in a good mix of strength training, stretch, and cardio. Keep in mind that through Classpass there is a ton of trial and error. I have found some studios that I absolutely love and go back to time and time again and others not so much. At the bottom of the post I have rounded up some of my favorites in the DC area (a few you can also find in my DC City Guide). Some of them are national/regional chains or franchises, so it’s worth checking to see if there is one in your area as well. Overall, I think the number one benefit of group fitness classes is that they motivate me to actually go. For most studios on Classpass if I don’t cancel 12 hours prior, I will be charged an additional fee. While this may seem strict – it actually forces me to get my butt out of bed and some days we all need a little external motivation 🙂 (I know the worst part of any workout is actually getting there and then the class tends to whizz by).
The next fitness app that I discovered and has made a huge difference is Aaptiv. (Funny – I did not know this was turning into a fitness app post!). Regardless, this is another one that you can download to your phone for about $10 per month. I actually found out about it via this article on Into The Gloss. I believe that there is a 30 day free trial so that you can test it out as well. This little download has been an absolute savior once Classpass changed their policy and unlimited classes were no longer a possibility. We are lucky to have a gym right downstairs in our building that is pretty much fully equipped – so on days when I don’t have a class scheduled, I just pop down there, put in my earbuds and select a workout on Aaptiv. The great thing about the app is that it feels like you have your own personal trainer. You can completely customize the duration of your workout; type (everything from strength, treadmill, bike, stair master, outdoor running etc.); level of difficulty; and of course select your trainer. You will certainly find some that you love more than others 🙂 Really though – you cannot beat the convenience of this one. Even if you don’t have a gym at your disposal, many of the sessions can be done right from your living room or just by heading outside for a run. The beauty of the program is that you don’t have to put any additional thought into it – the trainer walks you through everything and even selects the playlist for the workout. I would highly recommend this one if you are not such a fan of group classes or just want the flexibility to workout wherever/whenever. (Great for travel!)
In summary, after writing this little novel, I think that some sort of daily physical activity is essential for me. I just know that I feel happier, have a more positive mindset, sleep better, and actually have more energy during the day when those endorphins start kicking in. I think that my next goal is to train for a marathon. I ran a half marathon a few years ago and have always enjoyed long distance running. Maybe this summer is the perfect time for me to get back into that endurance training, we shall see! (Now that I’ve put it out there, I may have to hold myself to that). Let me know in the comments below if you have any fitness goals this year.
Here are my top five tips for anyone looking to get back into the workout game:
- Find something you actually enjoy – whether it is running, pilates, spin – you are so much more likely to stick with it if you actually look forward to doing it.
- Visualize doing the workout itself – not just the terrible getting there part. We all know that showing up is the worst; there are a million reasons on any given day I could convince myself that I can’t go – I’m too tired, busy, have errands to run etc. So instead try and think about how much you enjoy the actual class or how great you will feel afterwards.
- Get it done early! I don’t always do this as its not always possible dependent on schedules, but nothing beats the feeling of having your workout complete by 7:30am. You will feel amazing the rest of the day, I promise.
- Be open to trying new sessions/studios – variety is the best way to never get complacent or bored with a particular workout.
- Download a bunch of apps. Just kidding – although I really do love the two that I recommended!
Sorry this was such a lengthy one, but hope it helped anyone looking to make some changes to their fitness routine.
P.S. For some extra motivation check out this post for a few jazzy new clothing recommendations.