For self-proclaimed “gym rats,” like myself, Pottruck isn’t exactly intimidating anymore. In fact, I relish the part of my day where I don’t have to work, talk, or even really think. However, there are two parts about working out that I will never stop despising.
1. I always look awful
I can’t help it, but when I run I want to be comfortable. I also don’t want to spend a fortune on Lulu Lemon pants and Nike athletic shorts. Does it really have to be this way?
Not anymore. When I learned Forever 21 had launched a line of active wear, I was inspired. Offering sports bras in cute cuts and spandex galore, Forever 21’s athletic gear makes dressing up for the gym seem easy. Time to spice up my routine – and I’m not just talking about my cardio. Here’s what I learned.
First, brighten up! Spring’s about to get sprung, so why not add some color into your gym look? Not only will it raise your spirits if you’re dreading your workout, but also you’ll be eye catching.
Second, flatter yourself. If you’re at the gym for a specific reason, show off what you love about your body. Been working hard on the stairmaster? Get some great shorts! Toning your arms? Find a great spaghetti strapped top with a built-in sports bra.
Third, go tight, but not too tight. Wearing oversized clothes isn’t flattering on anyone, and it can even make a workout harder to wear clothes that will fly around. If you’re uncomfortable showing off your form, find spandex pieces in dark colors that aren’t suffocating.
And finally, avoid that ratty old something-or-other. I always resort to that baggy old tee shirt or the Penn sweats I bursared last year. When I do that, I never want to stay at the gym because I know I look terrible. Buy a few cute pieces you’ll enjoy being dressed in and your workouts won’t suffer.
2. I get bored.
Who of us doesn’t get sick of the same old 30-minute elliptical followed by crunch routine? Going to the gym is such a drag when there’s nothing new for you to do. I found myself counting the minutes until I could leave, or finding excuses not to go at all when I began hating my regiment.
So for those of us who want to keep exercising, but are falling into a slump, here are my tips.
First, switch your machine. Don’t fall into the excuses – “But I’m not a runner!” or “The bike isn’t even cardio!” Getting your heart pumping in new ways is actually really good for your body. Try adding in a new machine for a small period of time in order to help the transition. Doing different exercises for shorter periods of time will help your workout go faster!
Lift weights. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to be huge or look like a guy, but studies show that lifting light weights actually increases your metabolism and helps your body from breaking down your muscles and breaking down fat instead. It’s not all about cardio people! If you’re really against it, only workout areas you really want to see changes in. Trust me, you’ll see results.
Get outside! The weather’s warming, so find fun things to do outside. It sounds simple, but running on the river or doing yoga on the green might just be what gets you excited to work out.
And last of all, do it with friends. Again, maybe this sounds like a dumb suggestion. But, I find that spending thirty minutes on a machine telling my friend about my weekend isn’t painful at all. Kill two birds with one stone – get your sweat fix and your gossip fix!