I went through a rough breakup and my chubby-ish became chubbiness. I woke up one morning determined to lose the weight and I did–I still am. But I didn’t just begin losing physical weight. To my surprise, exercise helped me work through a lot of the emotional baggage I was holding onto. Whether you’re a former athlete or a newbie, here are some of the tips I employed along with some I wish I had known when I was first starting out again:
- Slow and steady wins the race (not like the Olympic race but the race of your life): Start out slow and with workouts you know you like. Soccer, swimming, Zumba. U do u boo. Focus on establishing your routine for about a month and then you can start challenging yourself by stepping outside of your workout bubble.
- Embrace the rest day: Your muscle fibers tear while working out, especially weight lifting. They tear so they can grow. Rest days not only help repair and develop these muscles, but they also give you a good excuse to catch up on the Shondaland you missed last Thursday. EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are over 21, we highly suggest enjoying the occasional red wine on your rest day. Red wine is good for the heart and the soul. Also white wine is toilet water.
- Build out your perfect Gym Playlist: I ran a very official experiment about a year ago. The hypothesis: Working out is exponentially more fun with a good ass playlist; Dependent Variable: Me; Independent Variable: a good ass playlist; Control Variable: 3 mile run at 6am; Conclusion: working out is approximately 10,000x more fun with said good ass playlist
- Don’t be afraid to brag: Sure, there will be about 10 people who will bitch and moan about your Facebook check-in at the gym but delete those people from your friend list and from your life. Using social media to keep yourself going can be great motivation—you might also reconnect with a friend who goes to the same gym and voila! Instant workout buddy. Plus post workout selfies are much prettier and more badass than contoured Kardashian selfies because endorphins make you happy, duh.
- Apps we love: MyFitnessPal, DietBet, Fitbit, C25K (Couch to 5K), MapMyRun
- Switch it up: If you’re a human and not a racist, sexist robot made by Microsoft, chances are you’ll get sick of doing the same thing every *clap* single *clap* day *clap*….my suggestion? Switch it up with an after work gym class or join a fun league. There are soccer/kickball/basketball/softball leagues everywhere…and if you can’t find one, start one! Or go out rock climbing! Or go run on the beach in a red, lifeguard bathing suit! The point is, change up the boring gym routine once in a while.
- Focus on your ~*FEELINGS*~: Stop checking the scale and start checking your mind. The scale won’t accurately reflect your progress (especially if you are gaining muscle) so instead check in mentally every day by starting a progress journal. Are you feeling happier? More energized? Are you sleeping better? THESE are the reasons to work out. Feeling hot AF and a having a lifted butt are just added bonuses.
- DO WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY: Honestly, this is the most important. Don’t let me, or anyone else, stop you from letting your freak flag fly. So if that means that you want to get your cardio by LARP’ing or by running/walking/dancing in a Color Run then do it. Just make sure you’re doing something because your friends and family want you around for as long as possible <3
TGS will start posting more specific workouts we love as we begin to grow but download this calendar from our friends at PopSugar for starters. Tape it to a mirror or wall you look at every morning to remind yourself what you have to do that day, whether it be cardio/weights/yoga/rest. Happy exercising 🙂