I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far- and are staying strong as we work our way to Friday and another weekend ahead. Just a couple of days left and we’re free!
Tonight after I leave my office, I’ve got to head over to Cambridge where I’m meeting an old friend of mine I haven’t seen since this past Summer and some of his co-workers/business associates for a belated holiday party they had invited me to. The plan is dinner and an escape room experience- which should prove to be interesting. My closest friends and I were at each other’s throats the last time we all got locked in a room together for an hour- so it should be pretty entertaining to see how it goes with a few complete strangers!
This past weekend saw me actually escape the city instead, however- as I headed out to Western Massachusetts (and a bit North into New Hampshire) to jump start my New Year’s fitness regimen and spend a little more time outdoors and in nature- and hiked a good portion of the forest surrounding Mount Grace.
It’s been an odd mix of rain and snow here these past few days- and Saturday was no exception. I ended up bringing an umbrella with me to avoid getting sick because of the low temperatures and on/off sleet. It helped a little, but made some of the navigating and balancing myself as I stepped across wet/icy leaves and steep inclines a little difficult. I admittedly took more than one tumble during my trek- but thankfully no serious damage was done!
Best of all? I captured some really nice photos as the fog rolled in and out. You can click on the photos below to enlarge them!
There’s apparently a guard tower that you can scale to get a better view of the forest and surrounding areas- but I didn’t get an opportunity to locate it. That, and with the sun setting early these days- I also didn’t want to chance getting lost in the woods in the dark!
I’ll definitely have to go back and find it when the weather clears up a bit.
I’m hoping to be outdoors some more this coming Saturday/Sunday, although with everything I have planned- I think most of my time is going to be divided between driving to and from- and being indoors with friends and family as we celebrate belated birthdays and milestones that were overlooked around the holidays.
But I’m off to get some work done before the pandemonium goes down in Cambridge tonight. Here’s wishing you all a great rest of your Wednesday!
I’ll be back on Friday with a peek into my Winter wardrobe- provided I make it out of the escape room, of course!
If you’re wondering if I’m currently buried under feet of snow- the answer is yes. Yesterday’s “Bomb Cyclone” (another, unintentionally funnier way of describing a Nor’Easter or massive blizzard) started bright and early yesterday morning, just as I was headed to work- and powered on through the afternoon and last night. Shoveling proved to be a waste of time since driveways and sidewalks were covered again in less than an hour’s time. After about 3-4 passes up and down my walkway throughout the day- I finally gave up and saved the bulk of the cleanup for this morning.
My back, shoulders and arms are killing me right now- but I suppose it sort of makes up for not being able to get to the gym yesterday, right? It was sort of like an impromptu weightlifting and strength-training day- although it was very cold.
Speaking of which. With the New Year underway, many of us are pushing hard to keep up with our resolutions so we don’t throw in the towel by the end of the month- only to promise ourselves we’ll succeed next year by the time December 31st rolls back around again.
And there’s a good chance that one of the resolutions on many lists involves getting into better shape/losing weight/staying fit/living healthier. It’s a great goal to have- but it’s also one of the more challenging ones to keep up with. It’s easy to get discouraged, sidetracked, distracted- and it’s even easier not to get the momentum started because of procrastination/hesitation. “I’ll start tomorrow” turns into “I’ll start next week”, which turns into “I’ll start next month-” and before you know it- the whole year has gone by before you even realize it.
Believe me- I’ve been there. Multiple times. A lot of people have.
From everyone I’ve ever spoken to has reached a road block in terms of working out/getting fit- more often than not- their reason for it is one surprising thing: they’re afraid to go to the gym.
As someone who had to overcome that fear on my own- I get it. There is the fear of judgment. There’s the fear of not being able to keep up with others. There’s the fear of not using the equipment properly- or even the fear of overdoing it and getting injured. I think more than anything- there’s the fear of failure.
But 2018 is YOUR year- and I’m here to try to keep you motivated! Aaptiv, a fitness app– created this infographic to help those struggling with gym related anxiety overcome their fears. Check it out!
Above are some surprising statistics and some really sound and helpful advice from Aaptiv- and I’d also like to touch base on some of them.
You are worth taking that first step – First and foremost, it’s great that you want to get into better shape and be healthier- and you should be really proud of yourself for even considering making that commitment because it’s going to take time, dedication, and hard work. That being said- as daunting as going to the gym can be- try to remember that the payoff is worth powering through whatever initial discomfort you might feel once you’ve gotten started. You’re going to look better and feel better- and feeling better is what’s important.
Nobody at the gym is there to point at you or gawk at you – That self-conscious feeling gets the best of all of us- and although you might feel eyes on you in spin class or while you’re wiping down your equipment after you use it- try to think positively. Like Aaptiv said- everyone is there for the same reason- to get healthy. Just because someone might be looking at you doesn’t automatically mean they’re mocking you or judging you. They might just be watching your technique for when they use the equipment you’re on, or they might just like your outfit and are wondering where you got it- or they might think you look amazing and are appreciating the results of the work you’ve been putting in. Whatever the reason- own it and just focus on you- and nobody else.
Socializing helps squash any lingering feelings of awkwardness – One way I’ve opened up at the gym and have felt more comfortable is by talking about my goals with the people in my yoga or spin classes. It’s always nice to both give and receive feedback, and it makes going to the gym so much easier (and feel so much more welcoming!) when you know you have people you can smile at and say hello to. I’ve also found that some of the people in my classes offer great insight for at-home exercises/programs they participate in- or other classes that might be really fun to try and that I otherwise may never have heard of!
Don’t get discouraged and DON’T give up – It can be really disheartening to work out every day for a couple of weeks, get on the scale, and not see any immediate results. It might even make you want to just call it quits- but I’m telling you not to. I’m telling you to keep going. Nothing worth achieving ever came easy- so get back in there and keep working hard- because eventually you’re going to see and feel a difference!
Talk to a trainer and gauge what they recommend if you’re looking to change/add more to your routine, too! It never hurts to learn new techniques or different methods that can help you get closer to achieving your goals.
When all else fails, turn it up and tune it out – On the days where I’m struggling to stay motivated and/or can’t seem to concentrate- I make sure to get a thumping, pumping and upbeat playlist going through my earbuds. Not only does it drown out any noises I might not want to listen to while I’m working out- but it makes the time go by SO much quicker, too! Aaptiv has plenty of updated playlists- featuring some of today’s hottest and most popular artists/songs- to choose from!
And now, for a limited time for the New Year- you can get access to Aaptiv at a reduced price (because who wants to pay the full amount when the year has only just begun?) When downloading Aaptiv in your carrier’s app store- use the code GETFIT for a 20% discount off of a 30 day trial of an annual membership. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the giving has to stop, right? So why not give yourself the gift of a pocket-sized, portable personal trainer to help you get on- and stay on- track!
And if you’d like to share your own tips on how to overcome gym-midation (see what I did there?) or stories of your own triumphs- feel free to leave a comment!
I am very much an outdoorsy type of girl, and while I consider my natural habitat to be pretty much anywhere oceanside or within close proximity to the beach- I’ve never been opposed to hikes through the woods, treks up mountains, or even just a stroll through the park. Of course, New England’s often unpredictable weather tends to make some of those excursions a little difficult (“Treadmill Season” is what I usually call it when I’m confined to the indoors due to things like snow, sleet or the occasional tornado but still need to fit a workout into my schedule!) so I more than make up for lost quality time with the kinder side of Mother Nature once Spring and Summer roll around these parts and I spend as much time outdoors as I can- keeping my body moving and continue getting into and/or maintaining my shape.
… And every Summer, I like to treat myself a little bit for sticking to my guns and working towards my fitness goals all throughout the Winter/Spring by updating my workout wardrobe with a few new pieces, too!
Feeling comfortable and confident are key when it comes to owning any outfit, but especially when that outfit is going to be used for exercising- which, let’s face it- isn’t always the most glamorous thing in the world. Lightweight and breathable fabrics are a must and if you can find anything that is totally and completely equipped to handle sweat- even better!
When the good folks over at Adore Me– the go-to site for designer lingerie at awesome prices- asked me to share my ideal “Athleisure” (athletic wear that can also double as leisurely attire) now that Summer is underway- I knew right away what ensemble I wanted to spotlight. Best part? Every piece of it came from my favorite treasure trove of affordable fashion in Downtown Crossing- Primark! Can you say convenient?
What I love about these stretchy, slimming, and really comfortable purple and black workout pants/leggings is that they give me enough support without slowing me down the way other made-for-the-gym style bottoms can by being made with materials that feel way too heavy or that have any kind of shape wear (literally the most uncomfortable things in the world apart from wearing a suit of armor while doing squats) built into them. These move with my body- which means the fabric doesn’t stretch or tear. I can run, jump, roll, and lift without worrying!
And while the loose-fitting tank top I’m wearing might not necessarily look like anything out of this world- it’s actually designed with fabric that helps maintain a safe body temperature for me no matter how hot I get while I’m in the middle of a workout. Given our recent heat wave- this thing definitely came in handy while I was out and about.
Of course- I couldn’t NOT wear my favorite pair of holograph sneakers (also from Primark!), could I? These shoes go with everything and are just so comfortable that I take them with me all the time- be it to the gym, a local show/concert, or even just to a friend’s house to hang out. I love them! Always be sure you can stand walking/running in your shoes for a while before you commit to them full-time. Nothing slows down a workout faster than sore feet!
Primark has different color combinations of the pants and the tank top- and I own a few more shades so that I can alternate or mix and match while properly caring for/washing these pieces as I go. If you don’t have a Primark near you- I definitely recommend checking out their website (linked above!) to order some of their stuff online.
What’s great about these types of outfits is that I can wear them to the gym but also when I’m out just running errands because the whole thing together looks sporty and comfortable. I just throw my hair back with an elastic or a headband, toss my sunglasses on and I’m ready to go grocery shopping, grab a latte, walk my dog or check my mail.
For these low-maintenance types of outfits, you don’t really need anything more than:
Some decent earbuds
A kick-ass, upbeat playlist to blast through those earbuds I just suggested to keep you motivated and get your blood pumping!
A water bottle filled with ice water so you can stay cool and hydrated- which is always so important this time of year!
A light wristlet to carry around your phone/keys/cards/cash/etc. There’s nothing worse than thinking you left one of the essentials somewhere at the gym and having to backtrack to find them.
If you have your own Athleisure must-haves or tips/tricks- feel free to share!