By Shelby Livingston| February 15, 2017 |
It’s tough to stick to an exercise regimen, especially when bathing suit season is a few months off and Netflix is relentlessly calling your name. It’s okay—even Chicago’s fittest denizens have days when they struggle to drum up the desire to work out, but they have a few tricks that help keep them motivated. Here, some of the city’s best trainers and fitness gurus share their tips on keeping up with an exercise routine.
“To find the motivation to stick to a fitness routine, I tell my clients to plan their workouts at the same time that they meal plan. While blocking out what to eat each day is more common practice, scheduling workouts for the week at the same time is key. I keep it realistic to my schedule, so I keep them short and effective. I suggest a combination of the 30-minute HIIT class offerings in Chicago, and add in your favorite recovery-type workout from the variety hosted on ClassPass.”
“I am over 40, so when I don't exercise for a few days, it is noticeable in the way that I look and feel. There is an app called Way of Life, which helps me track all of my habits. I customized a list, which includes lifting weights, running, drinking water, avoiding sugar and alcohol, praying, and removing clutter from my desk. I also have a Fitbit, and I am extremely competitive about it. My husband stopped using his, because if he had more steps than me by bedtime, I would tell him I was getting a glass of water and taking a jog around the block.”
“For me, it's about working the whole body in multiple planes of motion. I am really into Gideon Akande's boot camps, because he uses agility work, body weight exercises, and free weights, all with smart modifications to keep you from injuring yourself as your muscles fatigue. He really creates a team experience, so you feel like you would be missing out if you didn't.”
“What motivates me to stick to my exercise routine is what happens to me when I’ve finished my class or workout—the feeling of accomplishment, the immediate release of endorphins, and the results it brings. The hardest part is getting to the gym, but if you remember those three things, then getting out of bed won’t be so tough. After two weeks, it will become a routine and you won’t even question it. And invite a friend to meet you there. Accountability, baby!”
“When temps are low, we as Chicagoans really need that mental toughness to stay active. There are two ways to hold yourself accountable to get to the gym: First, find someone who shares similar goals as you. Having a workout buddy not only makes the workout more fun, but that competitive factor will come into play and push you to work harder than you would on your own. Lastly, find a studio that keeps you coming back for more. Committed trainers, fun fitness activities, and encouraging reminders here and there go a long way.”