5 Reasons Women Struggle With Fitness

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Before October of last year, I knew I needed to take control of my health and fitness, but something came up on a daily basis that prevented me from starting the process. Then, one day it hit me; those things weren’t holding me back from becoming fit, I was holding myself back.

Women tend to struggle with making lifestyle changes for many different reasons, but I feel these five points have crossed all of our minds. I am here to break down these excuses and encourage you to take the next step in rejuvenating your health.

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1. We don’t have time

This was my primary excuse. I have four part time jobs (crazy, I know) and a family on top of that. The weekends are as packed as my weekdays, and I can barely find the time to breathe, let alone workout. Women have a lot of responsibility. As mothers, our job doesn’t end when we come home. It’s easy to feel burnt-out between working and taking care of a family. After reading countless blogs that told me to take time for myself, I decided to listen. Working out has become my “me time”. I get to lock myself in my room for 45 minutes or go for a run around the block. That’s the beauty of creating an at-home gym (Get inspired here). Other perks of an at-home gym include no travel time to and from an actual gym and no hours to abide by. This allows me to save my workouts for the end of the day after my daughter has gone to bed or early in the morning before she gets up. That way, I don’t lose out on any family time, and I don’t have to worry about child care.

2. We don’t see quick results

Everyone would obviously love to see fast results, but the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight. Real change takes time. Making these changes requires a lifestyle change, not a 21 day program and you’re done. You’re unfortunately not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Keeping this in mind from the beginning helps ground our expectations and prevents us from becoming disappointed when the weight doesn’t just fall off.

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3. We get bored easily

It’s easy to get bored with the same old gym routine you’ve done a thousand times. Your muscles no longer hurt and you start to lose the drive to workout. Well, this is an easy fix! Mix it up, ladies. YouTube is a great place to get mini workouts or find new moves to add to your current workout. Our bodies like change, so be sure to add new things as you go. You can also increase your weights and reps to get that nice burn in your muscles back. Your workouts should always remain challenging if you want to continue to see results.

4. We compare ourselves

Both men and women are guilty of this. We compare ourselves to others. I think it’s great to have a role model or an image of how you want your body to look, but keep in mind that we are not all built the same. Set realistic goals, and once you reach them, make new ones. Your biggest competition should be yourself, not a three time, gold award winning weightlifter.

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5. We don’t want to get bulky

I am guilty of this. We use the excuse of not wanting to become bulky to skip certain workouts or the workout altogether. For example, when I first began training, I could rationalize skipping arm workouts because I didn’t want manly-looking arms. This isn’t an excuse because in the event you’re gaining too much muscle, you can always make adjustments to your workout. Remember, we workout to tone (assuming this is your goal), not gain large amounts of muscle. Plus, while many of us begin training to lose weight, after the weight is gone, don’t you want something to show for it?

 

As women, we can find a million reasons to not workout, but I challenge you to find at least one reason why you should. Take that and turn it into a reality. Use your reason to fuel your fire and get started today!

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What You Might Be Missing

DSC_0223With today being close to 9 months since I became fed up with being out of shape, I thought it would be a good time to discuss an often overlooked piece to your fitness goals: determination. Let’s face it, passively pursuing a fitness goal, or any goal for that matter, does nothing but put a hole in your wallet with nothing to show for it.

It’s not enough to merely want to lose weight or tone your muscles. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to reach your goals, not just part of them. You have to enter into a fitness lifestyle with goals set in mind and a “can do attitude” to back them up. You have to be willing to push yourself further than you originally expected and never allow yourself to give up.

Determination must be something that sticks with you throughout the process. The second you lose it, you start to lose confidence in yourself. Even when you miss a workout or eat a box of Oreo’s, your determination should get you back on track. You won’t allow a setback to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Your results will drive your determination and your determination will drive your results. They go hand in hand. If you truly want to see a physical and mental change in your health and fitness, the sky is the limit. Believe you can make those changes and don’t quit till you have reached every last goal you set for yourself.

“A dream doesn’t become reality

through magic; it takes sweat,

determination, and hard work”

TIP: I’m a visual person. Therefore, I have learned that having an end-goal in mind makes the steps to get there less painful. I know it sounds cheesy, but find a picture of someone that exemplifies a visual image of your goals. Either print this picture out or burn it into your memory. Going forward, anytime you lose focus, look back at this picture and remind yourself of your goals and why you can’t quit today’s workout after 5 pushups.

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A Look Into “My Gym”

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As I’ve said before, with my busy lifestyle, the gym isn’t an option, but that wont stop me from reaching my fitness goals. With the help of my trainer, I’ve pieced together my perfect at-home gym. I’ve had several requests for more information on “my gym”, so I am writing today to tell what it consists of. No, I don’t have a fancy weight machine, but that hasn’t stopped me from gaining muscle.

In the beginning, I was doing a basic full body workout that I found on Pinterest. The only thing that called for a weight was one exercise, the Oblique Twist, but I just used something heavy around the house. My first purchase for my gym was a set of three kettle bells (5, 10, and 15lbs) and a few dumbbells (5 and 10lbs). As I’ve grown stronger and added new workouts, I’ve bought heavier weights. Target was having a sale at the time of the second weight purchase, so I’m working with mismatched weights. Oh well! Look at this way – my weights add color to my bedroom with the assortment of colors.

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I also got a yoga mat, but to be honest, I don’t use it very often. It doesn’t really seem to make a difference when you’re working out on carpet. My trainer asked me to get bands to add intensity to some of my workouts, which you find just about anywhere. Make sure you get bands that are long enough for your body! Another word of caution: I had to get a second set with grips so I could do kickbacks without popping myself in the head. I would post a video, but I would like to maintain the appearance of a professional.

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Over time, I’ve added new items as my workouts have changed, my strength has increased or out of sheer convenience. For example,  I added a stability ball because the only bench we have is downstairs in our kitchen, and I wanted to be able to do the entire workout upstairs. Little did I know, this added another level of intensity to my workouts. Again, be sure to get the right size. I originally bought a stability ball that was too small.

My gym is very basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. All of my results have come from using what I have at home and the items mentioned above. Even when I am out of town and get to use a hotel gym, I still use the dumbbells and kettle bells. As you become stronger, you’ll need to add heavier weights, but start little and work your way up. I still use my 5lb weights for a lot of different workouts, so your previous purchases won’t go to waste.

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Just because I can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean I can’t workout. If lack of time has prevented you from a healthier lifestyle, I am here to encourage you to stop sidelining your physical health. Go get these basic items, set goals, and get to it! While you’re at it, subscribe to my blog to get more inspiration and tips delivered right to your inbox.

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