At the gym this morning, I grabbed a magazine and jumped on an elliptical for a sweat session. About 15 minutes passed before I realized that I wasn’t moving very fast, and I hadn’t even started sweating yet. (So much for a sweat session!)
There’s nothing wrong with an easy workout every once in awhile, but I wasn’t pushing myself at all this morning. I was peddling so slowly, it actually felt like I was wasting my time. Wasting time at the gym is one of my biggest pet peeves (i.e. classes starting late), so I switched my music to the Lady Gaga station on Pandora and started doing intervals on the elliptical (1 minute on; 2 minutes off). Surprisingly, pushing myself made my workout fly by”” even more so than reading a magazine.
Here are some other ways that help me take my workout up a notch:
- Use artist intervals: Lady Gaga’s music always gets me going, so when I listen to her station on Pandora, I pick up my pace every time I hear one of her songs play. Sometimes, I’ll even pick two artists if I really want a challenge (i.e. Lady Gaga + Katy Perry). The ”˜shuffle’ option on your iPod would work the same way.
- Find contagious effort. A few weeks ago, I was on the treadmill next to a woman, who was really kicking butt running at a fast pace. Just being next to her motivated me to pick up my pace too. Her effort was contagious, so now I like to find these people and exercise next to them. (I’m such a creeper.)
- Add 5. My lucky number is 5, so I use it as a way to challenge myself in my workouts. I always stop my cardio workouts at 5-minute intervals, and I like to do 15 reps when I am strength training. I challenge myself by doing an extra 5 minutes or reps at a time. Sometimes, I’ll tack on an extra 15 or 20 minutes (or reps) to my workout because I keep adding 5 onto my workout. It’s a small amount, but it adds up!
- Don’t get comfortable. A few years ago, I did the same 45-minute elliptical workout almost every day of the week. I loved it because it was familiar and easy, but it didn’t challenge me at all. If I find that I’m getting too comfortable with a workout, I stop doing it and find a different workout. For instance, Body Pump is getting a little boring, so I’m thinking about trying Cross Fit!
- Embrace weaknesses. Remember when I took a Pilates class last week? Instead of getting down on myself about my lack of core strength, I’m using it as an opportunity to challenge myself and try some new workouts. Pilates is already on the agenda for this week!
Today’s lunch was a bunch of random leftovers from the refrigerator, but they came together nicely for a delicious and very satisfying meal. There wasn’t a lot of steak leftover from last night’s dinner, so I added some spicy lentils for some extra substance.
In the mix:
As an afternoon snack, I enjoyed two servings of apple crisp. One serving of this deliciousness is rarely enough for me.
SHAPE Best Blogger Awards
VERY exciting news! I was nominated for the SHAPE Best Blogger Awards: Healthy Eating Blogs That Make Us Go Mmm…! Wahoo! What an honor! Finding this out the other day put the BIGGEST smile on my face!
You can vote for your favorite healthy eating blog here!
I can’t believe how quickly today flew by! Enjoy the evening, friends!