• April 6, 2016

    Geek Girls Guide to the Gym: Staying Motivated

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    Okay, geek girls… how’s the gym treating you these days?!  If you’re anything like me… you’ve lost some of your enthusiasm and you’re ready to eat a pint of ice cream and take a nap.  Don’t give in, ladies!  Don’t fail yourself!  You can totally keep up the good work!

    When I started faltering, the best thing I did was to find a group of like-minded people who encourage me and check in about my progress.  They help me stay motivated and not feel bad if I mess up a little once in a while.  My group takes the form of several ladies I work with.  We meet once a week to review our goals and progress.  We also try to incorporate an educational element like how much water a person should be drinking every day or how to read nutrition labels.  This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not!  If everyone shows up and brings a little tid-bit to share, the group practically runs itself!  And, because we all know each other’s goals, we can also encourage each other as we think of it during the rest of the week!  We go for walks together and check in about workouts and water intake.  I’d be lost without these ladies!

    Weights

    In addition to a support network, you can work with a personal trainer or go to the gym with a friend.  It helps to have someone there in the moment to push you just a little harder.  It’s more fun, too!  Some people work with their trainer every week, but I prefer to check in with her every few months or so – I’m pretty good about pushing myself as long as I know what to do.  So, take the time and really weigh what will be the best fit for  you!  The same goes for working with a friend – find someone who will push you, not hold you back.  If you’re at the gym but hardly working… it isn’t worth your time, is it?  Make the most of your time – it’s one of the most valuable things you have!

    Another thing you can do is find a fun group or event that you can attend.  Where I live, there are lots of breweries and wineries, so someone started a workout & wine/beer group where you lift kegs and run around the brewery in order to get a glass of the good stuff when you’re all done.  If boozing and sweating doesn’t sound like fun to you, check out other classes like pole dancing or yoga or biking.  Figure out what appeals to you most and make your workouts fun!  You can also sign up for a fun run like the Color Run or something that benefits a cancer society or other cause you believe in.  This will push you to train before the run and will reward you with a rewarding day of running and celebrating the thing you did.  Most fun runs I’ve been really excited about are about fitness and fun, so they don’t worry about timing you and walkers, joggers, and runners are all welcome (check this out before signing up if you are worried about it).

    Yoga

    As important as it is to have outside encouragement, it’s also important to have plenty of intrinsic motivation.  This can be hard, especially if you have plateau-ed  in your progress.  Some things that help me are:

    • Remember why you started going to the gym in the first place.
    • Make weekly goals/challenges for yourself.
    • If you can’t make yourself go to the gym, make yourself do some exercise at home: youtube yoga videos (Adriane’s is my favorite), Wii fit, bike ride, walk the neighborhood, get some home weights, etc.
    • Treat yo’self – go on a hike, swim in a lake, or some other fun form of exercise.

    The most important thing is to keep trying.  You won’t always be perfect – I know I’m not!  But if you work at it and do your best, that’s all anyone can really ask of you, isn’t it?

    Yoga-Mat

  • August 26, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: What’s in my Gym Bag?

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    A couple months ago I did something I never thought I would do.  Ever.  In a million, billion years.  Brace yourselves, y’all… I joined a gym.

    That’s right, laugh it up.  But joining a gym was actually pretty traumatic for me.  You see, I was never athletic or even a little bit interested in sports or exercise or anything in that vein of existence.  My big thing was always that there should be a point to exercise and it should be fun, so things like hiking and camping, and household chores generally fit the bill (note: chores are not fun, but necessary… so I always looked at it like exercise).  But then, I discovered that I was struggling with some of those things.  I also discovered that my shorts from last summer didn’t fit anymore and my jeans took way too long to pull up over my butt.

    After mentioning it to a co-worker with similar problems, I realized my mistake!  She started asking what I was doing to make it better.  She started talking about her own active lifestyle.  And then she told me the gym near my soon-to-be-new-neighborhood was doing a summer sale and pushed just enough to get me to join.  Damn her.

    So, there I was with a gym membership and absolutely no idea what to do with it!  Being the nerd girl that I am, I did the most logical thing I could think of… Google it!

    Google quickly made it apparent that my first step would be to hit the stores because I didn’t have anything a person needs to go to the gym.  The following is a list of what I decided was necessary at first and have since discovered a need for after having, you know, actually been to the gym:

    Gym-Bag

    Gym bag

     

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

     

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands,  face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands, face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

     

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

     

    Lock

    Lock

    I know a lot of people also bring their ipod/phone and headphones, but I find that too cumbersome.  I hate headphones anyway and the gym plays music so loud that I’d probably hurt my eardrums if I turned it up enough to block out the outside noise.  I know a lot of people also shower at the gym and would therefore need shower shoes, a big towel, and shower supplies.  I will never be so comfortable that I could get nekkid and shower in a public space… but to each her own.  Fortunately, the face wipes also work great on armpits and other sweaty areas, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me to go from the gym to the movies, or shopping, or whatever.

    Anyway, I hope this helps my fellow non-athletes who are ready to move towards a more active lifestyle.  Looking the part and being prepared really helped me adjust to the atmosphere and actually go to the gym.  I’m planning to follow up this first step with another installment about what to actually do once you have your gear and are ready to work, so keep an eye out for more!