You know how there's some people who can just eat whatever they want and not seem to gain an ounce? Well, that's not me! Lol, there's a myth though that I'm one of those "lucky ones:" someone who can eat anything they want and not have it affect them, body-wise. But let's be real here: I love food too much and I just don't have the body-type that would allow me to do that -- unless I worked for it.
I stay in shape just by following the two simple, famous rules of healthy living:
Exercising Regularly and Eating a Well-Balanced Meal.
That's it! No secrets! I don't necessarily diet or follow any strict rules, count calories or starve myself from the goodies I love so much. For me, it's just all about balance and dedication: I enjoy the good / junk food here and there but I don't over-do it. And for exercising, I've learned how to prioritize it into my regular lifestyle. That's the key!
How It Started
I've been exercising at home since I was 16. I started because I saw my mom do it first. She was committed to her home-aerobics, eating right and before we knew it, she had lost weight and was getting compliments from people everywhere she went. She looked fantastic! Then there was me -- an awkward 16-year old who was feeling gawky, teenage-like and uncomfortable in my own skin. I longed for the fit body and positive reinforcement my mom was receiving.
Then it occurred to me -- well, what's stopping me?
My mom exercised at home using just the music from the radio and no gym equipment. She had a routine that included some stretches, cardio, stomach and leg workouts, and a sort of "dance / shake-off" at the end. I watched her, joined her and then I started doing it by myself, adding in my own moves over time.
And I've been doing this ever since!
And even still, I'm no toothpick or anything, and I never will be. But I know my body is healthy and kept active and for that, I am content and grateful.
Here are some tips and pointers I use that could help you as well!:
Where Do You Workout: In the basement (if the basement is unavailable then I'll use my bedroom as a last resort). The basement is great because there's lots of space down there, it's cool, and it's easier for cardio. It also muffles the music to my playlists very well.
How Often Do You Workout And For How Long? I typically workout between 3-4 times a week, anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes to the most an hour.
What Do You Wear?: Any old clothes I have that are lose-fitting and comfortable. I wear sweats, old soccer shorts, old t-shirts and two sweatbands.
What Kinds Of Workouts Do You Do? I do a big mixture of stuff -- jog on the spot, air-punches, jumping jacks, sit-ups, leg kicks and sometimes just random dance moves!
When Do You Workout? I actually don't have a set schedule. Really, I exercise whenever I have a free night or once or twice on the weekend (if it's not a busy one!). I play it by ear and just make sure it's frequent.
How Do You Find The Time? In all honesty: I make time. Even if I'm tired or "busy" or have other plans beforehand. When it comes down to it, if something is a top priority, you learn to make the time for it and eliminate the excuses. Even if it's only for a 20 minute session! ('cause hey, life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes!).
What Do You Workout To? I always have a playlist lined up. I save the more upbeat songs for my cardio exercises and the more low-key, melody songs for my end-stretches and cooling off periods. A lot of the times too, I exercise while watching TV. If it's a Friends episode, I'm laughing (laughter is good for stomach muscles and endorphins!) and if it's a Hills episode, well it's my motivation for wanting to look as glamorous as the ladies in Hollywood. I've actually always wanted to invest in a workout CD or DVD as well!
Do You Weigh Yourself? I don't. If I feel healthy and am happy with myself, I don't feel the need to. (Keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat!).
What If You Miss a Workout? Trust me, this happens more than you think! Lol. If I do or can only work out twice a week instead of three, I try to make up for it the next week.
What's The Longest You've Gone Without Working Out? Probably about a week and a half, I'd say? I wouldn't keep my regular routine up back when I was a student and in the crunch of exams or essay time; and that was perfectly okay! Life happens and sometimes certain things make it virtually impossible to workout regularly, like if you get sick or injured even. Just as long as you more or less pick up from where you left off before and get back into the routine, you're set! Even if I'm on vacation, I'll make the effort to do some sit-ups in my room or take walks (which I love!)
What Keeps You Motivated? Truthfully: Results, and knowing I am taking care of my body and living a healthy lifestyle. Keep your eye on the price! ;)
Who Are Your Inspirations? It's people like Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Duff and Lea Michele, for example, who have healthy, fit and natural curvy bodies that I look to.
Besides Home Workouts, How Else Do You Stay Active? I walk everywhere (one of the few perks of not having access to a car). In the summer time, I love riding my bike, I'm a huge fan of swimming, I play softball and sometimes soccer still, and I even try taking the stairs instead of the escalators (sometimes! lol). I love to stay active, especially in the warmer weather as it gives me a great excuse to be outside!
Do You Splurge? Um -- of course! What is life without splurging from time-to-time on cakes or chips or fried foods? It's one of the joys that's meant to be enjoyed! So I enjoy it. I have my cheat days. And then I just make sure later on to balance out my diet with a chicken salad or a fruit smoothie.
Last Minute Pointers: Drink lots of water! (even I still have a hard time doing this), don't over-do it, give yourself some days in between to rest and always reward yourself :) Like anything, it takes patience and hard work but it will be worth it!
Lemme know if you guys have your own tips or advice for new workout methods!