Even though the summer has officially ended and bathing suit season is over, it is important to stay active and in shape! Exercise is very important to your health. Plus if you workout and keep your fitness a priority through the fall and winter, you will be ahead of everyone else who makes New Years resolutions to get in shape and people who scramble to get in shape before summer!
I work out at my apartment gym mostly and incorporate runs and hikes outside into my workout. My boyfriend works at a very nice fitness club where I have a membership (thanks to him!) but I haven’t used it because I feel awkward working out with my free membership. I guess I should just suck it up and go and take some of their wonderful Yoga and Pilates classes!
Some important things to remember about your workout!
Warm Up With Cardio
Cardio is very important to your fitness regimen. It helps get your heart pumping, keeping it healthy and functioning properly, and helps with weight loss. I like to start with cardio and on some days I only do cardio. I like to run, because my ultimate goal is to run a marathon! If you don’t like running, you can walk/jog or use the bicycle, elliptical, or stair climber.
Take it Outside
Fall weather can be a perfect time to take your cardio outside. It is great for running, long walks, or hiking! Being outside can help distract you from the task at hand. It’s always nice to have a better view than the treadmill! Plus, I find it is very helpful to stick to my longer runs if I run a distance away from the house and then have to come home.
Weight training is also very important for everyone (men AND women)! This is where you really battle your fat and boost your weight loss. It builds strength and muscle tone, giving you a fit and lean appearance. With an only cardio workout, you ONLY burn calories while you are doing your cardio. With weight training, you burn calories long after you have finished lifting weights – your muscles use more energy to repair themselves.
Some of my favorite weight training exercises are: dumbbell curls, lat pull downs, tricep extension, pushups (maybe not one of my favorites but definitely a great exercise), leg extensions, and dumbbell row. I can do another post to show you how to do these exercises if you are unsure!
Do Those Squats
Squats make your butt beautiful and give you strong, defined legs! These are always a big part of my exercise routines and there are a variety of exercises to choose from. You can do regular squats, squat jacks, jumping squats, and squat holds. I include lunges into the squats category, so there are also regular lunges, side lunges, and skip/jump lunges.
Obviously for those beautiful, defined calves! I like to incorporate them into my workout while I am catching my breathe or waiting for a machine. I often do them while brushing my teeth or cooking!
I save the abs for the end of my workout so that I can lay on the ground for as long as I want when I finish. Because I workout in our apartment gym, I usually save abs until the house. There are so many wonderful ab exercises, but here are a few of my favorites: crunches, reverse crunches, russian twists, leg lifts, scissor kicks, and bicycles. There are really so many great ab exercises.
Don’t Forget To Stretch
It is very important to stretch after you work out and on days you don’t work out. Stretching improves flexibility and can help prevent you from getting injured during future workouts! Maybe take a day off working out to try a Yoga class.
Lastly, Do Not Get Discouraged!
It will take some time to build up stamina and strength, so don’t feel discouraged when you can not last as long or lift as much as other people at the gym. Do not get upset if you get sore or tired, it means your body is getting stronger! Also, do not get discouraged if you gain weight at first! Muscle weighs more than fat, so you will likely gain weight as you build muscle before losing weight.
Remember, it will take time so don’t rush yourself and overdo it! Have patience!