I want to preface this with an important note: there’s no wrong type of exercise. You’re not wrong for only doing cardio and you’re not wrong for not wanting to do it. You’re not wrong for liking pilates over circuits. Your body doesn’t know that you skipped week 7 in your 12 week guide – those other 6 weeks didn’t go to waste. Your body doesn’t know that you didn’t want to hit that last muscle group today. Your body is exactly what you give it. What you eat, what you do with it, what you drink. It isn’t the guilt you project onto yourself and it doesn’t know your successes or failures. Be grateful for what you do and be graceful about what you don’t do.
Q: Which is better for your body and why: yoga, Pilates, or weights?
This is honestly a personal preference and has a lot to do with what you’re trying to achieve. Look at the body TYPES (not the bodies) of people who lift and then people who are dedicated to a practice. They’re shaped a little differently because they train their muscles to achieve different things. I think the best way is to go about it is to not feel boxed in by one way of living. Just because you do yoga does not mean you can’t lift too. In fact, it helps prevent injury in a lot of cases. Honor what you enjoy, need, and crave.
Q: I’m not a morning person. But if I put off working out until the end of the day, I won’t do it. How can I get my workout in?
UGH I was the same way until I got a dog and am required to be up early every day.
- Take your mornings to respect your body’s natural cycle. Use this time to gather yourself, meditate, and read. In the afternoon, get your energy up with Runa tea, a shot of espresso, or maca powder, and with will power. It isn’t always fun but it is worth it. You have to want it bad enough, and you have to want to fulfill the promise and commitment that you made to yourself.
- Could your sleep habits be causing you to not have the energy in the mornings? Try going to bed before or around 10pm and see if that makes it easier to work out in the morning.
There isn’t a time that is easier to bust your butt than others, but you have to just be willing to put in the effort and make the commitment.
Q: What are the best foods to eat before working out?
If you need a snack before you workout, it should be light and energizing. Shoot for something that will raise your blood sugar, like fruit carbs. A handful of nuts and fresh berries, an avocado, or a piece of gluten-free almond butter toast are a few good options.
Q: What are the best foods to eat after working out?
Eat eat eat! You just burned off a ton of calories and exhausted your muscles. Carbs and protein! Your body is ready to absorb good foods. If you can’t palate a full meal right after a workout, one of my favorite ways to get your nutrition in is with a smoothie or green juice (or both)!
Q: How can you reduce belly fat and flatten your stomach?
Abs really are made in the kitchen so nutrition is key here. Avoid trans fats and sugars. Really just cut out processed foods as much as possible. It depends on your body’s makeup, something that only you will know and should discuss with a doctor, but for many people – cutting back on carbs in general help reduce belly fat. Cardio is the best form of exercise to slim down this part of your body!
Q: What kind of beauty products should be in every woman’s gym bag?
ONE OF MY FAVORITE TOPICS
So for starters in my gym bag I ALWAYS keep a pack of facial wipes. My favorite is the Deep Purification Wipes from Pacifica. I also keep a facial moisturizer, deodorant, lip balm, and essential oils. A dab of lavender or lemongrass on your chest and neck does wonders for your body (and that post-workout smell).
Q: Tips for people who are having a hard time committing?
Sucky advice – but it is mind over matter. Set reachable goals. Set goals for today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Get a fitness tracker and download MyFitnessPal. Hold yourself accountable. Also get your boyfriend or girlfriend or best friend or mom or your dog (running buddies?) to join you on your fitness journey. Work together and hold each other accountable. Small small decisions make up a large effort. Just focus on the tiny decisions and set yourself up for success.
Q: What to eat? Cheat days?
Hm hm hm
This is a hard question to answer because there’s not necessarily one way to eat. One person’s fuel is another person’s poison. Let’s start with the easy stuff – gluten, dairy, sugar. Those you can for sure cut out. If you have trouble cutting out dairy, try switching to grass-fed products, goat cheeses, and buffalo mozzarella. They’re easier for the body to digest. After that, you have to see what your body responds best to, where you feel your healthiest, and you can even discuss further options with a registered dietician. For any dietary changes you do make, give your body at least 2 weeks at a time to adjust before making positive or negative evaluations.
Q: How often should I workout?
Shoot for about 5 days per week for a couple of different reasons. You want to maintain a habit, so if one week you’re doing 3 days it’ll be a lot easier to go down to 2 or none than to pick up more days. Try to stay consistent. Your muscles take time to grow and you have to be diligent, but also be sure to listen to your body and take rest when you need it.
Q: Are abdominal exercises effective if I want to lose extra fat around my stomach?
You can do 8000 sit-ups every day, but if you don’t have the nutrition to back it all up, your work won’t pay off the way you want it to.
Check with a doctor or RD before making any changes to your diet or workout regimen!