Six Pointers for Making Fitness a Priority

Today I am teaming up with Kalyn from Geez, Louise for a fun little health and fitness collaboration. We are bringing you six pointers for making fitness a priority. Since this looks different for everyone, we decided to share some of our own personal preferences!

make fitness a priority

I'm too busy to work out-- how do I fit it into my schedule along with all the other things I have to get done during the week?

K: When I started to get serious about my health and working out, I realized I would have to make some sacrifices. If you continue to say you are "too busy" then you will always be too busy to make fitness an important part of your life. The most important factor was deciding to make fitness a priority. Once it was important to me, I was able to make time for it in my busy schedule. 

C: Change your perspective. Are you too busy to eat or sleep? No? Then you're not too busy to work out. I started seeing it as a necessity instead of just something I would do when I had the time. If I don't have time in my schedule, I make time by getting up earlier or going for a run on my lunch break. 

Right before my first official triathlon!
What little things can I do during the day when I don't have time to make it to the gym or get outside?

K: If you have a "desk job" then I highly suggest taking breaks. Set a timer for every hour and get up and take a walk - whether to the bathroom, the break room, or just around the office and back. It will (firstly) get your blood flowing and your metabolism going and (secondly) ease the monotony of the work day.

C: The most important thing you can do to incorporate exercise into your day is to make little changes. I always try to walk when when I can instead of drive (even if that means just parking further away to run into a store), take the stairs instead of the elevator, and stand instead of sit when it is an option. When the weather is nice, my husband and I commute to work on our bikes. It's a built-in workout that has a purpose!

What's the best way to ensure I have healthy meals even on the busiest of days?

K: For me, the most important step is to not buy the icky foods. If I don't have them laying around, I don't eat them. Additionally, when I cook dinner I usually try to make enough extra to take to work the next day. Some people "meal plan" and cook all their meals for the week on the weekends. This can be really beneficial, however there's a lot of time and planning that goes in to it. There are many resources out there for meal planning, prepping, etc, along with other tips and tricks for eating healthy, but I think the main focus should be to be prepared for each day. I try to do this by bringing meals/snacks so I don't find myself in front of the vending machine eying that snickers bar.

C: I don't even buy the unhealthy food in the first place because I know if I have chips in the house they will only last maybe 48 hours. My husband and I also meal plan for the entire month and try to make extra for lunch the next day. I would say 99% of the time we pack our lunches. Making your own lunch is HUGE; otherwise, it's too easy to go eat out which adds about 2x the calories to your meal if you're not careful. Preparation is key and that looks different for everyone. 

I'm tired of the treadmill and the elliptical machine, but I still want to stay active and do cardio a few times a week, what are your suggestions?
K: Get outside! Taking my workout to mother nature is one of my most favorite things to do. A simple change of scenery can work wonders. Other things to do for cardio: swimming, biking, or even an aerobics class.
Kalyn and her husband after biking to the top of a mountain.
C: I would also suggest getting outside or trying a group fitness class. Even just grabbing coffee with a friend on Saturday morning and then going for a walk or hike can help get in some cardio for the day. I'm easily bored so I keep a constant rotation of HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, swimming, running, cycling, and hiking. 

M and I before zip-lining in Costa Rica. 
Do you go to the gym in the mornings or the evenings (or use a home gym, etc.) and why does that work best for you?

K: ​I go (almost) every morning before work - wake up sometime between 5 and 5:30 and go to the gym before I have to be at work at 8:30. When I first decided to join a gym I was working 12 hour shifts and I knew I would want to go straight home and to bed instead of going to the gym and not getting home until 9 or 10 at night. I just carried this on to my current job and now I have whole evenings free to do whatever I like.​

C: I know that if I don't get my workout in before work, I am FAR less likely to work out at all. Since it can be challenging to get up early, I try to make it as easy as possible by packing my gym bag and clothes for the next day the night before, having my lunch ready to go, and making sure my husband knows to harass me when I try to make excuses. If I can't get my workout in before work, I will try to go after or just do a workout video at home. Or just take the day off, because that's PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE.

How do you avoid "workout burnout" and keep yourself motivated to go to the gym or work out after the New Year's resolution phase has worn off?

K: I try to change it up! As I've mentioned, I go to the gym 4-5 times per week and usually I stick to the same routine, but as we all know, routines can get boring so I try to keep a few things in my back pocket for those days when I don't feel like doing my "usual" thing that day. I'll go to a class (such as cx works or zumba), do a fun HIIT treadmill workout, or even *gasp* skip that day. My theory is, if you continually do something that you aren't enjoying, you'll make yourself hate it so much that you never go again.

Kalyn after completing her very first triathlon last spring.
C: Variety and perspective are absolutely key. I don't use exercise as punishment or to "earn" things (and I believe in moderation over restriction) and I am constantly switching up my workouts. Even though I am training for a half marathon right now, I am also doing strength and speed swim workouts, weight lifting, yoga/pilates, cycling, and basic hiking with my husband and friends. I try to remind myself of my goals frequently and not be too hard on myself if I fall short. After all, exercise should be fun!

What are things you do to keep yourself motivated and on track with your fitness and health goals?

Below you will find February's In the Word in One Year calendar! You can find those from previous months HERE. It's never too late to join us!

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  1. L-o-v-e this! I'm on week 1/day 2 of my hybrid workouts. I hope to finish strong after 5-8 weeks!

  2. So true, you just HAVE to do it. If it's important you will make time. Even if it's a few minutes at home, it's better than nothing at all. We have to go at night, so we go 3 nights a week then I fit in other stuff when I can as well. And food prep on the weekend is a must for me, the only way I can stay on track throughout the week.

  3. Cassie!! You have no idea how badly I needed to see this! I have been struggling so much with making working out a priority. I love to run and work out, and feel great afterwards, but it's getting to that point that takes me forever. Love this!

  4. These are all great tips. I love what you said about making it a priority. You have time to blog, read Facebook, sleep, eat, etc., then you have time to work out!

  5. Loved this post!!! Great tips and information! :)
    I also love that picture of you and Matt before zip-lining! SOOO CUTE!

  6. so so fun! I workout 1-2x a day and that is in between a full time job, commitments every night, cooking all our meals, cleaning, and all the other commitments! To me, it's just like brushing my teeth - it's party of my every day! Love this post!! Love working out :)

  7. It's so great that you have found what works for you! I think it's a lot of trial and error at first!

  8. YAY! So glad you found this useful. If you ever want to talk more, I'd love to chat!

  9. YES EXACTLY. It peeves me when people use being busy as an excuse BECAUSE WE ARE ALL BUSY!

  10. Thanks! And I love it too! it's on our dresser at home :)

  11. I was also doing 1-2 workouts a day when I was triathlon training more seriously-- I can't seem to find the energy for that these days. I think that's also part of what made me obsessive because I would freak if I missed a workout. It's awesome that you have been able to find a system that works for you!

  12. Working out in the morning is such a good habit to get into. It's much easier to make a workout if there aren't activities beforehand that might get pushed back, take longer than expected, etc., which always seems to happen at the end of the work day. Great tips!

  13. Oh yeah! That happens to me to. And in all honesty, I usually just want to bum out after work anyways hahaha

  14. These are such great pointers. I used to work out all the time and now just not as much. I've been trying to train my brain to need it. I think my biggest problem is not having like minded friends. A lot of my friends don't work out so they don't understand when I don't want to go out for pub food and would rather be at the gym. The guilt trip is real. I'm trying hard!

  15. That's the truth! Have you tried in home workout videos? Those are super fun and some friends are more willing to do them! try Blogilates or Fitness Blender :)

  16. I used to work for Beachbody so I have all of those workoutS...insanity, p90x, turbofire, all of them haha. I do enjoy them!

  17. This is one of the most quality posts I've ever found on this topic! I always do better if I have a concrete goal (i.e. finishing a marathon, finishing a 90 day challenge), or else I kind of meander without purpose and it never ends well! :)

  18. Thanks lady! I'm definitely with you there.

  19. Thank you for this! I have been extremely unfit since I had my twins (2 years ago!) and my husband and I are just starting to make some big changes, including joining the YMCA. I love what you said about making time for exercise like you do for eating or sleeping. That's the mind set I need!

  20. It was definitely a gradual shift for me, but exercise and just eating well has been so much more enjoyable for me since I've made the change! Best of luck to you two!


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