5 Ways to Make Your Workout Count

This post is written by guest blogger Lauren McAulay.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of working out. I grew up playing sports so being active was part of my life. I played soccer up until college and after my soccer days I was conditioned to work my butt off so I continued going to the gym. I started taking hot yoga sculpt classes that kicked my butt and then moved on to ClassPass and only chose classes that left me insanely sweaty and down right exhausted. If I wasn’t dying at the end of my workout, I didn’t consider it a workout at all. Not saying this is a bad thing but it really depends on the mindset you have around working out.

In the last year I heavily got into the body positive movement. I am a Body Love Coach and self-love advocate. Since I promote positive body image, I started having a different mindset around working out as well.

So here you have it. In my opinion, five ways to make your workout count!

1. Move your body with love

You may tell yourself why does this matter? I get my workout in, kick my butt, and get out of there. It doesn’t matter if I’m loving it or hating it. But no, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! If you are sending signals to your body and telling it that you hate working out, you are suffering, the only reason you are doing it is to burn calories, or just so you can have dessert after dinner; your body knows!

When your body is in a state of hate believe it or not your body is resisting. It’s not shedding the calories, it’s not letting go of the negative energy, it honestly isn’t really doing anything for you. If you are hating yourself or hating your workout you are wasting your time putting yourself through all that suffering. You would benefit 1000x more if you just rested on a yoga mat breathing deeply for an hour. Sending love to your body is a must if you want to make a workout count.

2. Move your body with favoritism

This is when favoritism is actually a positive. The magic of working out is that you get to CHOOSE what you WANT to do. You don’t have to choose a class that makes you run if you hate running, you don’t ever have to step a foot inside a yoga studio if you just don’t enjoy yoga, you can stay away from circuit classes, or Pilates. The beauty is that you get to decide what is your favorite way to move your body!

It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing to do in the entire world is just take a nature walk or a long hike or a restorative yoga class because if you love how you are moving your body that’s all that matters. Your body will react to the love and enjoyment it’s receiving!

3. Move your body with encouragement

When I workout I love listening to audio books that help me grow. It could be a personal or business development book that gets my morning started in a positive direction. When there is encouragement in your mind, your workout is much more enjoyable. You can also make a playlist of songs that make you feel good, happy, motivated…if you love workout classes I would only choose classes that have positive teachers that make you feel inspired! Being encouraged during a workout is absolutely necessary to make it count!

4. Move your body without a time limit

You don’t need to set a time when working out. I used to think that anything less than an hour didn’t count as a workout. How silly right? It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze in a 15-minute at-home workout; it’s still moving your body! I would rather move with the time I had than skip it all together because I couldn’t fit in an hour or more that day. On the flip side over working out is unnecessary. Move your body with the amount of time that makes you feel good!

5. Move your body with self-care

Moving your body with self-care means listening to your body when it needs rest. It’s okay to take a couple of days off if that’s what you need. Don’t feel guilty that if you don’t workout every day you have failed. If you still want to move, it’s okay to take a restorative yoga class or a nice walk. Resting is just as important as moving. We need balance in our life and in our workouts. Self-care will make your workouts count!

The next time you sign up for a class, hit the gym, or go for a run, remember to make your workout count!

With (body) love,

Lauren

_DSC1173Lauren is the founder of The Body Love Tribe, a Body Love Coach, and self-love advocate. Her goal is to help women love themselves, love their body, and love their food. She is writing her first book, to be finished by December 2016. When Lauren isn’t spreading her passion, she is cuddling her two puppies, Chai and Livie. Visit her blog here.

Advertisements

10 Things Your Group Fitness Instructor Wants You to Know

As a group fitness instructor, it is my job to guide you through a safe, effective, and hopefully fun workout. I teach 20+ classes a week and spend at least that many hours preparing class formats and playlists. Despite all of that prep and planning, YOU are what makes a class great! Here are a few things you can do before and during class to ensure that you get the most out of your group fitness experience:

1Be on time. Early is on time. On time is late. Plan to show up a minimum of 5 minutes ahead of time, 10 to 15 if it is your first class. This is especially important for classes with personal equipment settings (ex: spin). No one is perfect and things happen, but do your best to be ready to work at the scheduled start time.

2Tell me if it is your first time! When instructors ask if anyone is new, we aren’t trying to call you out or embarrass you; it just changes our approach. For example, if everyone has been to class before, we might forgo an extensive overview of equipment or class format. We also might explain exercises differently or work at a different pace. Speak up! Everyone was a newbie at some point and we want you to have the best, and safest, first experience possible.

3Be mindful of your placement in class. If you have never taken a particular class before, or know that you will need to modify, don’t put yourself front and center, but don’t hide either. If you will need some guidance, make yourself accessible for your instructor. On the other hand, if you are a regular and you know you can keep up with the pace of the class, step up and be a leader in the front. You don’t have to have flawless form or hit every single rep to be a great example for newer students but it is a great way to step up your game and push your limits.

4Bring water. I know this seems like a common sense “duh” statement, but so many people neglect to bring water to class. Everyone needs water. Even if you don’t like to drink during class, you should be hydrating immediately after. Little things like this can affect your results more than you think.

5Be prepared. It doesn’t take long to check a website (the studio’s or Sweat and Repeat) or make a phone call to find out if you need to bring anything to class. Ask if you will need shoes, a towel, grip socks, a mat, etc. Having everything that you need ensures you get the best and safest workout possible.

6Listen! Process what your instructor says before you decide that you know better. A great instructor will often explain why, but sometimes we don’t have time to explain every detail of the method to our madness. You’re paying good money for our professional guidance. Trust the process unless an instructor has given you a reason not to. Unfortunately, as with anything in life, there are going to be a few bad apples out there. If someone is asking you to do something way above your ability, or an exercise that doesn’t seem safe, you reserve the right to sit it out or modify. Trust us, but don’t allow yourself to be bullied.

7Be humble. Know your limits but also know that challenging your body and getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to create change. When necessary, grab a lighter weight, work at a slower pace, or use a more beginner modification. Sometimes it actually takes more strength, discipline, and body awareness to know when it’s time to pull back. It’s not weak, it’s smart.

8Disclose injuries. Or course I’m not a doctor, but if you have any kind of injury or issue, tell me. I will monitor your form and give you appropriate modifications.

9Contribute. When I ask how you are, I really want to know. If you’re not crazy about being vocal, give me a thumbs up, a head nod, something! If you’re non-responsive, I don’t have much to work from. If you are worried you’ll be the only person who responds, don’t be. You’ll win your instructor’s heart forever if you contribute vocally in an otherwise silent group.

10Good vibes only. Class is your time. Every bit of work you put in comes back to you, and your workout is a great time to work through stress. When you walk in to a class, you are joining a team. Your energy affects the people around you, and vice versa. We all have bad days, even your instructors, but when you walk in to class you should hit the “pause” button on your bad day. Be present and focus on the current moment, work hard, and I promise you you’ll leave feeling at least little lighter and happier.

kelly_opt (2)Since 2009, Kelly has been an in demand instructor, teaching indoor cycling, Cardio Barre, TRX and Pilates reformer classes throughout Southern California. She graduated from USC with a B.A. in History and a minor in Neuroscience. As a Celiac, she has a wealth of gluten-free cupcake knowledge that she is willing to share. Kelly is the lucky owner of a very cuddly rescued red nose pitbull named Napoleon Bone-a-parte. She prides herself on her cycle playlists so much that she’s pondered quitting fitness altogether to pursue a career as a DJ. Not really, but those playlists though…

Check out one of her classes at Bespoke Premium Cycling Studio, Aura Cycle, TRX at AuraYoga, or Cardio Barre|Beverly Hills, Woodland Hills, Studio City, and DTLA. All available through ClassPass.