6 Ways to Make Working Out A Little More Enjoyable

They say the hardest part about getting where you want to go is getting started. Now I don’t know who ‘they’ is, but you get my drift. This applies, more than anything in my opinion, to working out and staying fit. It’s no secret that it’s tough to maintain a healthy workout schedule on top of our good ol’ 9 to 5’s, traveling, maintaining our social lives and attempting to get at least seven hours of sleep at night. This does not mean it’s impossible, though! And, to be honest, it really is essential to start thinking about it while you’re still young.

For me, working out started out as a way to lose weight in an attempt to feel better about how I look. I dropped about ten pounds before I hit a plateau. That plateau lasted for a long time and let me tell you, it was frustrating. After expanding my knowledge of fitness and working out smarter, I realized that, for me, I need my workouts to be different, fun and last no longer than an hour.

Whether you’ve been working out for a few years like me and need a change or are totally new to the gym, the main thing I’ve found that works best for me is this:

Make your workouts fun. 

I promise you, it’s possible to look forward to your workouts. Probably not every time. But maybe you’ll get excited for your Thursday night workout because you’re excited to try that new ab routine you found on Pinterest or you’re really looking forward to your Saturday morning barre class because you love your instructor. It’s all about finding the little things that pump you up. Here’s a few of my favorite tips:

1. Work out with a friend

With our busy, crazy schedules it can sometimes be hard to find a friend who has the same fitness goals/mindset as you, the same schedule as you and enjoys the same workouts as you. But, once you find that workout buddy, having someone to hold you accountable is a real motivator. If you make plans to go to a 6 a.m. yoga class with me and then bail, I will not be a happy camper. Key point being, if you don’t want to make your friends mad, you’ll probably stick to your workout if you’ve made it a date.

unnamed-3
| rooftop Cyc class with Kelly of Kale Me Kelly & fave Cycologist Lillian |

2. Go to local events

I’m always on the lookout for events in Atlanta hosted by local fitness studios. It’s fun to get out of the studio and take a class somewhere totally different. I’ve done spin class outside of Lululemon, barre class in a park, a rooftop spin class – the possibilities are endless. Sometimes there’s even swag bags and free food or drinks (ummm hi.) Such a good opportunity to meet people near you over common interests and a great workout.

3. Get outside

I am not an outdoorsy person, but there’s something about taking your workout outside that makes it different and – dare I say it – enjoyable? I loathe running on the treadmill, but you may get me out there if we’re running a pretty trail or going on a hike for a little sight-seeing. Especially with Fall weather coming up right around the corner, I’m excited to do a little more outdoor exploring in place of some of my usual workouts. Seriously, how pretty is this view?

hoochtrail
| Chattahoochee Nature Trail in Vinings |

4. Make it an experience

I stole this one from this ClassPass post because I loved it so much. I am always go-go-go, hardly ever taking a minute to breathe – wake up, rush to get ready and eat breakfast, drive too fast to work, sit at a desk all day, change and rush to my workout class… you get it. So why not make your workout an experience? Take a little extra time and schedule a class when you can enjoy all the studio amenities or even the surrounding area afterwards. One Saturday morning, I took a 9:30am spin class at Torq Cycle, took a steamy shower using all their goodies (their bodywash smells sooo good) and took my time getting ready for the day. After that, I walked to Arden’s Garden, picked up a Spinach Slam smoothie and headed to a foot massage at Feet Retreat just down the road. It was the perfect lil’ Saturday Me Day. Next on my list is a nice, long sauna sesh at Forum Gym after a Cyc class!

5. Keep it interesting

This is really the whole reason I signed up for ClassPass in the first place: I was sooo bored with my workouts. For me, boredom led to half-assing my workouts because I literally just did not want to be there doing a million bicep curls and running. If you need something to keep you stimulated, I really recommend trying out some local fitness classes or even exploring the vast workout video library that is YouTube. Seriously, I’ve found some killer workouts on there. I obviously love the Tone it Up workouts (will do a full blog post on this later) and also am a big fan of Fitness Blender‘s HIIT videos.
Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 10.25.58 AM

| FORME & HungryGirlsDoItBetter Barre to Brunch Event |

6. Make plans afterwards

For some reason, I find that I look forward to a workout much more if I know there’s a cold cocktail or delish brunch waiting for me at the finish line. This may be a litttttle contradictory but like, you don’t have to order five mimosas, the French toast and a bacon and cheese omelette at brunch after a workout – just saying. It happens sometimes. Totally fine. But, maybe if you work out before, you’ll be even more inclined to stick with, maybe, two mimosas and an egg white omelette. You can just sneak bites of your boyfriend’s French toast anyway. My point here is, again, to make it fun for yourself. Jog a trail near you then stop for appetizers on a cute restaurant patio or plan to spend your morning at your fave coffee shop after a pilates class. I recently attended a Barre to Brunch event where we took a killer barre class and all made plans to have brunch together after. Seriously, whatever gets you excited.

Hopefully these tips help you to find the fun in your workout! Have any more that work for you? Would love to hear them! xx

5 Must-Try Fitness Studios You’ll Love

As a big ClassPass enthusiast, I’ve tried my fair share of workout classes in the Atlanta area since my membership purchase back in March. If I haven’t talked your ear off about ClassPass yet, you can learn more about it here. For $79 a month (price changes by location), I have access to tons of boutique fitness studios that typically will run you at least $100 for a month of unlimited classes – and that limits you to ONE type of workout. I don’t know about you guys, but I need some serious variety in my exercise routine (and a sweaty, pump-me-up Spotify playlist) or I get soooo bored which leads to total lack of motivation. And flab. No one wants to be flabby. So whether you’re a part of this fast-growing fitness fad or just curious as to where you should try your next workout, I wanted to share a few of my absolute favorites.

BLAST

This hour long HIIT workout is definitely one of the hardest I’ve tried since joining ClassPass. I usually take the Wednesday class with Bri at 7:15 and it is definitely no joke. The class is designed with cardio (think treadmill sprints and lots of inclines) and resistance training portions. You work in “blocks”, switching off from the treadmill to the floor for each block and finish it all off with a much-needed stretching session.

Torq CTorqycle

While I don’t get there during the week very often, I love spending my Saturday mornings at Alex’s 60-minute ride. If you’re newer to spin, I’d recommend starting with the 45 minute classes and eventually trying out an hour. I was hesitant at first, but you’ll find that pushing yourself that last 15 minutes is much easier than you think – and you burn a decent amount of extra calories! Alex and his wife Katie, owners of the Westside boutique cycling studio are both so accommodating and encouraging and truly care about the experience their clients receive.

FORME Studios

I first took one of Donna’s classes when they were offered for free at Atlanta Activewear and immediately took to her energy, spirit and enthusiasm as an instructor. She recently opened her own studio in the Buckhead area and I was so excited to see FORME on the ClassPass roster. I love Barre Fusion but without a doubt, Cardio FORME is my favorite – probably out of all classes I’ve tried in Atlanta. It’s a dance-based, high intensity cardio and toning class that literally makes you feel like you’re in a Spice Girls video. Disclaimer: I have no rhythm. Like at all. But the moves are simple enough that even I can do them. By the end of class, you’re pretty much gasping for breath because you’ve worked so hard and I’d consider that a workout win in my book.

Pink Barre

While I do appreciate a good barre class, I usually find myself getting bored and wishing I was breaking a sweat. For me, working out “smarter” is a big thing I’m trying to focus on – spending my workout time in the most efficient way possible. That’s why I love Pink Barre. They offer Barre Cardio and Barre & (Kettle)Bells classes that work your entire body in an hour so that I feel accomplished (and very sweaty) when class is over.

Exhale (Avalon)

This studio, located in the posh Avalon development, is a great place to get a killer workout in. My favorite classes are Core Fusion Extreme with Kristin and Core Fusion Bootcamp with Malaika. Both are sooo good at what they do and are super sweet and encouraging – make no mistakes, they kick your butt though. Whenever I feel like giving up in class (which is fairly often – mountain climbers with the TRX whaaaat?!), they really come through with the motivation to push yourself a little further.

I hope that talking about my experience with these studios can help motivate you to try a new class this week. Let me know if there’s any other classes you’d like my opinion on – chances are, I’ve tried it. If there’s any you’ve been wanting to try but don’t want to go alone, let me know – would love to go with you!