Rolling it all out at Equinox Toronto
Well, we’ve reached that time of year when everyone begins to roll out their fitness-focused (and, let’s face it, diet-focused) content to help us all reset and kick off the new year as the best versions of ourselves. The real challenge, however, is not getting through a 14-day cleanse, or 30-day bootcamp, but staying on track with a workout routine that you can maintain all year round.Yes, that’s a full 365 days of the year!
Now, I am no fitness and health expert and I’ve never claimed to be one. I am simply a girl who loves living life to the fullest, and I make sure that being active is regularly incorporated into my life to maintain a healthy body and mind. Trust me, when a significant part of your job is drinking bubbly at events and eating delicious foods, you need the gym in your life – big time.
Looking through the comments and feedback I received from many of you who entered the #GracieFaves giveaways, I noticed a number of requests for me to share more on my favourite workouts and how I stay committed to my fitness goals. This got me thinking about how I would break down the things that I personally do to stay on track every day, so here I’m sharing 10 things that help me stick to my workouts and fitness goals and I hope some of these might help you too!
Smile even when you want to scream
1. Set An Appointment
My schedule relies so heavily on Google Calendar reminders that I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. If you ever have a chance to see it for yourself, you’ll find reminders set for nearly every 15 minutes of my life whether it’s a reminder to hop on a conference call or pick up groceries on the way home. If something isn’t in my calendar, it doesn’t exist to me – and I 100% blame that on the information overload we deal with today. There’s no exception when it comes to my workouts, and they are ALWAYS added to my calendar. Normally, I sit down on a Sunday to look at my schedule and see where I can fit in my favourite classes before my days get too crazy. Plus, once they’re in the calendar, they become commitments that I schedule around. No excuses.
2. Register for Classes
Accountability is a huge part of showing up to the gym to get your sweat on, which is why I like to sign up for classes – especially popular ones that are hard to get into it. Once you’re in, you can’t cancel! I’m a huge fan of taking part in group classes and I love the amazing range of classes that are offered at Equinox in Toronto. Better yet, Equinox has a fantastic app and website that allows you to sign up for classes with limited spots in advance, as well as a personal calendar to help organise your weekly workout plan.
3. Make It Convenient
Convenience is really key when it comes to working out, at least for me it is! If a gym or studio is too far, I know that I won’t go. I need a place I can walk to (or Uber to) within minutes, and is in a location that works for the parts of the city that I frequent the most. Personally, I love that the Equinox Bay Street location is half way between #CasaGC and King West, which is an area where I can often be found during the week.
4. Wear a Fitness Smart Watch
One of the things I love most about taking time for myself at the gym is the fact that it’s one of the only hours in the day when I’m away from a screen. My laptop and my phone are like extensions of myself at this point, and I really have to remind myself to take time away from both of them. Since the idea of not knowing what’s going on through my phone for a full hour makes me panic, I’ve really embraced wearing a fitness smart watch to help me keep tabs on everything without having my phone in my hand. My watch of choice is the Samsung Gear S2 which syncs to my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone and does everything from help me track my steps and water intake, to alert me of new emails, calls, texts and notifications. This way I can keep an eye on anything urgent (or not) during my workout to help maintain peace of mind, and focus.
5. Find a Workout Buddy
Finding a great workout buddy is not easy, I will admit, but oh boy when you find that special person you better hold on to them tight! This year, I found my ultimate workout buddy in my friend Clara when we both discovered that we were on Classpass Toronto (at the time) and started booking classes together. Because we both work for ourselves, we have flexible schedules and are able to meet up for a workout at lunch time (my preferred workout hour!) and have found that we share a mutual love for a variety of challenging workouts. Like making an appointment or booking a popular class, a workout buddy can keep you accountable to show up, and they can definitely make your workouts more social and fun! It might take a few tries to find the friend that works for you, but, trust me, they’re really worth looking for.
6. Drink a Daily Green Smoothie
The ‘Green Smoothie’ has been a big part of my life ever since I became nerdily obsessed with nutrition about 5 years ago. My friend Dana had told me about a book she loved by a woman named Kimberly Snyder in L.A., and the mega healthy green smoothie recipe she found through her that had changed her life. I’ve been on it ever since and not only does it offer amazing health, gut and beauty benefits, but lately I’ve really noticed just how much it helps me stay on track with healthy eating and choices when my day starts the best way possible – with a green smoothie! As I mentioned, above, I love working out mid-day, so this also makes the perfect breakfast to give me energy without feeling heavy. If you’re ready to try it for yourself, check out my recipe HERE.
7. Wear Great Gear
These days, it seems as though I buy more fitness gear than anything else, but it seems to be the clothing I spend the most time in, so I guess it make sense right? To me, having great workout gear makes a huge difference in how I feel at the gym, and how excited I am to get there, and be there. I mean, I know I’m not the only one out there who loves feeling cute at the gym! My cousin regularly complains about hating the gym and that all of her fitness clothing is old and “frumpy”. Why she hasn’t just gone out to buy some new gear I do not know, but, she’s a prime example of how clothing – even at the gym – can affect your mood and motivation. In fact, the outfit I’m wearing in the photos above was purchased on a whim from the Equinox boutique because I didn’t like what I had packed, and, well, it’s hard to resist a lot of things in their shop!
8. Try New Things, Make It Fun
Does spending an hour on the elliptical machine bore you to tears? Do you hate running? Guess what? ME TOO. If those were my only two workout options, I’m pretty sure I’d never workout. I like to be challenged, stimulated, and I like to be told what to do. Over the years, I’ve tried almost every and any fitness class to figure out which ones work best for me, and my body. In my opinion, working out can either be torture or fun. Running on a treadmill for an hour, to me, is torture, but, an hour of boxing, to me, is fun. It’s really not about finding easier options, to me it’s about finding things that are challenging and that I want to take part in. If you aren’t excited about getting your workout on at least a few time a week, maybe it’s time to re-consider the workouts you’re doing and try something new.
9. Smile When It Hurts
I know people in the fitness and health world are big on mantras, but I don’t really have an mind-blowing ones of my own to share with you here. However, one thing that I think of and practice regularly when I workout is smiling when it hurts. It was in a hot yoga class during a particularly challenging and lengthy pose when the teacher instructed us to smile if it hurts, and work hard to make your least favourite pose become your favourite. I smiled as big as I could, even though I wanted to scream, but I thought it was such a great way to help you work though particularly challenging moments of your workout. Next time you find yourself scrunching up your face from the burn, trying smiling instead.
10. Track With An App
There really aren’t many apps I use to track my health and fitness progress, although I’ve probably downloaded most of them out there. Often I find them a little useless or hard to use and navigate, especially when it comes to calorie-counting apps. Recently I revisited the idea of keeping track of my calories to have a better idea of my daily numbers, and downloaded a new-to-me app that I really like called MyPlate. What I like about the MyPlate app is that you can punch in your food, fitness, and water intake, and it also has a built-in step counter which I think is a brilliant feature! This app makes it super easy to see what you’ve burned and consumed, plus it’s free.
Is there anything you do to stay on track that you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear about it!