Something I haven’t really mentioned on YC but is a pretty big part of my life is working out. For this reason, I figured it’d be a good opportunity to break down my workout routine, especially for fellow students out there who may be struggling to figure out how to integrate an active lifestyle on top of other responsibilities. But in order to do this, I have to start at the beginning.
Back in my elementary and adolescent years, I despised exercise. I tried all forms of dance, swim, soccer, softball, hiking — you name it. I would get bored or feel isolated from the other members of my team because it simply wasn’t my forte. I was convinced my role in life was to be an academic bookworm, and my energies were much better served in that realm. It wasn’t until high school that I started to understand biologically what exercise and eating mindfully meant for my body. Around freshman year of high school, I started to try and consume foods that made me feel good, and I downloaded the Nike Fitness App (a complete savior!) to workout on my own. This was before Kayla Itsines, BBG, HIIT, and even Instagram were popular, and the conveniency was perfect for me. Fast forward all the way through junior year of high school, and I’m maintaining this to a degree. Senior year was a different story, and college applications and a slew of other things threw off my workout routine so that it was more or less nonexistent. And now we arrive at the summer before college…
So, it’s the summer before I’m headed off to school, and I’m determined to making working out a lifestyle rather than a quick fix. I am able to get everything in order and develop lasting habits that work. Summer, for me, has always been the perfect time to straighten out my workout routine, and I’m happy to say that between then and now, I’ve developed a really productive routine I love:
I workout about 5 days a week, but I try to be moderately active all 7. I integrate at least 40 minutes of walking spread out throughout the day, and even more when I’m at school (campus is hilly too!).
I’ve sampled a lot, but the things I do most are 50-60 minute HIIT, BURN, or Core Blast classes at my gym. These involve light weeks and cardio in mixed intervals with repeated target exercises. I also run (did not used to love running at all, but it has become a true love this last year!), use the stair master, and go on a spin bike.
There isn’t any. Normally, it changes on a week-by-week basis depending on my schedule. But my goal is at least one hour of activity, 5 days a week.
It’s not easy in the beginning
You dive in, and the first week is not as glamorous as you’d like it to be. Your body is adapting, and you’re not experiencing the endorphins you crave so desperately. A week of working out, and I promise you’ll love it a lot more than those first few days. When your body starts responding and getting stronger, it’s such a great feeling!
Start a streak
Start a streak, and you won’t want to break it. I’m serious. When I say I workout 5 days a week, the only person I’m going to be lying to if I don’t accomplish that is myself. It’s a whole lot easier when you keep a streak going. Breaking it is such a killjoy. Working out is also easier when you do it on a regular basis — take too long of a break, and you’ll regress to the point where it’s not as fun.
Listen to your body
There are some days I’m simply beat and don’t want to workout, so I stretch a little and call it a day. I don’t spend the rest of the day lamenting the fact that I haven’t worked out. Truth be told, I’m going to have a much better workout the next time if I let my body rest now. I don’t try to create pressure around working out because that’s stressful for me and unproductive. I don’t think twice about the decision and move on.
You don’t have to workout an hour for it to count
Sometimes I go for a 20 minute sprint run with 10 minutes of floor ab exercises, and I count that as a stellar workout. Schedules gets busy and doing something high energy — regardless of how short — can be effective.
Take advantage of free moments
I will bring a change of clothes and workout in-between classes some days when I have a 1.5-hour gap. Chances are that I’d be messing around on my computer and utilizing the time to be active will make me more focused and driven for the rest of the day.
It feels good
A reminder that should be constant. Being active feels good. It keeps you healthier, sharper, and more emotionally equipped to handle whatever life is going to throw at you. Plus, being able to outrun your friends is really fun. 😉
As for the outfit, these running shorts are my favorite this summer!! The bright colors are so fun, and when workout gear is fun, that’s all the more reason to go for run or head to the gym! Also they’re under $20 and super comfortable. They run a little big, but quite frankly I like the fit (I’m a small!) because the extra length prevents irritation I get occasionally on the sides of my legs when I run. The sweatshirt is also from Old Navy, and I love the mesh! It’s currently sold out online, but I’ve spotted it in stores in a few places recently.
That’s essentially my process for working out. I know places like Pure Barre, Soul Cycle, and Orange Theory are amazing for motivational workouts but it’s more than possible to fall in love with activity on a budget by finding ways to use what’s around you. There are always new ways to challenge your body. I love finding new workout moves, so please send me an email or DM me over Instagram if you have a favorite!
Old Navy White Hibiscus Running Shorts // Old Navy White Sweatshirt (similar found here!) // Old Navy Seamless Light Support Sports Bra // Nike Knit Running Shoes (similar found here and here!) // Hydroflask with Sports Cap
What is your advice when it comes to working out? Comment below!