What I'd like to do is talk about some of the tools I use to help me with, not only choosing what exercises I'm going to do, but help get me through my workout. The first thing I want to let you guys know about is my secret weapon. I discovered it while renewing a subscription to Women's Health magazine, which is my favorite and the best health magazine around that relates to real women, I think so anyways. But you can choose whatever health magazine strikes your fancy, whether it's Women's Health or maybe Self, Shape, or even Oxygen. They're all good, honestly. I've read at least one issue of them all. And all have great workouts and eating plans as well as healthy recipes in them. I love to see a food that I eat on a daily basis, listed in my Women's Health magazine. It makes me feel like I'm ahead of the game!
Now back to my secret weapon...are you ready? TA-DA! That's a picture of it directly to the right! This book was the best $30 I've ever spent! This book has so many different exercises in it and different actual workout's in it, it's mind boggling. I carry this book with me every time I go to the gym. I've had it for so long, I know the majority of the exercises and the variations of exercises by heart. But, I keep it with me when I workout as a reference. Women's Health did a fantastic job with this book. And I've suggested it to several people, and I've never had one person tell me they didn't like it. It even has nutrition suggestions and cardio suggestions in the back, The Big Chapter of Nutrition Secrets and The Best Cardio workouts.
I know, you're like,"Buying this book isn't going to make me workout." You're right, it might not. Because, ultimately, you have to want to make a change and see a difference in yourself. But when I got this book, I couldn't want to get to the gym and do all of the exercises and workouts AT ONCE! Now this book is really good for people that are SELF-MOTIVATED, like myself. If you are not self-motivated, then this would not be a good investment for you. Maybe you'd do better with a personal trainer (if you can afford that), or in a group training session. I happen to know a very good personal trainer, should you want that to be your option. But for the folks that are self-motivated, this is the key!
What I love about this book are the variations. Say, you decide you don't want to do an exercise because it's too difficulty for you (or you think that's the case anyways), fear not! There is an easier version of that exercise listed.
Let's take the push-up, for example. You may feel a regular push-up is too difficult, or maybe you've never even done one before. Well don't let that deter you, because you can do an incline or modified push-up instead! Think a regular push-up is too easy? Then go with a weighted or stacked feet push-up. The point is, there's no room for excuses. And you do not need a gym membership, to do the majority of these exercises or workouts either. Live next to or near a park? Great! Take your book and get to work!
I could go on for hours about this book honestly, but I won't. Because the reality is, you can workout all you want, but if you're diet isn't healthy, it doesn't matter. Yup, it doesn't matter.
And so, we tie it back into diet and eating healthy. Because, as I said in the beginning, they go hand in hand, skipping down the street, waving at you as they pass you by. Another tool that I use to help me maintain my diet and goals, is an app called Lose it! Need to track your caloric intake, exercise, and weight? There's an app for that! I love the Lose it! app for all of the reasons I just stated. I get to track the food and drinks I intake (including alcohol), the workouts and calories I've burned, and my weight. And what's cool is, you create a program for yourself when you first download the app stating what your current weight is and what your goal weight is. And voila! It automatically tells you how many calories you can eat a day! The program can be modified as well. And I'll tell you what, once you see how many calories and fat are in some of the stuff you record in the app, it makes you think twice about eating it again. Even with alcohol (GASP!). I have an iPhone, so I know it's available in the app store, but not sure about Android or iPad. But don't worry, they have a website, loseit.com. Check it out, if you like! Or use whatever other app, you'd like. Or maybe even just a notebook and a pen. Or if you're employer offers services like that (as my employer does with Shape up and Go!), take advantage of it. Especially if it's free or at a discounted rate, if it works out for you anyways.
The next thing I want to mention is invest in a heart rate monitor. I have one by Nike and I love it! It keeps track of your heart rate while you're exercising, has a stop watch and keeps track of the calories you've burned. Talk about instant gratification! Seeing that you burned 975 calories in a 55 minute workout sure does make you feel good! And it makes you want to continue doing what you're doing, including eating healthy.
The final thing I want to mention, what's a good workout without some good MUSIC!! I love motivation, and listening to some of my favorite songs is very motivating. I love high energy dance music to listen to when I workout, but maybe you like heavy metal or rock. Whatever gets you going, use it! Don't have an MP3 player? That's cool. Just use your phone. Invest in an arm strap for your particular phone, and listen to music on your phone while you workout. Too worried that you'll be on your phone responding to texts or posting on Facebook or Twitter (cuz you gotta let EVERYONE know you're working on your fitness and all) when you're suppose to be working out? Put it on airplane mode, my friends. Or just don't pay attention to it. Don't want music taking up memory on your phone? Download Pandora. It's free and you can listen to whatever artist or genre you'd like. No excuses. Here are my top 10 most favorite songs I gotta hear when I'm working out, what are yours?
- 212 (Tommie Sunshine remix)-Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay
- Feel So Close-Calvin Harris
- Lights (Bassnectar Remix)-Ellie Goulding
- I Got You (Antillas & Dankin Club Cut) feat. Maxoc-Cristian Marchi
- You and I-Medina
- Titanium feat. Sia- David Guetta
- Sun is Up-Inna
- Turn it Down-Kaskade
- I'm in Love (I Wanna Do It)-Alex Gaudino
- Gold-Antoine Clamaran