As with many people, I really struggle sometimes to find motivation for exercise. Between working full time, studying for the CPA, and trying to find time to wind down and just relax, working out often falls to the wayside. Sometimes this is simply due to being too tired, but let’s be real: trying to plan what to actually DO when you get to the gym can be the hardest part. For the past few months I’ve found myself in a slump of being uncertain as to what to do in the gym. This leads to me going in and doing simple, not challenging enough, low intensity steady state cardio (ie. walking on a treadmill at interval inclines for 40 minutes). And then, since that’s not always all that fun, I won’t be motivated to go to the gym again for a while. A long while. We’re talking weeks here, people!
What’s a girl (or guy!) to do?
If you aren’t already on Pinterest, I’m not quite sure what you’re waiting for! Pinterest is my number one go to for anything: OOTD inspiration, interesting books to read, design ideas for the apartment, hair and nail inspiration for my next salon visit…the list goes on! But the number one thing I use it for is to find good, simple workouts that I can incorporate into my day. As with any internet source, Pinterest is full of some really bad misinformation. For example, you will most likely NOT burn 1000 calories doing a 30 minute workout that includes bodyweight squats, pushups, and jumping jacks only. Yes, I’ve seen that floating around on there. Is that a good workout if you’re starting out and don’t have access to a gym? Of course! But you aren’t burning 1000 calories, I’m telling you that now. On a good day, a day I really push myself with cardio and strength training, I’m lucky if I burn 400 calories in an hour. Of course, I’m also short and weigh in at 136 lbs. My calorie burn is totally different than someone who is 5’7 and 180 lbs. Regardless: don’t think too much on what these handy workouts will say when it comes to calorie burn. Pick a workout that suits your needs and your fitness level. Looking for a good bodyweight workout? Find one that lists a few moves you enjoy. Want to incorporate weights? There are plenty of those on there as well. Check out my Pinterest board for some of my favorite workouts (mostly beginner stuff, nothing too crazy) here!
Unfortunately, even Pinterest can cause some exercise anxiety (or boredom!). If you’re like me, you’ll start seeing the same thing over and over and you’ll feel the need for something new. And this is fine! Changing up your fitness routine is key to seeing changes in your body, and to not getting bored at the gym.
If you’re like me, sometimes you day dream about joining a class. Having an instructor tell you what to do and when and having it all planned out for you is a dream come true. You just have to show up! The problem? That will cost you. And although some gyms have complimentary classes, those classes can fill up. Quick. So if you’re on the way home from work and hit bad traffic and want to join in on that 6pm spin class, good luck finding a spot am I right?
Have you seen this app yet? It’s currently available on the App Store, just waiting for you to try your first 7 days for free. I’ve seen the ads all over Instagram, and I was intrigued. So, I gave it a try. And let me tell you, I’m in LOVE. Workout “classes” are organized by type. You’ll find a full range of workout styles: treadmill , elliptical, outdoor running, cycling, strength training, and more. Just yesterday I went into the gym with an arm workout in mind, but I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do on the treadmill. So I peaked into the Treadmill running category and found a workout that would fit my level (beginner, and slow slow slow). Each workout tells you how long it is down to the last second, the highest speed you will reach, the highest incline you will get to, and who your instructor is. This makes it super easy to pick the perfect workout for you! And, each workout has a pre-curated playlist, just like you would expect of a real in-person class.
Having an instructor in my earbuds telling me the next move, motivating me to keep going, and talking to help take my mind off the workout really helped keep me going. But it wasn’t so much talking that it was overwhelming either. It was the perfect mix of focusing with music, and hearing some encouragement. I definitely ran harder than I would have had I been doing my own self-paced workout!
Even better? After my workout was finished (I gave it a 5 star rating!), a recommended workout pops up to follow up with the one you just did. For me, the Yoga workout for Treadmill Running cooldown came up, It was only 5 minutes, so I decided to go ahead with that one as well. And I’m so glad I did: I hardly feel sore today, and I’m really bad at getting my recovery stretching in normally after a run (oops). The only thing I didn’t so much enjoy about the yoga part is that it’s hard for me to follow verbal instructions with yoga (I’m not much of a yoga person, so I don’t know what these moves look like in person). So if you’re new to yoga, this might be more difficult to follow. I’m sure more seasoned yogis would have no issues!
Another fun tidbit: this app ties in almost flawlessly with your Apple Watch and Apple Health apps! I didn’t recognize this at first, so I was already tracking the workout through my watch as “other”, as you can see in the screenshot. I’d say the calorie burn was on par with what I’d expect for the timing, and it was pretty darn close to what the Skyfit app suggested the burn would be. I will have more certain information on calorie burn actual vs. the app after I test out a few more workouts!
I definitely recommend giving this app a try. It’s $9.99 a month for a subscription, or $24.99 for three months. I get no perks for recommending this app, I just wanted to share it with other like minded people who may need that extra something to get them into the gym.
What are your favorite apps for the gym? And where else do you find your inspiration to live a healthier, more active lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below!