• Sarah Ballan

How I Stay Motivated to Work Out

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Although many of you think it is my job to “work out,” it is actually my job to instruct others on how to do so, specifically indoor cycling - (WADDUP FLYWHEEL SPORTS!) While I do break a sweat and get a workout when I teach my classes, I do not consider that to be my exercise because teaching classes does not allow me to push myself the way I would in a personal session. Feeling that momentary breathlessness and breaking the boundaries of my comfort zone is what gives me the exercise high that I crave. It’s easy to stay motivated and active when the weather is nice and skimpy clothes are stylish. Now that it’s colder and trendy to wear more layers, we may not care as much about preserving our toned stomachs, which are fading quickly, along with our tans. Here are a few things that keep me motivated to work out no matter the season.

1. New music. I often find myself scouring the internet, sucked into a wormhole on Soundcloud or youtube - no, I do not not have Spotify for the millionth time - on my never-ending quest to find the latest and greatest hits or remixes of the classics. There is nothing better than a hot new remix to switch things up at the gym. Even when I’m walking around the city, headphones in, my mood and motivation are greatly impacted by my music choices. Click through my Soundcloud (linked to blog) to check out and download some of my favorites! If I’m ever in a music rut, I shuffle my library to rediscover old songs and go from there. It’s also fun to take new instructors’ classes and feel inspired by their instrumentals.

2. Set RITUALS. Literally change your lifestyle to incorporate some sort of physical activity that will get you closer to your actual, tangible, sometimes numerical, GOALS. Ex: I want to run a half marathon (goal), so I will run 3x a week after I brush my teeth in the am (ritual). Get into a routine that works for you. Once you’ve trained your body to work out X amount of times a week, you will feel weird not doing it. And remember, getting started is the hardest part SO….

3. Get a Gym Buddy. Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated especially as it begins to get colder. You opt to couch potato it instead of sweat it out. Making a pact with another person holds you accountable and keeps you on your feet (and off your ass).

4. Switch shit up. Once you’ve established a baseline workout routine, be sure to spice it up and ADD new things to it. Routine is nice because it keeps you grounded, but it’s always inspiring to try new workouts to keep your body moving in different ways. Although I am an avid indoor cyclist and teach 11+ Flywheel classes per week, I am always surprised by how sore (the good kind) I feel when I immerse myself in another kind of physical exercise, whether it be another boutique fitness class or something completely different. Classpass has TONS of options if you wanna go that route. My favorites include Fitting Room, Y7, and Barry’s Bootcamp. Go ice skating in Bryant park with a friend. Walk or run the reservoir and enjoy the foliage while the leaves are still on the trees. Walk home from work instead of public transportation...just a thought. I look forward to my lengthy walk home from the Flatiron studio to my Upper East Side apartment. Why? Because it’s my me time. I go at my own pace, listen to my own music, and enjoy being by myself. It’s oh so mentally and physically therapeutic.

5. Keep a fitness journal to write down goals and check off accomplishments. What’s better than crossing something off of your to-do list?! Yes, that was a rhetorical question, but TBH I cannot think of anything. (Comment if you disagree).

6. TREAT YOSELF. Splurge a little. Seriously. I’m talking about stuffing your face and spending some of your paycheck on quality (workout) items. If you want Chinese food, then f*cking order Chinese food. Obviously you shouldn’t only be eating greasy foods on the reg for other health reasons, but it is OKAY to indulge once in a while. Another thing I like to splurge on is fancy workout clothes. I feel good when I look good. There is NOTHING worse than working out and feeling uncomfortable. Workout clothes can be expensive, but I have found that investing in higher quality spandex and supportive sports bras are totally worth it. Athleisure...so in right now. I’m obsessed with Emily Hue leggings because they are lightweight and the colors and patterns are FUN. The ones I own have lasted me two years thus far and still remain in perfect condition. Plus, they’re high-waisted and super flattering. Ultracor leggings excite me because I love their chic designs and breathable material, although they are pretty pricey. I’m also super into the Victoria's Secret Sports Bras because they run according to your bra size. Sometimes I feel I am not completely supported and don’t want to be bouncing around on the bike, so I highly recommend this brand to keep the girls under control ;)

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