6 Workout Tips You Haven’t Heard Before

At a recent doctors appointment, my doctor brought something to my attention.

“Nadine, you’ve gained 7 pounds since the last time I saw you, less than a year ago…” Like a punch in the gut.

“For someone of your stature, that’s a pretty significant weight gain….” Jab, jab, right hook.

“Have your eating or exercise habits changed?” Bam, uppercut.

Well Doc, if you count the fact that I had not been to the gym since before my trip to California last August then yeah, I guess they’ve changed. And um, maybe I got a little too friendly with the Dominos delivery guy. Also, somewhere around 26.5 years of age, I’m pretty sure my metabolism disowned me.

“You are in the healthy weight range now but if you gain 5 more pounds, you’ll be in the unhealthy range.” Boom, knockout.

So I decided that if A. I want any chance of being “young and hot” again, I needed to hit the gym and B. with my current habits I am never going to live to be 100, which we all know is my ultimate life goal.

I’m proud of myself. I’m actually sticking with it. And I’m doing it differently than I have in the past. Here’s what is actually working for me.

6 Workout Tips You Haven't Heard Before #fitness #workout | www.eastandblog.com

1. Don’t Wait to Buy the Gear

I’ve read articles that say that you should reward yourself with work out gear after you’ve made a habit of hitting the gym. Ignore that advice, it’s stupid.

I can’t be the only woman in the world who used the excuse “but I don’t have any clean sports bras” to pass on the gym. When I decided I really needed to get it in gear, I went straight to T.J. Maxx and bought 4 new sports bras, 1 new pair of capris, and 2 new pairs of athletic shorts. Having clean (don’t pretend like you haven’t re-worn a dirty sports bra) and cute work out gear every day has encouraged me to actually put it on and subsequently, work out.

2. Set Silly Goals

I try to do one Grey’s Anatomy episode worth of cardio every day. That is actually how I measure my time. I don’t go for any number of calories or miles, I just get on whatever machine I’m getting on, put Netflix on my phone, and let Seattle Grace Grey Sloan Memorial take me to another place.

Whenever Cristina references cardio, for a second I think she's talking about working out.
Whenever Cristina references cardio, for a second I think she’s talking about working out.

3. When Something Isn’t Working, Give Up

I’ve tried to become a runner so many times. I get a couple of days in and my hip flexors hurt so bad that I skip a day. And then I skip 6 months.

So I recently tried jogging on the treadmill and when I wound up hating it, I opted for the bike or elliptical instead. Just because it feels like everyone else is training for a half-marathon doesn’t mean you have to. Give it up and do what works for you.

4. If You Have the Time to Blog (Or Read Blogs, for that Matter) You Have the Time to Workout

Just sayin’. These days I might only be posting 4 ish times a week but I’m healthier for it. When I don’t post for a day, I remind myself that the time I would have spent blogging, I was working out.

I also daydream about feeling good enough to take the occasional pinterest worthy outfit photo, come fall. We can be honest here, right? Good. #bloggerdaydreams

5. Don’t Leave Your House

On days that I just don’t want to do boring cardio, I do a fitness youtube video. Many videos don’t require any equipment (although Meighan once wrote that she used cans of squash to work out when she didn’t have hand weights so seriously, no excuses).

Here are some of my favorites:

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 1 (requires hand weights – or canned vegetables)

FitnessBlender 37 Minute Cardio Workout at Home

FitnessBlender 45 Minute HIIT Cardio and Abs Workout

FitnessBlender 10 Minute Abs

Okay, you get it, I really like FitnessBlender. Usually I put the video on my laptop in front of my TV and put (what else?) Netflix on my TV. It’s a fabulous combo.

6. Give Yourself a Gold Star

Workout Tracking

Or in my case, a big pink check. I searched for a while for an app to record my workouts in and never found one that felt really satisfying. Now I use a basic calendar to keep track of the days I work out. Something about adding that big pink check for the day just feels really really good.

What weird things have you found to motivate you? Any tips for us workout newbies?

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  • JC

    I totally get you on that big pink check thing, and I’m totally in the same boat, as in I havent worked out in over a month. Though I find what works best for me is signing up and paying for some even in the distant future. I get really self conscience about making a fool of myself and start to workout super early, and I can’t quit or I’ll look like a fool and so I stick with it. I’m still slow and fool-like and all my friends are faster than me,but I still do it because it keeps me in shape. type this makes me realize that I must like torture.

  • these are good tips! i also gave up on running a looooong time ago. it’s just not my thing so why do something i hate? if i do a workout i like, i’m more likely to keep up with it. makes sense. and check out the blogilates videos on youtube! i’ve been obsessed. most are about 10-15 minutes and target a certain area so they are a good supplement to other workouts.

  • these are good tips! i also gave up on running a looooong time ago. it’s just not my thing so why do something i hate? if i do a workout i like, i’m more likely to keep up with it. makes sense. and check out the blogilates videos on youtube! i’ve been obsessed. most are about 10-15 minutes and target a certain area so they are a good supplement to other workouts.

  • HONESTLY THOUGH. I love all of these! I used to do the same damn thing with Grey’s! And I’ve gained somewhere around 10 pounds this year, and I’m in the process of trying to get back into it as well. It’s not easy, but I feel like it really is all about what’s motivating you!

    Plus, OMG, totally agree with “giving up.” I tried desperately to get into spin last year, and I hated every single moment of it. Like, it genuinely made me want to cry. I did that fora couple months before I thought, WHY THE HELL am I still doing this? And then I tried Body Pump, and I liked it! So yes, def to each his own. Just move dammit!

  • These are great tips – different from the usual “run run run!” you see on Pinterest. I’m definitely terrible at running myself, but it’s what everyone does so when I do convince myself to work out (you know, once a millennium) I run. And then, like you did, I gave up. I definitely do need to start working out though, so thanks for these tips!!

  • liza

    The 30 Day Shred is my favorite, it’s only 20 minutes but it kicks your butt! Plus you only do everything for 30-60 seconds, so it never gets boring.

  • Ola

    Ah, Nadine. I love your blog. It’s so diverse and down-to-earth. I like the mix of musings (what kind of woman you want to be) and practical posts (like the one above). I even read posts that I don’t think will apply to me – which is not, by the way, this post. This post DEFINITELY applies to me. I’m 100% sure I’m in the unhealthy range and I’m battling with my laziness to get off my butt and go to the gym. Thanks for the tips!

  • I know that I spend too much time blogging and not enough working out. that hit me a few weeks ago and I was like, umm yeah that has to change! I give myself little rewards and I also have been watching tv shows- it has really helped!

  • Nadine, just so that you know, you are one of maybe 5 blogs that I read pretty much every post because I just love how you think. I often feel like fitness-related posts are full of post-workout adrenaline and therefore, tiring… but of course, yours is interested and actually different! I love it. And am totally with you on the giving up the things you hate. I tried FOREVA to become a runner but uh, my body (and my brain) hated it. After I accepted and admitted that fact, I’ve been a lot happier. Great post, as always!

  • I’m a runner/biker, so often use those modes of transportation to do my errands. Also, when I was in college, I’d plan my gym time around my TV schedule… worked pretty well I think! 🙂

  • Oh my, Jillian Michael’s and I have a love/hate relationship. I really like her Body Revolution program, it’s only 30 minutes. Good Luck!

  • I LOVE the pink check mark idea! I totally know how you feel about running- but I’m giving it another legitimate try before I write it off. I think I was trying to do too much at once instead of gradually building endurance.

    In my 101 in 1001 list, I made the goal to complete a 5k and 10k- and luckily, my boyfriend wanted to get back into running again, so we’re running together 3-4 times a week. This time, using the running and walking to get back into shape. Being motivated to work out is hard for me, but I think using your check mark method may make a huge difference. Thanks for posting this! (:

  • This was awesome! I need to get back to working out. I used to do yoga every single day but then I randomly stopped for no reason.

  • Considering how hard I have fallen off the fitness wagon and how badly I need to get back on it, I will definitely be utilizing most of these tips. Also, I agree with them. Allllll of them. The gym pressure drives me nuts sometimes so I have a plethora of Jillian Michaels DVDs that kick my butt good. The Nike Training Club app is actually pretty awesome too, I don’t know if you’ve ever checked that out 🙂

  • Great tips! For me, switching things up every once in a while really makes a difference. Without that, I get way too bored and unmotivated.

  • Great tips! I do the same with working out for a TV show length, except I’ve watched all of Grey’s Anatomy so I need to find another one that’s just as lengthy!
    I was the same with workout clothes too, I bought them straight away and it’s made a huge difference to the excuses I can reasonably get away with… meaning I just don’t really have any ;).

  • Kim

    I really need to give up on running as well. Unfortunately, my boyfriend LOVES running and his greatest wish in life is for us to go jogging together regularly. Ugh. For now I’ve resorted to running until I want to die (normally one lap, haha), and then walking until I feel ready to run again. Lame… maybe, but it makes it more manageable. I feel you on the 26.5 metabolism dilemma :/ (my age too).

    Can’t wait to try some of those video! Great tips. For the record, I find it VERY hard to believe you are 5 pounds away from “unhealthy.” You look great! But props to stepping things up anyway (:

  • I think it’s great that you have a doctor that pays attention to your weight/health. I was a cross country runner in high school, but my body just can’t handle running well. It’s taken me a few years to realize that I can be fit without running, but I’m enjoying my workouts a lot more now! I love the stairmaster for cardio, but my current gym doesn’t have any!

  • I definitely agree that cute workout clothes make me want to workout. And new shoes. Those work too.

    I find that the best way to motivate myself is group fitness. I realize its not for everyone but even though I have approximately NO competitive spirit in me being surrounded by other people doing the same workout pushes me to work as hard as I can! Plus, I make friends with the instructors and the other regulars in the classes so they can call me out when I skip a class. Whatever it takes.

  • Oh man, a big YES in agreement to all of these tips. If I do good after, I buy myself non-work out clothes. Before I work out I buy new work out clothes. Having a new outfit come every once in a while motivates me to get back in the groove when you start losing steam. Just like I get excited to wear new clothes, I get excited to wear new work out clothes. My favorite work out at home app is sworkit. I can choose pretty much any kind of work out and it guides me through it. Kudos to you for getting back in shape! I will definitely be bookmarking and sharing these tips.

  • Awesome tips! I just recently purchased some work out gear and can’t wait to put it into use… if I could ever work up the courage to hit the gyms alone, haha. I should definitely look into at home work outs for the time being.

  • I’m a workout newbie too but I did really well last month (and despite a small lapse end of last week) I’m jumping back on the band wagon today. Each month I make a few fitness goals (# of miles, times I workout, # of minutes, etc.) and then make a sheet with the number of circles I need to complete and like your check marks I love filling them in with all different colors as I achieve them.

    I love all your tips, I have given up on lots of exercises I don’t like because doing something is better than nothing. I would add to try everything, go to one yoga class, one zumba class, try the machines, try the free weights, etc. until you have tried it you don’t know if it might be your new favorite thing. The other thing I do is on days when I’m just really not feeling it I go for small victories, parking at the gym is the first, getting into the locker room the second, so on and so forth. I don’t force myself to do an hour because when I’m not feeling it I’ll just drive home, instead I tell myself I just need to go, I just need to sit on the bike, and usually I end up doing a full workout anyways once I’m there.

  • I love this. You are such a good writer! I love the tip about trying something else. I’ve been forcing a workout routine and it hasn’t been working. I need to try something else. Thanks for sharing!

  • you are such a rockstar!! I love all of these tips… and you’re so right – it’s making time and setting small goals that help you feel like you’re getting somewhere!! i think you look AMAZING… and yeah, I suck at outfit photos… totally suck at them.

  • JJ

    Bahahha love #4!

  • Some bloody great tips that I could take notice of and get my fat ass into gear

  • These tips are great, I will have to try and few and I love a “greys anatomy” episode worth!

  • NADINE THESE ARE GREAT! I’ve been looking for a new workout set to do since my ex ended up taking my P90X3 (sucks). I think this may be just the push I need. Plus I’ve heard Jillian Michaels is intense and good and will kick my butt.

  • The thirty day shred pretty much makes me cry, but it works!!

  • these are great tips! let me tell ya, those cans really started to burn after 55 minutes of Jillian Michaels hollering at me to “do more!!” So yeah, no weights=no problem. 🙂

    I never thought of doing the Netflix on my phone while on a Machine. Gold’s Gym (where I am a member) has a “Cardio Theater” where they play movies in a dark room where no one can see you killing yourself and sweating to death, but the movies are never good ones. So I may have to use this idea in the future.

  • I love this list! PLEASE be my workout buddy!

  • loving these tips! totally agree as well. i don’t do the grey’s but if i’m ever in a rut i turn on lost. total winner in my book.

    thankfully i have a “gym” in my basement so i can skip the whole nice work out gear. no one is seeing the show i am first thing in the morning. thank god.

  • Lol I can totally relate to skipping a day, and then 6 months later I still havent worked out! I also like that you watch Greys anatomy while working out! Ive found a few Pinterest workouts for tv shows that make you do different exersizes when something happens! That means more TV time! haha!

  • Shayel

    Your doctor has OBVIOUSLY must have been a total asshole to comment on a SEVEN POUND GAIN! This is not a health problem no matter how tall you are so either you need to punch your doctor in the face or stop making up introductions for work out tips

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  • I really like tip #4 🙂 That’s a good one, because goodness if I haven’t been too much time procrastinating working out by surfing blogs.

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