With only one week of August to go, my mind is already beginning to dream of fall. September marks the start of the fall season, as school starts back up, leaves begin to change color and football season begins. With only one week left of summer I am ready to make the most of it and get in those last summer workouts! The beginning of fall will mark our transition to cooler weather. The days will get darker and staying active becomes to feel more like a chore.
These past few weeks, I’ve been feeling pretty successful with sticking to my training plan and crossing workouts off on the correct day. Getting those workouts done is starting to feel like routine, and I’ve begun to think about the reasons why staying active is beginning to feel easier.
It’s so interesting to me to learn from others and hear how they get their workouts done and keep their health under control. My husband has such a creative mind; he is always doing what he feels like doing. He takes things as they get to him rather than stressing about them before he needs to. If that were me I would never be successful, but it definitely works for him! I am the exact opposite: the classic “Type A” personality. Always worried about 3 days into the future, trying to figure out how everything will get done. I plan, plan, plan.
But I LOVE it!
Thinking through these past few successful training weeks, I’ve come up with the number one reason staying active has felt easier: planning ahead.
Planning ahead and thinking through the next day, week, or long run has really helped me succeed with this training plan. Here are some things that have worked for me to alleviate the stress that staying active can cause when we are busy.
How to Make Staying Active Easier
- Consistency. Find a time to workout during the day and stick with it. I’ve found that it’s so much easier to workout at the same time each day because eventually you create a routine and know what to expect! It takes so much more motivation to get moving at times when my body is used to sitting around. Make your active time the same each day and pretty soon your body will be ready for it.
- Lay your clothes out the night before (even if you don’t workout until the evening). I always get my active clothes out and ready to go the day before – even when I don’t run until I get home from work. This helps me come home and immediately put my workout clothes on, so I have no excuse to procrastinate.
- Make your breakfast/snacks the night before (or get them all ready at the beginning of the week). Eating the same snack after each workout has slowly become a routine for me. I get everything ready in the beginning of the week so that I can just grab it out of the fridge when I’m done running. It gives me something to look forward to and helps me stay motivated to refuel.
- Find strength moves or stretches to do at the end of your workout. Do them every. single. time. This has helped me not only to get in a routine, but to know exactly how much time I need to allow for my cool down after a workout. This way I can plan for that extra time and make sure that I am allowing my body time to recover from being active.
- Leave your gear all in the same place. This includes your shoes, running belt, headphones, equipment, etc. When we can get everything we need in one place, our efficiency increases and we waste less time getting ready.
- Focus on being present during your workout and stay in the moment. Don’t just run through the motions while thinking about your to do list. You get less out of staying active AND stress yourself out for the rest of the day.
- Ladies – invest in a shower cap and dry shampoo. Not having to wash my hair every day and it is a major time saver! Evidently it’s actually healthier for your hair to not wash it every single day. I know everyone is different, but if you think it will work for you, definitely give it a try! It has been helping me a bunch.
- Plan out your workouts at the beginning of the week. Planning only one day ahead leaves me with longer workouts on busier days, or multiple hard workouts in a row. Looking through the week before it starts helps me discover which days I have time to be active the longest.
There are so many more ways to make staying active and getting those workouts in easier. I have found that I remain so much more active when I have everything ready to go ahead of time. I am so much more motivated to get my workouts done, and less likely to skip them. Staying active doesn’t have to feel like a chore. When our brain knows what to expect next, we look forward to being active and truly benefit from each activity.
Enjoy those endorphins today!