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I Am Too Tired…

The second most common excuse I hear is “I am too tired to…” workout, cook, read, play with the kids, etc. This excuse is one I WILL accept, but only on occasion! It is true that some days our bodies and minds are just so worn down from the chaos of life and/or because we haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few days. On those days we NEED to rest. Taking care of ourselves includes adequate REST and SLEEP.

But, if you feel like you are too tired to take care of yourself most days, then we need to strategize to overcome that feeling. Unless you have a medical condition or an extremely intensive manual labor job, then you should have enough energy to take care of yourself throughout the day most days. More often than not it just takes planning, preparation and creating habits out of desired behaviors. Before they are habits though, the behaviors can be hard to push yourself to do when you feel a bit sluggish. Here are some strategize to overcome this obstacle:

  1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP – sleep is SO important and an essential part of living a healthy life. If you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, then you need to make that a priority. With proper sleep the rest of your day/life/goals will run much more smoothly and you will have the energy to tackle anything. Recharge yourself, like you recharge your cellphone (Sheryl Sandberg)
  2. MOVE YOUR BODY – If you feel tired and uninterested in doing a healthy habit, first try moving your body. Even if it’s a 5 minute walk outside or laps on the stairs. Movement can help rejuvenate us and fill us with more energy and motivation. So, before you plop down on the couch first do 5 minutes of intentional movement. If I have no desire to workout, but know I should get something in, I start with walking and more often than not I end up completing a full workout and feel so much better afterwards!
  3. PLAN AHEAD – plan out your meals, workouts, and other healthy habits each week. Having them written down and scheduled into a calendar will help you stay on track and be successful. There are psychological benefits to writing down tasks and goals, learn more . Every week I complete a Healthy Habits Calendar with meals, snacks, workouts, etc. It makes it so much easier to complete everything knowing each day what I want to do.
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY – find someone to help hold you accountable for your goals, such as a workout buddy, a book club, a spouse or friend you can cook with. We generally don’t like to disappoint people, so having someone depend on us to show up for a task will also make us more likely to complete that task, no matter how tired we feel.
  5. BE REALISTIC WITH GOALS – it’s not likely you will succeed if you try to go from not working out at all to working out every day for an hour at 5am each morning. So, first try to schedule in one workout during the work week for 20-30minutes AND one workout on the weekend for 30 minutes. Then build a little from there. Setting goals to high will make doing them that much harder, especially when tired.
  6. SELF AWARENESS & REWARDS – get to know yourself and your strengths. When do you have the most energy during the day? What do you enjoy doing (healthy habit related)? What motivates you? If you are more productive in the mornings then schedule that workout or other healthy task for then. If you like to dance, try a Zumba class. If you enjoy massages or new clothes, then at the end of the week reward yourself for completely all tasks with something you will look forward to.

This week I challenge you to try these different strategies to see what works best for you. Try to push past that initial feeling of being tired, so you can accomplish what you set out to do.  Need more guidance or a personalized strategic plan? Email me at hahnfitness@gmail.com

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Setting Up a Workout Routine

What muscle groups should I work? How often should I lift or do cardio? Can I lift two days in a row? These are questions I hear a lot. And the answers will vary greatly depending on your goal. But, I find that for the majority of people (at least the ones I work with) their goal is general strength and fitness. In my opinion the general worker outer is putting too much stress into what to do, when to do it,  how to get it done, etc. and this can often overwhelm them.

It’s great to have some guidance though, so here is a quick guide to general fitness goals:

  1. MOVE: find a way to add more movement into your daily life:
    • Daily walks – 20+ minutes in am, lunch, or after dinner
    • Walk to errands – grocery store, Walgreens, the Park, or park in furthest spot of parking lot
    • Take an extra trip up the stairs each time you use them. Use the stairs instead of elevator
  2. FIND WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY: If you like your workout you are more likely to stick with it. Could be:
    • Working with a personal trainer (this is a great way to
    • Group classes
    • Workout videos
    • Working out with a friend
  3. SCHEDULE IT: Have your workouts/movement in your calendar as standing appointments and treat them like a dr. appointment or work meeting. They should be a priority
  4. LIFT: Strength training is so important and so good for you. Lift 1-3 times a week (depending on how often you can realistically do it).
    • Compound movements – work multiple muscle groups to help build strength and get your heart rate up. Plus, it works more muscle groups in less time! This is a great option for a quicker workout and a great way to burn more calories and fat.
    • Work with a trainer or physical therapist at least once to find out what muscle imbalances you may have and what exercises you can do to improve those
    • Work all muscle groups: chest, back (upper/mid/lower), shoulders, bicep, tricep, abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves.
    • Work in all planes of motion: frontal (side to side), sagittal (forward/backward), and transverse (rotational)
    • Challenge yourself: once you’ve established a base try going a little heavier or faster or doing more reps/sets.
  5. Cardio: in addition to daily movement try getting in 2-3 cardio sessions each week. This can be 20 min. of mindful walking, elliptical, cycling, stairs, running, a dance or kickboxing class. Again, find what you like doing.
    • Bored with cardio? Add intervals, do sprints, do it with a friend, take a class, listen to a podcast or motivating music, watch TV.

Everyone’s ideal week will look different and your ideal week may change depending on what life has in store for you at the moment. Generally, for me an ideal week would look like this:

  • Monday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Tuesday: 20-60 min. cardio (either at 5am, during kids nap, or after they go to bed)
  • Wednesday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (between clients)
  • Thursday: walking stairs (60-100 flights) during son’s weekly appointment
  • Friday: rest or long walk (with daughter in stroller, or during nap)
  • Saturday: Compound movements strength workout 30-40min (usually in basement while husband feeds kids breakfast)
  • Sunday: rest or additional cardio session (long walk with family on way to park)

Need help planning your perfect week? Let’s talk – hahnfitness@gmail.com