- Dress For It
- Prepare Tunes To Get You Ready and Keep You
- Be Accountable (Make Friends, Go To Classes)
- Set a Routine
- Keep A Class Timetable in Your Bag, On Your
Pictured: Nike sneakers, Onzie tank top (black), Pointe Studio "Sanity Not Vanity" tank, Pointe Studio grip socks, Om Shanti leggings
Dress For It
Just as you have a wardrobe for your work life and your
weekend life, you need one for your workouts. This isn’t something to dread!
This is the really fun part. Everyone from Dotti and Supre to Chanel has
workout options so you are spoilt for choice. Spend on workout gear that will
last through lots of washes, plenty of stretching and sweating without losing
colour, elasticity and shape. My favourites are perfect for yoga, pilates,
barre, BodyPump and then running around town to meetings and chores.
We can’t all live in sneakers (I try, I really do) but since
you’ll be wearing them day in, day out – buy ones you love and that suit your
activity. I used to think the Nike Free were a great alternative to thongs but
in fact, they are great for low-impact workouts like BodyPump, weights,
elliptical trainer, Spin and so on. I order from Eastbay
because there’s a zillion options to choose from and if you order two pairs at
a time (or hook up with a friend who wants to order too) the postage is worth
it. For really flattering fit and eye-grabbing prints, my fave brands for yoga
and barre workouts are:
(LA based yoga brand that is spot on for fit, colour and prints)
(always gets me noticed - can't go out in these without someone asking about them! Great prints, great cut, eco friendly)
(if you love barre, you need this brand. Grippy socks and cute slogan tank tops are a must - equally good for pilates and yoga)
(some say Italians Do It Better, but when it comes to leggings and bikinis, Brazilians Do It Better By Miles)
(Aussie, Chic, yoga gear for surfer girls)
and DivaFit Sportswear
(because who doesn't need sparkly mermaid print leggings in their life?)
Keep an eye out for a Pointe Studio
barre/yoga/pilates grippy socks giveaway!
Prepare Tunes To Get
You Ready and Keep You Going
I love SoundCloud. As I’m gulping down coffee and responding
to emails in the morning, I’m also madly seeking new music to power my own
workouts and my classes. I share what I really love on my own SoundCloud profile
Some mixes you can download, but there’s an endless number
of streaming lists and stand alone tracks. You might also subscribe to Spotify
or Pandora, Apple Music or Google Music. Whatever your predilection, stock up
on tunes that you WANT to listen to. Don’t feel you need to listen to grinding,
ear splitting drum n bass just because you think that’s what you’re meant to
run to. I have racked up my best times listening to Hole, Faith No More and
even ABC Radio National Breakfast.
Attach your music to you. Carrying your phone around is
bound to end in either losing it or damaging it. One dropped dumbbell and bam.
While out shopping for a hands-free car kit
for my phone
(one fine later...), I discovered Belkin ALSO do kickass fitness accessories. I
snapped up the new Fitness Belt
and Armband for iPhone
(what chance did I have of refusal? It comes in pink!). The belt is a good
alternative if you don’t like wearing an armband while working out and vice
versa. The bonus with the belt is that you can also put your locker key, car
keys and ID cards in your belt and feel secure knowing your valuables aren’t
Do you need those fluffy, furry Dolce & Gabbana
headphones? Probably not. Find headphones or those behind-the-ear hooks for
your earphones to prevent them constantly dropping out (so frustrating
It took me years of gym time before my curiosity and desire
for more diversity drove me into a group fitness class. As someone who prefers
to workout alone, it was a revelation to walk into a class (feeling totally
intimidated!) and find that about 10 people wanted to help me set up, whispered
little tips when I was doing things that were easily fixed, and cheered me on
when I got through the tougher tracks. This is what got me addicted to BodyPump
and later provided the catalyst for me to train as a BodyPump instructor and
become a group fitness devotee.
No matter whether you thrive in communal situations
generally or you’re a lone wolf, there’s something really uplifting about being
part of a united effort if only for an hour a few times a week. There’s so many
options too – from CrossFit to Yin Yoga, Latin Dance to Animal Flow to the
classics of Step Aerobics and BodyPump.
Be adventurous – resolve with a friend to try at least 3 new classes in
a month. It might be how you discover a class you become hooked on for life.
The other great thing about classes is that if you go
regularly for more than 2 weeks, you’re considered a regular and people will
wonder where you are if you don’t show.
Introduce yourself to the
teacher. Teachers love knowing your name and your reason for coming.
Feeling really adventurous? What about enrolling in a short
course of classes in trapeze, circus skills or martial arts? The beauty of
searching on Google!
There’s no ideal time to go to the gym that applies to every
single person everywhere. Just as there is not a single workout style and
length that is uniformly effective. That said, establishing a routine is the
best way to ensure you maintain your workouts. Especially when you first start
out, or you’re returning after a break, having a set time and place helps. How?
You don’t need to wait for that elusive motivation to
appear. It doesn’t. You just do it. Sometimes it feels fantastic, sometimes it
feels like a grinding horrible never ending lifetime of yuck. But you do it and
if nothing else, you’ll feel accomplished afterwards.
You don’t need an expensive Training Diary or 20 Apps to
track your workout, calories, mood, sleep, heartbeat, bowel movements and
whatever. A simple weekly/monthly calendar where you pencil in the classes you’ll
go to is ideal. Put reminders in Google Calendar to pop up an hour or so before
your workout or class so you can get your water bottle, your sneakers on and
your hair up.
Pictured: Goodies from my new obsession, Ricky's NYC - so much makeup. So New York.
Not everyone advocates makeup to the gym. That’s cool. It’s
part of my routine for getting ready and having a routine to prepare puts you
into the mindset of “this is my routine, whether I feel excited about it or
I get onto Soundcloud, put on whatever I feel like listening
to, drink my coffee (make sure you leave half an hour between last coffee and
starting your workout – tummy will thank you) and then when I am suitably
caffeinated and emails have been responded to, I put on my foundation (very
fussy about this – since I’m gonna be sweating, it MUST not make me break out
or melt into my clothes!) and lip colour. If I’ve got another 5 minutes to
spare, I go all out and brush bronzer and highlighter on too. Life is too short
not to make use of all the colours. If you are a makeup junkie too – I recommend
mineral makeup and using lip stains or long-lasting rather than goopy gloss.
Since it’s likely to blur and go shiny – don’t overdo the bronzer, blusher or
highlighter if you’re doing that. Just between you and me, Maybelline Dream
Liquid Mousse, Dior Star and L’Oreal Lumi Magique are safe bets for no spots
and irritation during and post-workout.
Keep A Class Timetable
in Your Bag, On Your Fridge
Do I need to explain this? I don’t think so... keep a
printed copy on the fridge or pinned up behind your screen at work or at home.
Circle the classes you can make. Look up timetables online. Keep links to them
on your desktop or phone.
Reward Yourself and Don’t Deprive
Not with food.
I am utterly and entirely against linking workouts to food.
It’s just not mentally healthy to “allow” yourself A,B,C foods because you did
a certain type or amount of exercise. You will hear people doing this all the
time. Don’t buy it.
Working out requires adequate fuel and if you want to feel
good generally and look good too, eat a variety of foods in moderation and go
for vegetables, fruit and lean meats, seafood or whatever your protein of
choice is as your staples. Don’t think you need to give anything up that you
really like. Not even the half a bag of jelly snakes at 3.30. Working out and
being fit isn’t about depriving yourself and abstaining from anything joyful.
Equally, it isn’t license to eat like you’ve been locked up and starved for the
past 2 years.
Get a manicure – you’ll be seeing those nails a lot while
you’re lifting dumbbells.
Get a massage – looking after your body is essential to your
Buy another pair of leggings. Can you ever have enough?