If you’re reading this and you know me you already know I love working out. If you’re reading this and are a new a visitor to the site, welcome and I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I love working out. This being said, I by no means would consider myself a gym rat. While I would love to spend hours and hours at the gym a busy lifestyle is not conducive for such and I definitely do not let a workout session dictate what I can or cannot do with my days. However, this was not always the case.
Spending four years in the NBA put a huge emphasis for me on staying physically fit. I took pride in making sure I was doing all I could do to stay at the top of my game. The year after I stopped dancing was a tough one. I was used to having a 3 hours workout 3 times a week built into my schedule, not to mention games and then whatever I did on top of that all. Now, I was working full time, working Pistons game nights, going to school full time and the gym took a backseat. Beyond starting to feel bad about myself and my appearance, I found myself feeling mentally weak. Does working out serve as a release for anyone else?
Then a flip switched, but not for the better. I began doing whatever it took to make it to the gym. I would skip out of doing things with family or friends. I would only get a couple hours of sleep (which yes I know makes a workout almost pointless and is worse for you). Working out became a task, not an escape.
I also became obsessed with what I was eating, especially on the days I could only get a light workout in, and while people began to make mention of how I looked I felt constantly tired. I was not doing my body justice. I tried to create an “I don’t care” attitude and began to give myself a break from the gym, but that was not the answer either.
With time, and research, I began to realize it is okay to place a “healthy” weight on working out in my life, but it is also okay to take days (or even weeks) off if that happens to be where you are at. Once I began to find my own balance between fitness and life I felt myself becoming happier, less stressed, more confident and completely less guilty.
One main thing I started to do (and still do) was make “attainable” workout goals. Now, the term attainable has different meaning for each and everyone of us and changes (at least for me) on a weekly basis. For me, Sunday begins my week so I make it a goal of mine to glance at my calendar Saturday nights and make a goal of how many times I think I might be able to make it physically to the gym or a class. I say physically because I try to do a little something everyday even if it is a quick set of crunches, lunges, pushup, etc when I wake up or before I go to bed. I also make two goals; a high number and a low number. I’ve learned that setting two numbers makes me feel less disappointed when I decide to go for that mid-week happy hour marg (such as yesterday).
Yet even when I set my weekly goals time available at the gym can still become an issue. One of my favorite types of workouts, limited time or not, but especially when I have limited time is a HIIT workout. If you are unsure what HIIT it stands for high-intensity interval training. There are several ways to complete this form of workout, but essentially what it involves is quick, intense bursts of exercise which are then followed by short, less intense, recovery periods. While I typically complete HIIT workouts on the treadmill I do want to start broadening my scope and trying other forms as well. No matter how long I have at the gym I prefer to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in. Below I have shared with you guys a 30 minute treadmill HIIT that I made up many moons ago and is one of my go-tos.
Note: This workout can be modified however suitable for you; speed and or incline. As for speed the main purpose is to ensure that you are having clusters of high energy mph’s broken up by short moments of lower mph’s. For the incline, play with it how you like or leave it consistent if that is what you are feeling, I just enjoy variation throughout.
Gym guilt is something real and can affect your life in many different ways, but know it’s okay to hit snooze, go to that happy hour, veg out on the couch or take that vacation and leave the workout clothes at home because life is all about balance.
Looking for the right treadmill for you? Check out this in-depth guide to learn more!