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The Struggle To Workout In the Winter and What Helps Me Stay Motivated

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Sweatshirt – Nike | Leggings – Onzie (more sizes here) | Sneakers – APL (similar here) | Hat – J.Crew

 

I wish I could say I have some genius words of wisdom about working out in the winter, but the truth is that I find it a struggle. Just as I’m sure many of you do. I like to workout but I don’t LOVE it like some people do. I like how it makes me feel and the results I get, but I don’t live for it the way Stan does. He is a gym fanatic and loves to workout. He will go in the worst weather, holidays, any time of the day – he will motivate himself to go. He even went on Thanksgiving morning before all the cooking began! WTH??? For me, finding a program or workout that I love has really helped me overcome the motivation hurdle. There are tons of popular workouts and classes now, but truth be told – I am not a fan of high impact activities. Cycling, Zumba, Crossfit, BBG, Orange Theory – most of those types of exercises are not enjoyable to me so I will find excuses not to go if those were my only options. I enjoy Pilates, Yoga and more low impact classes that have a calming atmosphere. Depending on the level of the class, I can still get an intense workout and build amazing strength.
In addition to doing the workouts that I like, I also go when I feel I can be the most successful. I am working on becoming a morning person, but am not there yet so scheduling a morning workout for myself will most definitely result in a cancellation. I know myself and what I will push myself to do, and early morning workouts are not one of them right now. I would rather GO to a class and get a workout at a time of the day that I won’t cancel, rather than create some narrative of what I hope to be someday (a morning person doing yoga as the sun rises – how amazing would that be?!).
I also made the decision to buy a package of monthly classes rather than pay for them individually which has made me go because I don’t want to lose money. Ha! I have skipped one or two from time to time, but I will push myself to go because it is already paid for. I hate to waste money and that is a big driver for me, so I tried to set up my workouts in a way that would hit me where it hurt, so to speak.
This last reason sounds so ridiculous and “salesy” but trust me it’s not – buying myself an actual workout wardrobe has helped push me to go when I don’t want to. Obviously cute leggings won’t pull me out of bed if I am really exhausted or not feeling well, but I used to wear ugly black leggings and a white Hanes tank top to all my yoga classes in NYC years ago. I loved the workout, but would often feel blah about what I was wearing which didn’t always excite me to go. Not everyone is like this, but I am at my best when I feel confident with what I have on and enjoy what I am wearing. When I began working out again regularly before I got pregnant, I made the decision to buy myself dedicated clothing to wear to these classes and it helped elevate my mood a lot. I would even lay my outfit out before class so I would be excited to get dressed when the time came.
There is a running theme in what motivates me to workout (or do anything frankly) – it’s that I do what I want to do. As I get older, I care more about making myself happy and setting myself up for success, rather than conforming to any type of narrative that I have created in my head or that has been created by anyone around me. Allowing myself the freedom and permission to do what I like and what works for me also frees up the space to try something new or make adjustments when needed.

 

What about you?! What motivates you to workout? Or what stops you from reaching your goals of being more active?

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Wellness Chit Chat on Celery Juice, Hydrafacials, Infrared Saunas and More!

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Jacket – GAP | Leggings – Spanx (more sizes here) | Sneakers – APL (similar here) | Beanie – Club Monaco (similar here) | Water bottle – S’well

 

It’s been a while since my last wellness related post, and January always seems to be the month that everyone likes to reset, take up new healthy habits and focus on self-care. I thought I would share some new (and old) foods, supplements and treatments I have been doing and enjoying! Just a disclaimer because I always want to make sure that you check with your doctor before introducing anything new into your diet or wellness routine. I am not a medical professional but love to share my experience with various things I am doing or trying that work for me.
1. Celery juice – I began following the Medical Medium on Instagram many months ago and was intrigued by all the suggestions he had for foods to help heal various ailments and conditions. I decided to try his suggestion of drinking celery juice on an empty stomach each morning just to see what benefits I could reap from this being added into my diet (this is the juicer I use). Here is a list of all the conditions and ailments that celery juice can help with, but for me the biggest difference I have seen is with digestion and bloating. I feel much less bloated daily but that did take about 2-3 weeks to start (I have been drinking it now for a month and a half). I also struggle with chronic pain in my neck and back (I had two spine surgeries in those areas due to disc issues) and find that it flares up intensely during my menstrual cycle. Since being on the celery juice, I have had little to no pain at all! It’s quite remarkable. Additionally, my menstrual cramps (which can be quite debilitating) are virtually non-existent since starting this. All in all, I plan to continue drinking it each morning going forward. My mom and Stan are also drinking it daily so it’s been a household effort. Ha!
2. Elderberry supplements – I  mentioned this in a previous wellness post, but I take elderberry supplements religiously in the winter because it prevents me from getting sick. My mom first sent me elderberry syrup years ago when I was living in NYC because I was fighting a cold. I was amazed at how it helped me get better faster as well as kept me from getting sick. I used to take it at the first signs of feeling ill, but now I just take it daily during the winter. I have now switched to the gummies which I love taking daily and they taste delicious!
3. HUM Nutrition sleep supplement – I was sent this bottle of supplements randomly in a press package recently, and didn’t really think it would do much since I have tried a ton of different sleep aids and rarely find them to work. However, this one worked the first night I tried it! 20 minutes after taking it, I began to feel relaxed and tired and fell right to sleep. I stay asleep with it and don’t wake up with any groggy feelings. I am now about to finish my second bottle and already have a third bottle on its way to me!! I take one every night approximately 20-30 minutes before I want to go to sleep.
4. Infrared sauna – This is something new I recently tried though I have been wanting to go for years. I heard that infrared saunas are wonderful for chronic pain (as well as a ton of other conditions), and finally decided to try one out. It was quite intense (I shared what it looked like on my insta-stories and will share again this week when I go!), but felt wonderful. I kept the heat at a minimum because it can get quite hot and I was already sweating a ton, but it’s great to help release toxins from the body. Here is an article that talks about other conditions and ailments it can help with.
5. Hydrafacial – I have heard tons of buzz surrounding hydrafacials and finally had one the other week! Typically they are available at med spas or facial clinics across the country – you can find one near you here. The hydrafacial is designed to help cleanse, peel, extract and hydrate and is great for most skin types and any age range. Since having the facial, I have not had a single breakout! My skin has felt plump, hydrated, smooth and radiant ever since my treatment. Typically when I get traditional facials with extractions, I always have some redness, possible peeling and a few pesky blemishes that pop up after. Not with the hydrafacial – it is amazing! In fact, most of the messages I have received from my readers who have had one say this is why they keep going back for a hydrafacial – no breakouts. The machine itself acts like a little vacuum sucking all the dirt out of the pores, while also simultaneously infusing the skin with moisture and various serums. It does feel a tad uncomfortable at times, but it’s not painful. In addition to helping hydrate the skin and remove impurities, it also targets enlarged pores, skin texture, brown spots, elasticity, firmness and fine lines. I plan to go back in a few months for another treatment, though they advise every month to really see significant results.
6. Club Pilates – This one isn’t new but I always want to mention it because pilates has helped me so much since having Miles. I get regular messages from readers asking how I got back in shape after pregnancy and it was 100% from pilates. I currently go to a pilates studio that is part of a nationwide chain and practice on a pilates reformer machine. It gives an intense and targeted workout but at a low intensity and low impact level. Some classes are a bit more intense, but for the most part I barely break a sweat. However, it does wonders at helping firm, tone and strengthen my body especially my stomach. After having a c-section, it was so difficult to get strength back there and pilates was the only workout that really had a huge impact. (I also did these postpartum exercises daily which were a great option for at home – I did not have diastasis recti but it was still very helpful)
7. Ice roller – I do regular facial massage with my MDNA roller and sometimes a jade roller, but love using this ice roller to help with puffiness! It feels amazing and really makes a difference when my face is extra puffy from lack of sleep, salt or who knows what. I keep it in the freezer but it can be too cold when I first take it out, so I just let it defrost for a minute or two and then roll it in upward motions on my face. It feels like a mini spa moment at home. And the price point is under $15 which is even better!

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