The busy girl’s guide to the gym

There are some superhumans who wake up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym, dressed in Lululemon head-to-toe. Then, there are the rest of us. Maybe you work out regularly (three times a week…on a good week), or maybe you prefer to get your workout on at home. But some of us aren’t even that active in the work out department. If you happen to fall in the “I’d love to work out, but I never, ever, ever have time,” category, need to brush up on your health + fitness facts, or have been living off of this video, keep reading because these tips can help even the busiest girl make time for good fitness.

Update or create your workout playlists.

Anyone who would work out to a slow Coldplay song is crazy. To get the most out of your workout, listen to upbeat music, rap or hip-hop. Kanye West’s “Power” will make your thighs feel like they run the world during your squats. Bruno Mars’ “Natalie” will get you sprinting full-speed on the treadmill. The right playlist can motivate you to keep going when you feel like quitting your workout early and can set the tone for how hard you work it. (Stuck? Steal some ideas from this playlist.)

Three is the magic number.

There are three main options when it comes to working out: Get a gym membership, workout at home, or join a sports team at school. The other magic thing about the number three? You should also try to workout at least three times per week. It might sound impossible, but I promise, you can do it! If you have a gym membership, sign up for fun classes (see the next tip for some more specific options). If you work out at home, plan specific days for your workouts, or find a time of the day (like in the morning, before school) that works for your schedule. And if you join a team sport, know that the regular conditioning and practice sessions will take care of your required workouts all on their own.

Find “your” workout.

Do you like to socialize? Does the idea of moving your hips to the rhythm of Latin music sound more appealing than logging hours on a treadmill? Try a Zumba class (or Zumba Toning for that extra challenge) with your friends. Do Yoga or Pilates to slowly strengthen your arms and core. Master the art of the handstand (good balance skills required) or learn on the floor moves. If you like to bike indoors, sign up for a SoulCycle or regular spinning class. If you’re more of a nature girl, go hiking or simply take long bike rides during the weekend, alone or with friends.

Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in a day. Motivated girls might want to try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or tabata. These workouts focus on repetitions of intense short bursts of energy (ex: sprinting, burpees etc.) for a maximum of twenty minutes. Surely even the busiest girls can find 20 free minutes to squeeze in a workout. If this sounds perfect for your hectic life, try this workout or this one too.

For those who have more time and live in an area where the weather permits it, go hiking or swimming in a lake or ocean. And, of course, there’s always the option do to trail runs, races, or hit the treadmill. It’s important to find your go-to workout for those days where you need to squeeze some cardio in and clear your mind.

Motivate yourself.

Work out with a buddy! If you’re trying to get healthy, build muscle and get your energy up, chances are, your best friend is, too. You’ll push yourself to workout because you can’t let your friend down! Do BFF (Best Fit Friend) workouts! Try this one or maybe some of these. Not only will you get fit with your friend(s), but time will fly by as you laugh with your get fit partner (simultaneously building up your soon-to-be six-pack) or catch up on chatting while doing that wall sit.

Be organized.

Schedule workout times. Start with three days and then add on if you feel the need. And most importantly: Stick to your schedule! Your plan only works if you do.

Find an app.

Okay, this one is totally optional, but if you have a smart phone or tablet and need extra motivation or a record of your workouts, there are tons of apps that are designed to help with exactly that. Some will help you plan out workouts, keep track of your calories burned (keep in mind that these aren’t always 100% reliable) or log your miles on to a spreadsheet.

Even if you were late to the fitness party and missed all the yoga girls on Instagram or Blogilates videos on YouTube, remember it’s never too late to try. And for your much-needed #fitspiration, go on Pinterest and start pinning inspiration away. “Train insane or remain the same” — good luck for whatever goal you set by yourself, for yourself!

(Image via here.)