If you're like me you’ve probably hit snooze at least three times before finally getting up to start your day. Getting up early is hard, especially after these past few years, the stress can take quite the toll on your body. It’s important to remember that you have to come first, but taking care of yourself can be really hard, especially if it feels like you’ve come to a dead end. Sometimes you have to change it up, change up your environment. Let that summer sun get you going, because getting outside is half the battle already won.
Early Bird Special
If you're dead set on getting your marathon prep this summer (we’re all training for a marathon, right?) you're going to have to start early. To beat the summer heat, you should probably get up early enough to give you flashbacks to organized squad PT. But early mornings have their perks, with the sun not yet up to make the day miserable, and to jumpstart your agenda. An early run will help you feel a bit more motivated to kick the rest of your day in the behind.
If running isn’t really your speed then take it slow. The trendy workout, coined the “hot girl walk” is a great place to start. Initially the trend started on a treadmill, with an incline of 12, and a speed of 3 miles per hour, which you would only have to do for a half an hour. But you don’t have to stick to those parameters. Really, the “hot girl walk” is for everyone, and isn’t anything new. Simply walking is wonderful to your long term health, and keeps your cardio in sufficient shape. Having a step goal can help motivate you to get out there, a few thousand steps are better than none. Embrace the beauty of a fun drink in one hand, and a few miles behind you.
Not for the weak of heart
It’s more likely you’ll take care of things that are staring right back at you. If you can see something easily, it will stay in mind. If getting to the gym is hard for you during the summer, make it unavoidable. Like taking your kids for a walk past a park, you’ll have to stop and let them play on the monkey bars. Don’t let that fun spirit die in yourself. A personal gym set up in yard calls for accountability. It not only gets you active, but also allows for you to just do what you need to do, or else your neighbors will judge you, and no one likes that. If you don’t have a yard, clean out a small corner in your living room or bedroom and do some body weight PT.
Another potential to care for that inner child of yours, is finding your local rock wall. Though typically indoor, trying rock climbing can be a new way to motivate you. You may be surprised by how quickly it puts you on your ass, or you’ll feel encouraged that you're better than expected. Either way, trying something totally new is a good way of tending to the coals of your motivation.
Not as young as when you first swore in…
Joints get the usual wear and tear with age, but that time is sped up tenfold when you ruck twenty plus miles a week. You may still be in your twenties, feeling like you're ready to retire on the waterfront. You may be used to heavy weights, pumping iron, and running on concrete, but what you really need in your geriatric age is low impact. Swimming, biking, pilates, and yoga are great ways to get yourself outside and moving. The best part is that you can still find competition in these activities as many are offered as classes at local gyms.
Swimming is great for aerobic health, with resistance of the water and the endurance of holding your breath. Swimming is easy on your joints and helps take the weight of your already flattening arches in your feet. Biking is still fast paced and easy on those lower joints. Some studies have shown that two to three miles biked equals one mile ran, which is a helpful measure to know how intense you are making your spin classes. Pilates and yoga may come as a surprise to some people, but don’t knock it till you try it. Pilates can help strengthen some of those smaller muscles you may neglect when strength training, while yoga can help you feel as flexible as you were at twenty.
Getting out in the sun can be hard, especially when the days are as long as they are. Busy lives can be draining, but digging deep, that warrior motivation is still there. Just getting out there is half the battle, don’t overthink it.