6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Let’s be honest: there are fewer people out there with six-packs than Pinterest would lead us to believe. And frankly, I’m not sure if that many of us want to be totally ripped anyway. I would just like to climb up a few flights of stairs without wheezing or fit into my favorite pair of slacks without sucking in my tummy.

But how to motivate ourselves? If you’re like me, then you know that body shaming yourself into it won’t work. You may succeed for a couple weeks, but you’ll eventually give up and feel worse than ever before. Believe me: I’ve been there more times than I can count.

Our culture doesn’t exactly help. I like shopping at Victoria Secret as much as the next girl, but those models have bodies that just aren’t achievable for the average woman. So, here is a list of some items that help me motivate myself to work out and to take better care of myself when I don’t feel like it:

1. Look to Your Role Model

Something that helps motivate me is to think of my health role models. For me, it’s my mom and aunt. They’re both built very similarly to me, and while there’s a good 30 years between us, they hover around the same weight as I do (despite having two kids apiece). When we all go swimming together, it’s not that they look like 25-year-olds in bikinis — they don’t need to. They’re healthy women who have treated their bodies right their whole lives, and it shows. When I see them, it reminds me that I’m capable of taking care of myself that well too.

This can be a slippery slope because we often fall into trying to make ourselves into someone else. That’s why it’s important to pick someone who already shares traits and body types with you. If you don’t have someone in your life like this, that’s okay. However, rather than going to standard fashion magazines where everyone is photoshopped, try to look for magazines centered around women’s health instead. One company’s magazine that I really like is called Title IX. They create athletic apparel, and what I love about looking through their clothing options is that all of the models look happy, trim, and healthy — and all at weights that feel achievable for my body type.Read More »

5 Stretches and Exercises You Can Do in Your Cubicle

Regardless of whether you’re a freelance writer or a receptionist, chances are you have to sit down a lot for your job. While standing desks are an option for some, not everyone can take advantage of that excellent tool. I belong in that category when I’m writing, and after I sit for long periods of time, my posture and energy level plummet. So, how can you best take care of yourself when you’re stuck sitting for an entire day? Check out some of these stretches and exercises that wake up the blood after a few hours in your cubicle.

1. Spine Stretch

Before you picture trying to lie down underneath your desk, hold on. This stretch does wonders for your spine alignment and is a good break from staring at your computer screen.

  1. Take your fingers off the keyboard, and place them on your knees. Straighten your back as much as possible.
  2. Raise your hands high above your head, straightening your arms and lengthening your spine. Sit tall.
  3. Keep your arms straight, and begin to lower them until they are perpendicular with your shoulders.
  4. Hold them here as you feel your shoulders drop some of their tension. Repeat Steps 2-4 as many times as you need.

Note: Try your best not to tense up too much when your hands are in the air. Keep breathing, and let the energy flow through your fingertips.

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