Building a Fitness Routine

To me the hardest part of a fitness routine is the logistics. It can be so overwhelming trying to figure out a work out plan, especially in a new area: what time of day can you work out? What type of workouts do you want to do? Is there any way to make friends at this gym? How much money do you want to spend?
Choosing a Gym
We are super lucky to have the Onelife gyms in this area, they have tons of equipment, pools, saunas, and exercise classes (plus free childcare and children’s waterpark areas for parents) for only $30 per month. The best thing for me with my commute is that you can go to any of the locations without an additional charge.
Matt was a member of Onelife for about a year and just switched to SoliderFit which is smaller and has boot-camp style classes. He loves specialty gyms due to their more challenging workout classes and community aspect, plus the class times fit better with his schedule. SoliderFit has a small free weight area that Matt uses when he doesn’t do the classes. I looked into some specialty gyms hoping for a more social gym but I couldn’t justify the $100+ cost per month of a yoga studio, kickboxing classes, or something like Orange Theory.

Matt likes to take photos of me at restaurants and they are now becoming very useful!

Picking a Workout Time
Matt has always been a morning workout person. I do better in the afternoons because I am a little slow getting out the door in the mornings. Also, if I go to the gym near where I work it cuts down on the traffic. One thing that has been crucial to my workout routine is meal prepping both lunch and dinner and eating them at work. Since I work until 5 or 5:30, go to the gym, then drive 40 minutes home I don’t usually get home until 7:30 or 8pm which is way too long to wait for dinner. I bring both lunch and dinner to the office and eat dinner right before I leave, then a protein smoothie when I get home after I work out. A lot of my coworkers question me about eating dinner at work but I am proud that I am doing what I need to meet my health goals. Matt and I don’t mind not eating together. This will probably change when we have children but if I have learned anything with creating a workout routine, flexibility is key!

Selecting Workout Content
I like to do weight lifting on my own since I have a good routine from my former physical therapist and personal trainer. However, cardio is the opposite. I will get bored and not really push myself if I do cardio on my own. Luckily I have found some awesome group classes at Onelife that are just what I need. It took a lot of trial and error to determine which classes I liked and which I could get to easily after work. If I go to the gym near my work classes that start between 5:30 and 5:50 work best so I do not have to leave work early but are also not waiting around for the class to start. For the gym that is close to home 7pm is the best time on weekdays and then between 9am and 11am works well for me on the weekends.

Since I want a balance of strength training and cardio I had to find the cardio classes that fit my schedule and then fill them in with rest and weight lifting days. This gives me structure but just enough flexibility so that if something comes up I can switch my plans and still get in 3-5 workouts per week. I am now starting to explore at home workout videos for when I am on business trips or if I really can’t make the class times. It seems daunting to sift through so many workout videos for the ones that are the right level of difficulty, but I know once I get a few lined up this will just be one more way that I use flexibility in creating consistency.