looking back on this year, my gym routine has been all over the place. I started off strong; I was going to the gym 3-4 days out of the week and could tell a huge difference in my strength + endurance and my overall health. it was probably the best I had ever felt, health-wise and confidence-wise.
but then my hip injury happened.
nothing major, but it definitely impaired my ability to workout for a while. I’m not sure if I just have a goofy running form or if my apartment complex’s treadmills are just that janky, but in the beginning of May, I tweaked my hip pretty good. it felt like it took forever for it to heal – my opposite hip even started to hurt from trying to pick up the slack. for a while, I tried to focus on strength training but when all I could do was arms and core, I got bored pretty fast.
even once my hip finally healed, it still took me a while to muster up the motivation + determination I once had since I had gotten so out of the habit. it wasn’t until august when I got some lab work done for my accutane and noticed my cholesterol was getting high again that I realized that I needed to get back into the gym.
I was nervous to run because I didn’t want to re-injure my hip. so I started slow, and I tried to get creative so it felt exciting instead of a like chore. I started using the university fitness center in lieu of my apartment’s gym since they have more variety and higher quality equipment (no more janky treadmills for me lol) and it’s easy to stop by on my way home so I don’t risk getting home, getting comfy, and then losing all motivation to be active (super guilty of this!) plus, they offer classes which if good for when I don’t want to be creative enough to think up my own workout.
as far as my routine goes, on average I usually go 2-3 days out of the week, depending on how busy my weeks get. earlier this year I was a lot better about incorporating strength training into my routine, but lately I’ve been focusing more on cardio.
I started out using the stairmaster. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I don’t think you really realize how out of shape you are until you start stair climbing lol. I challenged myself to go everyday for a week to jump start my new habit, only doing about 15 minutes at a time. I didn’t want to start t o o big in fear of wearing myself too thin, too fast. but that week really helped me build up confidence and a good sense of accomplishment (nothing will do that to you quite like finishing a workout completely drenched in sweat). plus, I really like getting to see my endurance improving through my average speeds. I swear when I first started, level 5 was too fast, but now it’s my base pace. I still have improving I want to do, but I constantly remind myself that you have to start somewhere!
I also decided to join in on a cycling class. sometimes it’s nice to be instructed – plus I feel more accountable to keep up when there’s a class full of people and an instructor watching me. it’s truly the best booty workout, and it’ll help with core stabilization (it took me a few weeks of class to get the swing of it!) not to mention I’ve made a couple friends, which certainly never hurt anybody!
lastly, I’ve been putting more focus into stretching. a lot of people might not immediately think of stretching as “exercise,” but it is, and it’s r e a l l y important – I learned this the hard way after my hip tweak. plus, I can tell I’ve been carrying a lot of stress in my shoulders and back, so it’s felt good to give my tense areas some relief. stretching will help keep your joints healthy and flexible, which will help reduce injury risk.
at some point I need to re-incorporate strength training back into my weeks, and I’ve also been contemplating learning how to train for a marathon. right now, I don’t have any desire to do an actual marathon – I just want to become a better runner – but who knows! I just think the experience + training would create a fun little challenge for me and give me a goal to work towards. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on if I go through with it or not!