December 16, 2014

5 Reasons to Work Out This Week (that have nothing to do with the scale)

If any of you are like me, it's quite hard to stay motivated to work out and eat healthy in the winter, especially around the holidays. For me, it's way easier to through my measly will-power out the window for that second Christmas cookies, or snooze my morning alarm to skip my workout.

Thankfully, my dear friend Mariah Secrest-Comer is here to lend us a hand and some renewed motivation! Mariah and I used to work together at the American Cancer Society where she would offer her personal training skills by leading lunchtime yoga. No she is the owner of Elevate Fitness, which specializes in personal training (in select locations), virtual coaching, and educational articles for busy professionals like you and me!


Her blog is full of helpful tips and coaching (check it out!), and she currently has a FREE "Slim and Social Guide to Happy Hour" available for download! Check it out - full of tips, charts, and resource lists for having fun night out on the town without undoing your fitness progress!

So without further adieu...


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Hello. My name is Mariah, and I am a Pinterest addict. (The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?) - recipes, DIY projects, hairstyles, my dream homes, etc. and, of course, fitspiration!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve done your share of browsing “inspirational” snippets on Pinterest (or your social media drug of choice), only to find that they provide rush of motivation that lasts only as long as it takes to scroll down to the next pin showcasing Triple Mocha Fudge Lava Cupcakes. (Abs or chocolate…that is the question.)

As a fitness professional, I try to strike a balance between image and mindset. I think we’d be lying if we said that women aren’t hardwired to want to look our best. When we’re proud of the way we look, we portray that confidence to the world! We can do anything with the right shade of lipstick and that dress that fits just right.

 But on the other hand, I can tell you with assurance that those who focus exclusively on the mirror usually have the most trouble staying on track and, ironically, may shortchange their long-term results. It’s easy to feel motivated for a hot second when you have a swimsuit to debut at your upcoming beach vacation.

It’s another thing to be rushing between your triple-booked meetings in the dead of winter, buried under three layers in a freezing cubicle and scrounging up leftover office cookies because you didn’t have lunch. Somehow your abs aren’t really a top priority anymore. So if the fitspo has worn off, shift your mindset and dig into these exercise benefits to boost your mojo. 



1// Better Rapport

Oxford University found that the endorphin levels of study participants who exercised together were higher than those who exercised alone. They concluded that this effect could spill over to a stronger network at the office when you set aside time to move your muscles with coworkers. Suggest lunchtime yoga for the group instead of a heavy lunch—you’ll find each other more likeable after! (To learn more, pick up the December issue of Self magazine.)


2// Increased Romance 

Couples who keep their stress under check through exercise are scientifically proven to be kinder and more patient with their partners on the days that they work out according to a 2008 study by Neff and Karney (more info HERE). Not to mention the boost in physical intimacy when both couples are active! Lower stress plus higher circulation and endorphin levels equals a good thing! (wink, wink!)


3// Easier Concentration 

Your ability to ace that tough project may lie in how often you lace up your running shoes. Aerobic exercise increases oxygen in your brain, which helps feed your toughest mental to-do’s!


4// More Confidence 

You don’t need to fit into your high-school sized jeans in order to get a confidence boost from exercise. In as little as one gym session, you’ll walk out with your head held a little higher.


5// Better Sleep 

Sleep and exercise are direct correlates. Do well with one and you’re more likely to improve the other! And it becomes a virtuous cycle. Those who sleep better (i.e. longer) experience fewer cravings due to optimization of the hunger hormone ghrelin.


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


One good turn deserves another! I challenge you for one whole week to judge the worth of your workout not by how you look, but by how you feel.

And the ironic thing is you'll be more likely to get those crave-worthy curves you once focused on--this time as a fringe benefit!

Thanks for letting me stop by, Meg!

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Pretty awesome motivation right? 
I think so - thanks Mariah for sharing these tips!

Definitely go download Mariah's "Slim & Social Happy Hour Guide" and visit her blog for more awesome coaching!


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12 comments:

  1. I love this post! I can attest to #5 being true. Working out all the stress from the day helps me to sleep better and generally just wears me out.

    www.26andnotcounting.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! Absolutely, Jess! I am totally in the same boat. When I work out really hard I sleep SO much better and wake up feeling great! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd be lying if I said most of my motivation for working out wasn't driven by vanity. I have had trouble concentrating lately though, so maybe I'll use that as my newest reason to get my butt to the gym!
    xo, Laura
    laurasbestlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mariah Secrest-ComerDecember 16, 2014

    Thanks, Jessica! So glad you liked it. Yes, it's funny that we sometimes think we're too tired to exercise, when we actually have it backwards--we need to exercise so that we can get real rest!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a great post, and I love how it was centered on how you feel about yourself and not just how you look. I definitely find that my mood is improved when I work out. It seems to put things into perspective, and I'm sure my husband appreciates that I'm a lot nicer:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mariah Secrest-ComerDecember 17, 2014

    Thanks, Kari! I know I'm definitely a better wife (and...hush, hush...my honey is a for sure a better husband) after we've exercised!

    ReplyDelete
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  8. You go, girl! You've got this and Mariah is here to motivate along the way!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes! I totally agree! Usually I feel obligated or it's centered through how I look as motivation, but I am definitely a happier person and better wife/friend/worker/etc. when I am focused and have the extra energy to love people better. Isn't Mariah's motivation so amazing?

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