As a busy grad student, I don’t always have the chance to go to the gym, especially here at UCLA where, now that the academic quarter has started, it is very busy and crowded.
When I’m done working a 12 hr day where I have just been running around all day, the last thing on my mind sometimes is working out (although I do feel guilty and wish I would just go to the gym), but dinner and sleep sound more appealing since I have to be up and about early the next day to continue my experiments.
How to fit in working out?
Here is what I do (and I wear cute gym clothes to help me feel fabulous and stylish while working out, I have posted about these before):
I try to work out on the weekends. Since I hope that I wont be in lab on the weekend (unless needed), I tend to go to a fitness class on Saturday Mornings or, if I would like to sleep in (as is the case now), I will go for a run around the UCLA campus or go lift some weights (some type of upper body combination, either biceps and back, or shoulders and abs, or triceps and chest; I pick a combination that I feel like working out and go with it! I add about 20-30 min of cardio at the end.
On Sundays, I tend to work on legs (my fav day of workout), where I go in the early afternoon where it isn’t as busy, and I can easily find a squat rack. I do weighted squats, wide squats, lunges, deadlifts, hamstring curls, and other various leg exercises. And then I get on the stairmaster and do that for 15 minutes. Man, is it a workout, you are sweating within 10 minutes and already feeling sore!
If I decide I want to be outside, the boyfriend and I have recently started biking to Santa Monica by the beach – we rented bikes last week and it was so fun, that we decided we were going to buy our own bikes! I ended up buying a bike on Saturday and I am in love! Went and took it for a test drive yesterday, rode a total of 20 miles round trip from my apartment down to Santa Monica by the beach down to Manhattan beach and back to my apartment in West LA. It was awesome, fun, and I was able to be out in the sun. And its a hidden workout, since it works your legs and gives you a serious calorie burn!!! I am so sore this morning!
I try to make plans to workout with a friend. I find that this really works and makes me more likely to go to the gym. I can always find more work to do, as my experiments are never ending right now. If I make plans with a friend earlier in the day that we are going to go to the gym to workout, I am more likely to stick to it, because who wants to be that person to let your friend down because you are going to be in lab longer to keep working when you have already been in lab for 12 hours?? I try to go with a friend (if I can’t make it by myself) at least 3 x a week! I did go by myself this past week though, which I was proud of myself. I used to be able to go all the time by myself but since I have been so busy it has been hard to find the motivation.
I try to work out from home. If I don’t make it to the gym that day and I have energy to work out, I will try an online workout video (there are some great HIIT challenges going right now), or a yoga video (I subscribe to an online yoga site, with AMAZING yoga videos! definitely worth the subscription!). So even if I only get a 20 minute workout and even if its low impact, I still get myself moving and a workout is a workout! 😀
I actively commute to work. Since I live close enough to campus, I am able to walk about 15-20 min to work. Now that I have a bike again, I am going to try to bike to work, and that cuts down my commute to 7 minutes! It’s mostly downhill then a big uphill but its a great workout! If you can’t commute to work by walking or cycling, try integrating at least a 30 minute walk into your day, whether its at your lunch break or after work!
I wear cute workout clothes. Since I can’t always dress up and be fashionable for lab (I try, I swear, but sometimes I’m just SO tired, I just want to put on something comfy to roll out of bed and walk to work), I try to buy some cute workout clothes.
My favorite workout clothes that I have posted in the past are from GapFit, see previous posts, I am in love with their workout pants, particularly these heathered grey pants that are my favorite. They are comfy, give you the right curves, and just so cute! I really like their tops too, they are flattering and comfy, not tight!
My favorite sport bras are from Victoria’s Secret, they give you the right kind of support and look good under shirts. They don’t flatten out the tata’s which is nice. lol
I have found some nice workout clothes from Forever21, but my collection is limited.
I also love Nike workout pants/shorts – super comfy, although much more expensive (a little more expensive than Gap).
I wear cute workout sneakers. I tend to wear my sneakers to work, as it is one less thing I have to fit in my bag as far as workout gear, and I believe it brings me one step closer to actually working out (actually putting my gym clothes on is like 90% chance I will be working out). I am in love with Nike Frees, they have cute color combinations and patterns, which can be stylish based on your workout gear if you match it up! They’re a little expensive which is why I only buy one pair at a time (and I wear them until they are really worn out, haha) but if you have the extra cash, I would definitely splurge on the fashionable and comfy and productive pairs, since you will use them!!
What are your ways to keep fit on a busy schedule?
Where do you buy your workout gear from? Do you like being fashionable while working out? Let me know in the comments below!
– xo Andrea
*Disclaimer: I was not compensated for mentioning any of these brands or sites, just my personal taste and opinion when it comes to where I like to get my workout clothes from! *