Like I mentioned in last week’s post  I want to take the next few Wednesdays to share about my workout journey. I say journey, not for the sake of being dramatic but because it’s taken me a while to get where I am currently, and I’m still a far distance from where I want to be.

I’ve said previously that Lee and I have been hitting the gym consistently for about 4 1/2 months now. We are so fortunate to have not one but two gyms where we live so once we moved in there were zero excuses for working out. We have always been an active couple – weekend hikes are fairly common, kayaking is a tradition every year, and we’ve always tried to go on daily walks – but our jobs keep us chained to our desks most of the day (and night) and after a while, we started to notice we were spiraling pretty far down the “not healthy” trail.

I think when you’re first starting to get into a workout routine you have to establish goals for yourself. It’ll come as no surprise to you that I’m a very goal-activated person. If I have a target or a goal I’m 100X more motivated to complete a task. For Lee and I, we just wanted to get healthy. It wasn’t about losing weight or trying to run a marathon, our main goal for getting into the gym consistently was to balance our lives with a good mix of healthy activities to improve our lives.

For us, this goal translates into hitting the gym 2-3 nights per week. It’s manageable for our schedule and provides a good balance between the other activities we enjoy and spending our evenings in the gym. Once we decided on our goal, we had to find a time that worked for us. Both of us know that working out in the mornings DOES. NOT. WORK. for us. Inevitably, one of us ends up sick.

So we decided to go after work but before dinner. We tried going after dinner a couple times but found that the later it got in the evening the less inclined we were to get up and go. Hitting the gym right after working a full 8/9 hour day is the best feeling! It clears the cobwebs away, refreshes our bodies, and leaves us both physically tired in the best way possible!

A few other things I’ve learned about my pre-workout routine these last few months:

  • Before my workout, I always wash my face. I cannot stand having makeup on in the gym! I use this gentle, hydrating cleanser and it’s the best feeling being able to sweat without clogging pores!
  • I’m not a big believer in name-brand workout clothes, but if a piece of my clothing is uncomfortable in any way while I’m in the gym I tend to fixate on that and it makes the workout much less enjoyable.
  • I’ve actually found Old Navy and Forever 21 has a great selection of workout clothes for a fraction of the price. Sure, they may not be the best material but if you know your size and try on some options I think the selection will surprise you!
  • I have to grab a snack about an hour before the gym (since we go at dinnertime) and keep hydrated throughout the day.
  • I like to start my gym session with cardio, but jumping straight into cardio on cold muscles can be dangerous so I rely on dynamic stretches as I’m changing into workout clothes and our walk to get to the gym to warm my muscles up.

Next week I want to dive into my actual workout routine while in the gym and share what I use to stay on track, hit my goals, and learn new exercise routines, but now I know the benefit of this pre-workout experience. If you can find what works for you, what you’re comfortable doing, how you’re comfortable doing it, it will make your gym journey so much more pleasant.

What tips do you have for creating a pre-workout routine?