I’m happy to partner with U by Kotex ® FITNESS* for this post!
Fitness was a big part of my life growing up. From soccer to basketball to swimming to track & field, I played/swam/ran it all. In high school, I stuck with just running and I looked forward to heading down to the track or the cross country trails as soon as the final bell rang each afternoon. I loved being on a team, competing, having my workouts planned out for me, and getting in shape alongside friends.The biggest change I experienced in college, fitness-wise, is that my motivation for running/working out shifted. The competition aspect disappeared and working out became more about knowing I’d feel better if I did. It also became something that wasn’t quite as easy to schedule into my days since I didn’t have mandatory practices every day after school, but it’s something I’ve consciously fought to keep in my schedule and not let it get crowded out because I know it’s so good for my body and for my mental health.
So, today I’m partnering with U by Kotex ® FITNESS* to talk about not letting anything get in the way of fitness, from physical to emotional barriers, and how I stay motivated to work out 5-6 days per week.
1. Move in a way that feels good
Most days, running feels good to me me. On a day that I’m feeling super wiped, though, the gym might be a better bet because I can lift weights on less energy. Sometimes, just a walk feels amazing! I think it’s so good to listen to your body and do what feels good that day, both physically and emotionally. Running just doesn’t feel good to some people, and that’s totally fine.
2. Focus on how I’ll feel after a workout
Sometimes, a workout feels awesome throughout the whole thing. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But I almost always feel accomplished and exhausted-in-a-good-way afterward, and nothing beats the endorphin rush from a great workout.
If nothing else, it’s a 45-minute (or an hour, or 30 minutes…depends on the day!) block of time that’s just for me and maybe a workout buddy where I’m not doing homework, sitting in class, working, or answering emails. I’m doing something for ME that feels good and that’s really good for me!
3. Figure out what coping mechanisms actually make me feel better and do those!
We all have different coping mechanisms we try during stressful times, some of which are healthy and some of which are not. I’ve tried the face-stuffing mechanism before and realized it didn’t actually make me feel better– it made me feel worse! I want to associate delicious food with happy times, not sad ones. I think our natural coping mechanism are often easy ones that don’t require much effort (i.e. eating an entire bag of tortilla chips), but those generally don’t actually make us feel better.
I’ve actively worked to develop healthy coping mechanisms that do make me feel better, like taking a kickboxing class (haha) or meeting up with a friend for a walk. Sometimes, just getting off campus or away from a source of stress for a couple of hours does wonders! It’s finals week now, and even though I’m more tired than usual, I always feel so much more energized and ready to tackle studying after I work out.
4. Push through discomfort…sometimes
The stomach flu that I had a few weeks ago? There’s no way I was dragging myself to the gym when I hadn’t kept food down for 24 hours. But sniffles? I’ll be outside running. Period cramps? Most likely, I’ll be running or hitting the gym.
For about 7 days each month, being a girl is tough. From dealing with cramps that feel like a tiny ninja is karate-kicking your insides to having ridiculously long/heavy periods, most of us have it bad and some of us have it really bad. But drinking lots of water, carrying on with normal activities as much as possible, and getting outside for some fresh air and movement are my favorite ways to deal with those physical curveballs that come my way.
When I’m feeling physically meh, one of the best things I can do for myself is go work out! If I don’t feel like it, I always tell myself to just start a workout and that I can stop anytime, and 99.8% of the time, I finish that workout because I feel better once I start and I feel soo much better afterward.
And even better if I get to run or go to the gym with a female workout bud who understands. One of my running buddies and I have a 30-second gripe session rule where, on a rough day, we get 30 seconds to let it all out and complain about whatever. Of course, being positive 100% of the time would be ideal, but sometimes that’s not real life, so this little rule lets us get things off our chest and then move on to happy things instead of turning our entire run an hour-long whine session!
To sum this whole post up, I try to generally do the things that make me feel good, both health and fitness-wise. Like staying active, eating mostly healthy food but not too much healthy food, and switching from cardboard to plastic applicators. (<- A joke, but truly, my life hasn’t been the same since.)
And some exciting news! I have a giveaway for all of you. Since it’s a new product line, you can get a free U by Kotex ® FITNESS* sample here. These are seriously the best- the tampons come with a small case to pop into your gym bag or backpack, and they’re actually really small and pop out to the “normal” size, so they’re easy to carry around.
And you can also enter my giveaway to win a whole bunch of stuff, including:
U by Kotex® FITNESS* Ultra Thin Pads With Wings, Regular (15 count)
U by Kotex® FITNESS* Folded & Wrapped Liners, Regular (40 count)
U by Kotex® FITNESS* Compact Tampons, Regular, Super (15 count)
To enter, use the Rafflecoper widget below:
You can also share how you don’t let your period get in your way by joining the conversation online using #FindYourFITNESS.
So tell me…
How do you stay motivated with fitness? Anything to add?
What are your favorite healthy coping mechanisms?
How do you deal with fitness during that not-so-lovely time of the month?