Today’s post is sponsored by Nature Valley.

How to Get Motivated to Go to the Gym After Work with Kam of Campfire Chic

Since moving further away from work, I’ve been going to the gym after work to let traffic die down before heading home after work each day. Adjusting to my longer commute was really hard at first (it’s still not easy!) but now that I am going to the gym and getting into the groove of being active after sitting at my desk for 10 hours, it seems like a blessing in disguise.

I was used to going home to change and grab a snack before heading to the climbing gym so it’s not surprising that for the first few weeks I would forget essentials like a sports bra or hair ties. Not having everything I needed threw me off and I wasn’t able to focus on the task at hand. I lost interest in going to the gym right after work and tried to talk Alex into just letting us sit in traffic so I could nap in the car or anything else equally boring/dumb.

Good news: Now that I’m in the groove of going to the gym after a long day at work, I wanted to share some of the small things I’m doing to get me from “ugh, no!” to “hell, yes!” when it comes to working out. This week I went climbing, sat my ass on a stationary bike for 45 minutes, and to a heated power yoga class…and I caught myself looking for discounts to a spinning or Barre studio. Who am I?

How to get motivated to go to the gym after work

 

Pack Your Gear the Night Before - Campfire Chic

Reduce the opportunities for excuses.

Wearing a dress to work and realizing I didn’t pack pants for the gym was an excuse. Forgetting my climbing shoes and chalk bag by the front door? Another excuse. My being too long and not having clippers was yet another excuse. I now take 5 minutes each night and pack my climbing bag to make sure I have my harness, shoes, chalk bag, clippers, hair ties, and baby wipes. I also make sure to pack a top, sports bra, and pants because digging around in the back of my car for cast offs gets old after a while.

Tip: Pack your bag the night before and have it ready to go for the next evening. Keep a small pouch of essentials in your gym bag so you aren’t caught without something like eyedrops or lady products. Make sure your bag is easy for you to carry around in addition to the normal bag you bring with you to work. If you don’t like to change in the locker room, sneak into the washroom before leaving the office and change there.

Get motivated to go to the gym after work - campfire chic

Wear clothes that make you feel awesome.

I wear a lot of black, navy, and grey at work so wearing a hot pink tank top and leggings with a wild print on them makes me feel like a different person. I feel most comfortable in my leggings and knowing that I’m changing out of my boring work pants into my favorite pants helps me look forward to a few hours at the gym.

Tip: Make sure the outfit you pack in your bag is something you want to wear! Maybe it’s a pair of shoes in your favorite color or a pair of shorts that not only cover the essentials but come in your favorite pattern. Few things are more distracting than when you don’t feel comfortable…you pull at the straps of your top, tug at the hem of your shirt, and worry about the sheerness of your pants…so wearing comfortable clothing is important.

Fuel Your Active Lifestyle - Campfire Chic

Find a snack that keeps up with you.

I’ll be the first to admit that I get hangry when I don’t eat. Hangry and going to the gym? No thanks! I’m getting better at having a mini-meal toward the end of my work day so I have enough fuel for the climbing gym, but I need snacks to keep me going for the next 2 or 3 hours. Thanks to Nature Valley, my go-to snack right now is the new Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars. I know what you’re thinking, “Nature Valley? That shit gets everywhere, no thanks!” These aren’t the same bars…they’re thinner and have a bit of sweetness added to them.

Unrelated to going to the gym, I tested eating one of these in bed (which was just an excuse to grab a snack without needing to head downstairs to the kitchen) and it wasn’t a disaster. I tried both the almond dark chocolate and salted caramel peanut Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars.

Tip: Find a snack that you can toss into your bag the night before (like Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars!) and that are tasty enough that you want to eat it…imagine getting off of the treadmill and ready for a quick snack before you hit the foam roller and you don’t even want the snack in your bag. Don’t torture yourself! Pack a tasty snack!

Reward Yourself for Reaching Fitness Goals - Campfire Chic

Reward yourself for going to the gym after work a certain amount of times a week or month.

Maybe you’re in need of a new pair of shoes for Zumba…reward yourself with a new pair after you attend 12 classes. Maybe you reward yourself with a cold-pressed juice on Friday if you hit the gym three days that week. If clothes and juice don’t motivate you, maybe you could reward yourself with new music for your playlist, a new kettlebell for your at-home workouts, or splurging on a massage at the end of the month to pamper yourself.

I reward myself with food…because I love food.

Tip: Brainstorm a goal for yourself and establish a reward for yourself that makes sense (don’t buy yourself a new pair of shoes after going to the gym twice, that makes no sense). Rewarding yourself may help you build a habit of going to the gym and will motivate you to keep going so you can earn your prize!

Get Your Workout In After Work - Campfire Chic

Remind yourself that you get to work out all of the frustrations of the work day.

Too many people telling you to smile and appreciate the dead-end job you’re overqualified for? That kickboxing class probably sounds really great right now. Or maybe you are tired of the amount of time you are sitting at your desk cleaning up Excel documents your teammate thought would look like totes adorbs with her special take on formatting…that power yoga class is calling your name! Take your mind off of your workday with an awesome workout. I certainly couldn’t think about anything other than the sweat burning my eyes during class the other night. I’m looking forward to spending some time on the stationary bike tonight to get this long week out of my system.

Tip: Going to the gym can be the new happy hour, right? As minor frustrations build up during the day, remind yourself that as soon as that clock hits 5:00, you’re off the clock and on your way to rocking the shit out of the core conditioning class you are learning to love.

Get Motivated to Go Workout After Work - Campfire Chic

Get a friend to join you!

The time on the elliptical will go quickly with your friend by your side! If you’re nervous about trying out that spin class having somebody next to you to encourage you and motivate you to not walk (or stumble) out of the class is nice. My friend, Iris, and I hit a heated power yoga class this week and it was a lot more fun having her in the class than if I took it alone! I wasn’t worried about cursing under my breath or laugh when the instructor told us to smile when I was being blinded by my own sweat. That pole fitness class I took a few weeks ago? So much more fun with friends!

Tip: See if your gym membership includes guest passes so you can bring a friend to class or score discounts to a class you’re both interested in trying. Having somebody next to you who is also thinking about a giant cheeseburger with fries after class is motivating!

It’s not easy to get motivated to do something you don’t really want to do and going to the gym after a long day at work is one of those things for me. I’m learning to love the routine and I’m sure I’ll love it even more once I start taking fitness classes at my gym.

How do you get motivated to go to the gym? 

This post is sponsored by Nature Valley. The new Nature Valley Nut Crisp Bars are now available for you to enjoy while hitting the gym or exploring the outdoors. While Nature Valley sent me Nut Crisp Bars to try for myself and are compensating me for this post (I may have the almond dark chocolate ones in my Amazon cart right now), the opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

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in Active

Pole Fitness Tips for Beginners From a Beginner - Campfire Chic

Friend: “Do you want to come to my Pole Party on Saturday? There will be snacks, drinks…and it’s totally blog-able”

Me: “Snacks? I’m in”

And that’s the conversation that brought me to today’s blog post. Because I figure it’s time for another From a Beginner post and who wouldn’t want to know a few basics about going to your first pole fitness class?

The Pole Party was held at Alpha Pole Fitness in Corona, CA and was hosted by my friend who goes with me to the Yoga “raves” because she won a raffle. She invited a bunch of girlfriends so we could see what the classes are like. I went to a student showcase my friend was in a few years ago and was amazed at how talented and strong the students were as they climbed the poles and spun in the hanging silks. I did zero research for this class, which is very unlike me, so I need to share the biggest tip right off the bat:

Tip #1: Wear shorts: I wore leggings to the class because it was at night and I essentially live in leggings right now. Why shorts? Because you need the friction from your legs (yay, friction!) to climb the pole and do spins from higher up on the pole. Thanks to rock climbing, I could get up on the pole but the tops of my feet were bruised (apparently called “pole kisses”) for a week to the point where I couldn’t wear my climbing shoes. Wear shorts, kids.

During the Pole Party, we did a quick warm up that got us familiar with holding onto the pole and moving around the pole without feeling like all eyes are on you. We learned how to do a basic walk around the pole that is a good transition between moves, some simple spins, putting moves together, how to reverse your direction while moving around the pole…and how to do a proper hair flip without hurting yourself. We did climb the poles a bit (I didn’t last too long because of the damn leggings) and took a ton of photos while we all practiced the moves we learned. At the end, we put everything together for a short routine!

Tips for your first pole fitness class:

  1. Wear shorts (see above)
  2. If there are different sized poles, test both to see which feels better in your hand. A slimmer pole may be easier for you to climb!
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I wore a shirt listing out my favorite carbs to class and a pair of leggings with a wild print. Go in wearing sometime that makes you feel awesome and maybe even makes you laugh as you look in the mirrors.
  4. Hydrate before (during & after) class because you’ll work up a sweat in no time! The studio was very chilly when I got there but moving around and spinning gets your blood pumping.
  5. Bring a friend. Honestly, if I went to a class and didn’t know anybody I doubt it would have been as much fun! You’ll want somebody nearby to give you feedback on your moves and to cheer you on as the instructor comes by to check if you’re mastering a new move.
  6. Have a song in mind in case the instructor takes requests! While your classmates yell out “Cherry Pie!” you will have a song in mind that gets you into character and ready to dance

I never expected to walk into a pole fitness class like this but I’m thrilled I spent a couple of hours doing something different and working up a sweat at the same time! The studio is super close to where I live so I’m considering dropping into a basic class before long.

Have you taken a pole fitness class? What tips would you add to this list?

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in 2015, Active, From a Beginner

Roundup of helpful articles, blog posts, and videos from around the net

 

This week is all about either finishing or giving up on a few back burner projects, getting my taxes in order, and prepping for the upcoming 30 Days of Lists challenge. My tiny desk is covered in sticky notes and I’m sure Rintu thinks I’m unemployed since I’ve been working at home most of the week.

This week’s Essential Reading:

 

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in Essential Reading

The giveaway mentioned below is hosted by Sport Chalet. I am partnering with them as one of their “Outdoor Expert Ambassadors”.
Sport Chalet and Campfire Chic Instagram Giveaway 2015

 

I teamed up with Sport Chalet (a major outdoor and sporting good store) to give one lucky Instagrammer a $50 gift card. Since it’s a long weekend for some folks, I thought it would be the perfect time to encourage people to share their weekend microadventures on Instagram with the added bonus of entering to win a giveaway without needing to re-post anything!

This giveaway goes through Monday, January 19th. You can post as many of your weekend adventures using the hashtag…Sport Chalet will post the winning photo on their social media outlets and tag, you, too! It’s kind of nice to share your story with new audiences, right?

You can find the original post about the giveaway here.

P.S. If you’d like to find me, I’m @campfirechic

 

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in Announcement, Giveaway

Take the Personal Digital Purge Challenge with Campfire Chic

I spend way too much time looking at my phone. I open and close apps. I swipe and like and comment. It’s just too much. So 2 1/2 years ago, I had a week-long feature called Digital Purge Week mostly so I would clean up my digital life and get my shit together.

Now that it’s the new year, I know it’s time for me to go through another digital purge.

I updated the content a I shared a few years ago and turned the whole thing into a weekly email series. When you subscribe (see below) you will receive a weekly email from me focusing on a different area of your digital life including your inbox and your blog reader. There are resources included in each email and suggestions on actions to take each week to get your digital life under control.

I’m inviting you to take the Personal Digital Purge challenge with me!

There is no charge for this course, all you need to do is plug in your email address in the form below and hit ‘subscribe’. There will be a confirmation email asking you to confirm that you actually want to be subscribed, but other than that, you’ll be set!

Take the Personal Digital Purge Challenge!


You can start the challenge whenever you’d like, this is offer will not shut down any time soon, so if you sign up today or sign up two weeks from now, you’ll get the same information. The emails will be delivered to your preferred inbox and you’ll be good to go.

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in Announcement, Digital Purge Week

December Daily 2014

I had big hopes for my 30 Days of Lists and December Daily album this year. 

It was going to be simple because I had a plan…make a Currently List each day, take a photo, make a list, fill in the blanks…it should’ve been simple and easy and quick.

It’s mid-January and I’m not done with my album. My lists are done, the album is outlined…but I missed taking a photo for a few days and I missed about a week and a half of my Currently Lists. Thankfully, I was able to rearrange my pages to make it less obvious that things are missing, but I’m still a little bummed that things didn’t work out as I hoped.

December Daily and 30 Days of Lists Album Combo - Campfire Chic

My hopes were that each double-page layout would look like day #5…a photo (I uploaded the photos to the Collect photo app and them printed them through Persnickety Prints), a Currently List, a date card, my list for the day, and a few other cards to bring things together.

30 Days of Lists December 2014  and December Daily - Campfire Chic

 

A couple of my layouts look like Day 3 — no photo! Others are missing a Currently List, which is when I changed the layout from a 2-page layout to a 1-page layout, which worked out well.

I am done with maybe 8 of the layouts (out of 31) so I’m still plugging away and using up the limited amount of embellishments I have on hand. It’s nice to use things that have been in my stash for a while. All that needs to be done now is to fill in some journaling and embellishments for the remaining layouts.

I’ll be posting more photos of my album as I finish it on Instagram (@campfirechic) and Snapchat (campfirechic).

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in 2014, 30 Days of Lists, December Daily, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking

10 Activities to Try in 2015 - Campfire Chic

I love trying new things…correction: I love the idea of trying new things. In fact, I tried a pole fitness class for the first time! It was hilarious, fun, and exhausting.

When it comes down to it, trying new things scares me (even driving new places stresses me out) so what I try to do is learn as much as I can about something or some place before I even get there. I don’t like surprises so I’ll use Google Earth to see what landmarks are around my destination, I’ll read Yelp! Reviews and find websites to gather information on a new activity or gym I’m visiting.

I figured I couldn’t be the only one who likes to have a few tips before trying something new…can you imagine going to a Bikram Yoga class without looking into it first? (Tip: have a towel or something to cover your car seat after class because you’re going to be a stinky mess if you don’t shower in the locker room). So I decided to channel my nerves into something useful by trying new things so I can share tips from a fellow beginner to other people who are interested in trying that same thing.

A few other beginners (and once-beginners) wanted to share their advice for different workouts and activities, which is awesome. If you have an activity you would like to share some times on, contact me and we can chat.

10 activities to try in 2015 & tips from (one-time) beginners:

  1. Go stand-up paddleboarding
  2. Take a spin or cycle class
  3. Need a challenge? Try ice climbing
  4. Want to stay indoors? Take up bouldering at your local climbing gym
  5. A dancer at heart? Maybe Barre is for you
  6. TRX is a good way to get in a workout
  7. Register for the Color Run (or Color Me Rad)
  8. Pilates isn’t just about using crazy contraptions! Mat Pilates is a thing
  9. Breathe deep and enjoy shavasana in your first Yoga class
  10. Escape from the ordinary with your first backpacking trip

What types of activities will you be trying in 2015?

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in 2015, Active, Adventure, From a Beginner