How to create an exercise routine that sticks

"I NEED to exercise but for some reason it just doesn't happen."
"I want to get into running but it's hard to get my butt out the door."
"I know I should go to yoga, but honestly I'm kind of intimidated."

Any of these lines sound familiar? 

We all know exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but with our busy lives, this is often the piece of the equation that gets left out. Let me be real with you - to be your healthiest self, to feel energized and inspired, to be confident in your body - you MUST exercise, or move your body in some way on a regular basis.

I know this may sound intense but hear me out.

Why is exercise so important?

  • It's energizing - Moving your cells wakes them up! Plus physical exercise also requires us to use motor skills and parts of our brain that we don't use most of the day (because most of us work on the computer).

  • It stimulates body’s natural detox functions - Sweating, breathing and elimination (pooping!) are all ways that your body "takes out the trash" and you want that to be happening regularly. No one wants to live in a house filled with trash, do they?? Exercise pretty obviously stimulates your breathing and sweat functions, but it also helps move things along in your digestive system.

  • Movement OUTSIDE creates movement INSIDE - Different exercise types inspire different moods and energies in our bodies. For example...

    > Running and cardio = endurance, stamina, feeling of moving forward
    > Yoga, dance, stretching = flexibility, calm, sense of peace
    > Strength training or high intensity training (HIIT) = strength, energy

What type of exercise should I do?

Every body needs a little something different, but most research shows that we need to do a combination of things for optimal energy and well-being.

If you always do the elliptical, why not try weights one day instead? Or perhaps you strictly go to yoga - maybe skip a class for a long walk.

How do I make it happen?

Here are a few ways to make sure that pilates class or HIIT workout or short jog actually happen:

Buy some special workout clothes/shoes/gear that you LOVE - Being excited to spend time in your workout clothing can make all the difference between getting to the gym or staying on your couch. 

Put your workouts in your calendar. Literally. Block off the time, set a reminder, and don’t accept other commitments during those times. Treat this as if you had a meeting or date with someone - you wouldn’t cancel last minute on someone else, so why do it with yourself? I find it helps to workout at the same time each day (I’m a morning girl), but do what works for you.

Find an activity that you actually enjoy. There are SO many different workouts out there now - you don’t have to spend time doing something you hate (because life is meant to be enjoyed, right??!). If you actually enjoy your workout, you are WAY more likely to stick with it.

Here are some resources for exploring different workouts (without breaking the bank!):

ClassPass - One membership that gets you into all sorts of different workouts - yoga, cardio, dance, high intensity, sports, etc. 

New student specials - Most studios/gyms have some sort of free trial period, or discount for new students. Take advantage of this!

The growing world of online workouts - There are so many inspiring teachers on YouTube or membership-type services so you’ll never get bored! Many of them are free or offer a low subscription fee. Here are some that I love:

  • FORTE Fit - You can now take my yoga classes online (!!!) as well as some of the top workouts in NYC via FORTE Fit's online platform. Use the code 'EMILYFORTE' and receive a FULL YEAR membership for just $50!
  • YogaGlo - A great library of yoga videos with something for everyone. I love that you can sort by body part, mood, duration and instructor.
  • Bikini Body Guide - A printable guide with targeted HIIT workouts.

Okay here's your homework for this week: make a workout plan! This can be ONE new thing you are going to try this week, or ONE tip you are going to take away from this post. Leave a comment below and let me know how you are going to MOVE IT this week.

3 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

Hello December and hello holiday season! Today I'm sharing with you my favorite no-fuss tips to feel your absolute best through the holidays. Because there is so much going on this time of year (cocktail hours and office parties! visiting family and friends!), we often forget to take time for ourselves. 

The truth is, when we forget to take care of our bodies, we aren't able to fully show up to everything else in life. As a result, we feel stressed, anxious, and even angry during what is supposed to be a joyous and celebratory time. So do yourself (and your loved ones!) a favor and make that time for yourself every single day. 

Here are my top tips to feel your BEST this holiday season:

1. Start your day with ME time - Begin each day with meditation and exercise. This doesn't have to be anything crazy! 1 minute of breathing and 5 minutes of movement is enough to get your blood moving and energy pumped! 

2. Eat a balanced breakfast - When you make good food choices in the AM, you are more likely to continue those choice throughout the rest of the day. This also leaves room for "treats" later in the day - maybe those Christmas cookies your co-worker brought in or a festive drink at happy hour. I love a green smoothie, but oatmeal and eggs with veggies are other great options.

3. Chew your food - Chewing each bite of food helps us slow down and savor, not only the meal but also the moment! Take deep breaths and engage your senses - see, smell, hear whats going on and soak it all in.

Try one or all of these tips, and let me know how they work for you! I'd love to hear how you feel in the comments below!

5 Tips to Increase Your Energy

Good morning and happy spring!  Even though it is not quite spring officially, it certainly is starting to feel like spring, which is such a relief after all the snow and the cold we have had this winter. 

Spring is a time of starting fresh, beginning new projects, and a time of rapid growth.  As the flowers start to emerge from the ground and the air begins to warm, there is a palpable buzz of energy in the air.  Here are five simpls tips to capitalize on that natural buzz of spring:

  1. Drink more water - My number one tip for increased energy is to drink more water.  This is especially important now as we transition from the dryness of winter.  Try this:  Throw a few slices of fruit and/or fresh herbs into your water bottle for a flavor (and nutrient) boost.   My favorite combination is mint and lemon - yum! 
  2. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables - Springtime means many farmers markets are back in full swing, and all sorts of great fruits and veggies are in season: arugula, asparagus, fennel, garlic, mint, new potatoes, parsley, peas, radishes, ramps, the list goes on!  Eating in season means you are getting the freshest produce with the most nutrients.  More nutrients = more natural energy.  Score!
  3. Eat more greens - Leafy greens are the best way to fill up without feeling heavy.  Not a huge salad fan? Try adding a handful of greens to smoothies, sandwiches, stir frys, and soups.  
  4. Move your body! - Exercise!  Even if it is for only 15 minutes, try to incorporate some sort of movement into your daily routine.  Getting the heart rate up and the breath pumping floods the body with new life and flushes out toxins.  No time to go to the gym?  Try some simple exercises in the comfort of your own home.  YouTube has tons of exercise videos - from gentle yoga to high intensity interval training - there is something for everyone. 
  5. Spend time outdoors - My favorite way to beat the afternoon slump?  Go outside for a 15-30 minute walk.  Not only are fresh air and sunshine are a vital part of a healthy diet, but the short break from whatever you were working on will allow you to return focused and clear headed. 
day at the park.jpg

Incorporating just one of these tips into your daily routine will have visible results.  Once you’ve got one down, see if you can work up to all five, and watch your energy levels soar!

What is your favorite way to boost your energy naturally?