Last week I wrote about my beach body and focused on the transgender experience with wearing a bathing suit. People often ask me what my workout routines are, so this week I’d like to broaden the conversation and talk about how to start getting the healthy body you want. If you have a busy schedule, don’t have much experience with working out, or have even felt embarrassed or defeated when entering a gym; I have some very helpful at-home tips to kick start getting into shape, and it's easier than you think!
Step 1: Wake up, get out of bed, and stretch your arms up in the air, and then stretch them down to your feet (or as far as you can reach, the more you stretch the more flexible your body will become).
Step 2: Roll out your yoga mat or your carpet (yoga mats don’t have to be fancy or expensive and are much more comfortable than a rug.)
Step 3: Start by doing 15 jumping jacks
Step 4: Move on to 10 crunches
Step 5: Then do 5 push ups
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 once, repeat twice if comfortable.
Step 7: Stretch yourself out (kind of like how they taught us in gym class.) I've also found that the morning stretches shown below have noticeably increased my flexibility and helps me to better recover from my workouts. I don't repeat the sequence six times as I usually have to quickly jump in the shower, so once or twice will definitely do the trick.
If you really want to work on your butt, I suggest starting with 5-10 squats, five days a week, and adding 5-10 more each week. I also once did a fantastic squat challenge, but you have to have the correct form to maximize your results (and also so you don’t hurt yourself)! Feet should be just over shoulder-width apart, and have your toes pointed outwards. As you slowly squat down, keep your back straight and your butt out, parallel to the floor. As you come up slowly, (the slower the better you work the muscle,) squeeze in your buttcheeks. You can keep your hands together, centered in front of you (like you’re praying) or however you’d like to position them, to help keep your balance.
Major Key Alert: add 5 more to each exercise, each week, or as desired. The above numbers are a basis for those who have little experience working out, but feel free to start at a number you feel comfortable with (but should not be less than what I have here) and add 5-10 to that number each week.
This will help to kickstart your metabolism for the day, create energy, and will probably make for a better shower. (if you shower at night I suggest doing this routine after work before showering.)
Quick hygiene/beauty tip: Do not ever wait more than 45 minutes to an hour to shower after working out, even if you think you didn't sweat that much. This helps will help tremendously with your skin, and it also is very unhealthy ( and not to mention unhygienic) to go to bed or go about your day without showering after a workout. Not only is the smell of sweat not cute, but bacteria left behind on your skin can lead to some major acne, and even worse, an infection. Read more about the importance of showering after your workout here.
Another health tip: drink solely water, and in the winter tea. (If you drink coffee that’s great, I suggest using almond or soy milk, or switching to matcha.) If you're a soda drinker, eliminate it completely. If you’re addicted I suggest slowly weaning yourself off of of it one can or bottle at a time. Soda is probably the absolute worst drink you could have, and I promise you really won’t miss it that much once you see how amazing you look and how amazing you'll feel! If you're craving a little fizz in your drink, go to your supermarket and get flavored seltzer with some cranberry juice. Mix those, sooo yummy !!! Just be careful with the amount you drink per day as seltzer has been proven to rot your teeth (yikes!)
Try this out, and let me know how it works for you! Although this isn't a heavy workout, it's a great start! If you’re ready to begin changing how active you are, this starting point is more than you were doing before, and will make minor, but positive results. A little a day (or 4-5 times a week) can go a long way! Generally, we should all be having 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and that can even be by taking a walk or a light jog! The smallest amount of effort can improve long-term physical health, and of course your mental health! Working out is proven to boost your energy and mood, promote better sleep, help to control your weight (whether that is losing or maintaining it), and also helps with heart disease, high blood pressure, the list goes on. From the words of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
That’s all for today.
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner