Follow this confidence-building workout plan

What if, this January, you ignored all the voices telling you what you “should be” and instead focused on finding healthy habits that feel right for you? With the New Year, the only thing we are detoxing from is a limiting mindset. Pick a goal—movement, diet, self-care, or all three—and refresh. Get the program

The goal this week is to go into each training session and complete the workout feeling confident. Although we think of fitness as physical activity, much of it is about the mind-body connection.

“An athlete’s brain is unique,” neuroscientist Alison Brager previously told Well+Good. “Research shows that brain scans alone can determine who is an elite athlete versus who is a non-athlete.”

A mental technique that I have found to work well for both my clients and myself is to create a mantra that can help you get through difficult moments. The right phrase can focus your mind on your strengths and calm any anxious thoughts. An example I like: “I am consistent, capable and strong.”

If you don’t already have a go-to mantra that works for you, try some out over the next few days. Keep it short, simple and positive. It should be something you can repeat over and over in your head (or out loud, if you want!) when things get challenging.

This week’s confidence-building workout plan will help you prove to yourself that, yes, you can do hard things. Let’s get to it.

Photo: W+G Creative

Day 8: Do this full-body mini-interval workout

We’ll do two different sets of short-intervals in this routine, which means we’ll return to the same exercise with less rest in between. This will keep your heart rate up and increase the challenge on the next set. But watch your form: make sure you don’t lose your alignment and technique as your muscles tire. Whenever you’re tempted to quit, dig up a mantra and repeat it to yourself until you’re done.

Video coming soon—check back Monday morning to see the whole thing!

Day 9: Go for an outdoor run, walk, bike ride or hike for 20 minutes

If you’re able, move to a path where you can see other people working too. It can be motivating to know you’re not the only one out there. Even if you don’t interact with them directly, just seeing other people will give your workout a social element.

Science shows that exercising alongside others has multiple benefits. It can improve athletic performance and make workouts more satisfying. It can also help us commit to a regular routine: Fitness tracking app Strava recently reported that, last January, cyclists and runners who recorded group activity on the app completed 87 percent and 78 percent more active time, respectively, than their solo counterparts.

Day 10: Repeat the 8-minute full-body, multi-tasking workout

We’re back to our original workout, and I hope you’re getting the hang of following along by now. Of course, a YouTube workout isn’t the same as working out with a trainer in person. The best way to approach an online workout video is to go at your own pace while challenging yourself.

Our culture often has this mentality of over-resilience—“get tough or go home!”—but, personally, I interpret toughness as being disciplined enough to make good decisions. I’m not saying you should stop exercising just because you feel a little discomfort. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. When the going gets tough just remember your mantra! But if something is truly painful, not just challenging, don’t ignore it because you don’t want to be “soft.” ” This training is all about exploring your limits, balancing when you can push yourself and when you can pull back.

Day 11: Take a rest day

Today, use the time you spent doing something else that fills your cup, like catching up with friends or journaling. And don’t feel guilty about it. We become healthier inside and out when our lives are structured and filled with ways that bring us joy.

Day 12: Repeat the full-body mini-interval workout

By now you’re getting the hang of these strength workouts. And each is relatively short, so if you end up with more in the tank, do you have to challenge yourself to play again and do extra rounds? If it feels comfortable and exciting to you, absolutely. But remember that the primary goal here is to develop consistency—I still want you to train in February, March, and many Januarys to come. It’s great to safely push yourself, but we want to avoid burnout.

Day 13: Go for an outdoor run, walk, bike ride or hike for 20 minutes

Do you find yourself struggling to get out the door for a workout this time of year? You may want to take a peek inside your closet and consider whether an upgrade is called for. The right gear can make a winter workout so Much more comfortable. If you’re able, invest in some decent footwear and warm, sweat-wicking layers. Going out will be a lot easier—I promise.

When it’s really bitter in Chicago, I’ll wear my Under Armor insulated tights under the joggers, like light ski pants (which are squishy on the inside), so there’s a moisture barrier. I’ll also layer on insulated, fitted shirts and wear a face covering and a hat.

Also important: Once you’re done with your workout, get out of any sweat-soaked clothes as soon as possible before you get cold.

Day 14: Flow through this 29-minute yoga for core stability class

Give your core some love today. As the support channel for your entire body, it is literally the foundation of all your other energy work. Sometimes we don’t realize it, but if we have knee problems or hip problems, it can probably be traced back to our core. Strengthen and stabilize your entire trunk from your chest to your hips and glutes with this 29-minute yoga flow. It’s the longest workout of the month, but trust me: it’s worth it.

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