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Alyssa Cristadoro

Three Tips To End Workout Comparison

end workout comparison

We’ve all been there. You’re running on the treadmill and the person next to you is going at a speed of 7.0 but you’re only going at 6.0, so you speed up to be at the same pace. Or you look over at what the person next to you is squatting and add an extra plate. You do one more rep because the person who’s always at the gym is watching you and you want them to see that you’re doing just as much as he is (reality check: nobody is actually watching you in the gym! – everyone is there for themselves). 

Workout comparison gets pretty ugly. Just like any sort of comparison does. It brings you down and robs you of your joy. 

So how do you stop comparing what you do in the gym to what everyone else does? 

Appreciate your differences.

Remember your body is unique. What feels best for you during a workout may not feel as great for someone else. Honor that. Do what feels good for you, don’t do something because someone else is doing it.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t beat yourself up because you may not be able to run as fast as the person next to you. They may not be able to do something as well as you. Remembering that we all excel at some things more so than others is crucial.

Remember your why.

Don’t lose sight of why you go to the gym. Everyone has different fitness goals but overall, you shouldn’t be working out to be better than someone else. Unless you’re training for a race or powerlifting meet, your goal shouldn’t be to out-lift someone or out-run someone. You should be exercising because moving is beneficial to your health, because it helps to relieve stress, and because working out is fun. You should love what you’re doing and embrace the fact that whatever workout you are doing feels good for your body. 

Refocus your attention.

Comparison steals your joy. When you find yourself comparing what you’re doing to someone else, take a step back and refocus your mind by thinking back to your why. Work on being better than yesterday, not better than the person next to you in the gym. When we comparison within ourselves, we allow for growth. When we have it with others, we set ourselves up for feeling insecure and disappointed. 

Stay focused on your own journey with fitness and you’ll stop caring about others’.

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You Don’t Need to be Dripping in Sweat to Have a Good Workout

For a long time, I thought that the amount of sweat correlated to how good my workout was. I loved the feeling, and I still do love the feeling of a great sweat session. It makes my body feel refreshed and it helps to boost my energy levels. Not to mention, a killer, sweaty workout also makes me feel like a champ. 

But the thing is, sometimes the only way I’ll sweat during a workout is doing tons of cardio. And I know that isn’t fun for me, and doesn’t make my body feel too great. When I decided to cut out how much cardio I was doing and incorporate more lifting workouts, I noticed that I didn’t sweat as much. And at first it bothered me. 

I thought that I wasn’t working hard enough. I felt a bit guilty at first for not breaking a sweat and getting my heart rate up. I had it in my head that in order for the workout to count, I needed to leave sweating. I was so wrong. 

Some days, my body temperature would be a little different. I would go in warmer and find myself sweating a bit more those days. And some days I would barely break a sweat. Some workouts where I lifted my body felt incredible. I felt so strong and empowered even though I didn’t leave dripping with sweat and rosy red cheeks. I knew that I had fun in there and enjoyed my workout, which is ultimately the most important thing.

The amount you sweat does not determine whether you worked hard or not. How your body feels is what counts. If you feel strong and leave that gym feeling like you killed it but didn’t really sweat that much, that is 100% fine. If you leave that yoga class feeling relaxed and flexible but don’t feel that tired or sweaty after, you still got something out of it and benefited your body in so many ways. 

So, don’t stress if you don’t leaving the gym dripping in sweat. That doesn’t determine if you worked out or not. Go in there, have fun, and continue to do whatever makes your body feel the best.

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I Broke My Gym Routine and It Was Fine

If you know me, you know I like routine. I like having a plan. I love making schedules. I thrive off consistency. 

And if you also know me, you know I love to move my body. Whether that’s lifting weights, doing cardio, doing yoga, going for a walk or hike; I value movement of the body and appreciate it so much. Working out is like therapy to me. It’s fun. There really is nothing like a good sweat to make you feel on top of the world. 

But the thing is, life happens. Our plans don’t always come to fruition. Sometimes, sh*t really does happen. Whether that means tons of exams, sickness, or a lack of sleep, plans get broken. And so do our routines. But the thing is, that is okay! Life is full of twists and turns. There is a beauty in going with the flow and being spontaneous. In those moments we learn so much about ourselves. 

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I broke my gym routine. A few years ago, that sentence would have left me in tears. I haven’t had a normal gym schedule in three weeks. Exams left me with zero time, then I got a horrible cold, and then I went on a service trip. All of that put the gym at the bottom of my priority list. 

I’ve learned that the gym will always be there. Some amazing opportunities that may require you to take some time from working out won’t. What if you said no to going on a vacation with your friends because you didn’t want to lose your precious workout time? What if you said no to an amazing internship or job because it cut into your gym schedule?

Life is about so much more than working out. The gym shouldn’t be your top priority. Sure, it’s important to stay healthy, but that means you need to stay mentally healthy, too. Vacation is a mental break. A new job is an excellent mental challenge. You won’t lose your fitness in a few weeks, your body needs a break, and the gym will be there waiting when you’re ready to come back.

Don’t be afraid to take some time off your routine. Our bodies really need it sometimes. Go out and adventure. Don’t say no to opportunities or fun plans because you are afraid of missing a workout. Life doesn’t revolve around the gym. It isn’t the center of everything, it is not the end-all be all. 

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10 Ways Yoga Has Improved My Life 

When I first started practicing yoga, I went into it thinking it was going to be some weird hippy-dippy practice that I would get bored doing. Oh, how was I so wrong? (Well, maybe not about the hippy-dippy part – it can be – but definitely about the boring part!) It has benefited my life in so many ways, and I am so thankful for that day I first decided to step onto my mat. I’m not going to write a novel here about how cool yoga is, but here are just 10 of the ways yoga has improved my life.

me

Yoga helps me…

1. Take a step back. I sometimes try to go full-force with every little thing I do. Yoga has taught me I can just take a chill pill and calm the heck down. 

2. Reduce anxiety. When I’m stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, I go to my mat. It is my safe place – my place just for me. 

3. Increase my flexibility. We all know it’s important to keep those muscles loose. What better way than to stretch out than to ease your body into cool yoga poses, am I right?

yoga pose

4. Ease my depression. Yoga has helped my depression tremendously. The good vibes in my yoga studio and my favorite instructor always have the ability to bring a smile to my face. 

5. Strengthen my mind-body connection. If I’m tired, I don’t make myself bend into a certain pose. I can stop. I can breathe. It is my practice, my practice for me – not anyone else! 

6. Become more mindful. When I step onto my mat, I don’t think about everything that happened right before that moment. I don’t think about what will happen after I step off my mat. I think about the here and the now. 

7. Breathe more deeply. I use yogic breathing techniques outside of my practice, too. It helps to calm me down when I’m super stressed or anxious. 

8. Challenge myself. Working my way into new poses and learning to quiet my mind has challenged me and helped me in ways I never thought I could. 

9. Work from within. Not every workout has to leave you drenched in sweat. Sometimes we get so caught up in that mindset that we forget how working out should really be working within our minds. Sure, yoga is great for your body. But it also helps you grow far more than just some toned arms, ya feel me? 

10. Love myself more. Yeah I know, cheesy. But yoga has taught me to love and appreciate my body a whole lot more than I ever thought I would be able to. 

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I Stopped Forcing Fitness and Found My Happy Place

When I was younger, I was always involved in some activity. I tried it all: basketball, dance, soccer, gymnastics. But the one thing that stuck with me was gymnastics. My mom was a gymnast and I wanted to be just like her. 

I dropped all of my other sports and really dove into the gymnastics scene. From age 8 onward, I discovered a love for the sport. Being upside down gave me the biggest thrill and learning new skills was so much fun for me. Gymnastics taught me dedication, it showed me the power of hard work, and it taught me to give it my all – at all times. 
 
But things got a little rocky in my teenage years. Around age 13, I really began to dislike my body. And at 14, I was diagnosed with anorexia. Gymnastics rewarded perfectionism, and I believed that everything had to be perfect, even my body. I didn’t feel satisfied with myself, so I gave it my all to feel satisfied. I started training 20 hours a week. And on top of that, I would work out more at home, including swimming laps, running, or making up my own workouts because I never felt like I was doing enough. And when I didn’t do those extra workouts at home or run that extra mile, I felt an incredible amount of guilt that I could not bear to sit with. I was controlled by exercise. 
 
I ended up quitting gymnastics. My therapist felt it wasn’t best for me, and I knew that I could never fully progress with my recovery if I stayed in the sport. A sport focused on perfection was not the best for my Type A personality.
 
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Fitness sat on the back burner in my life for a bit because my health needed to come first; I had to beat this battle with anorexia. But after lots of treatment and a whole lot of tears, fitness soon made its way back. 
 
However, this time, fitness played a completely different role. Coming from a past of exercise addiction, training 20 hours a week for gymnastics, and exercising for the wrong reasons, I knew that fitness needed to play a much healthier role in my life this time around. 
 
I continued on with yoga, something I started when I was sick with my eating disorder. I discovered a huge love for that. Yoga made me feel alive again. I finally stopped forcing myself to be a slave to cardio machines for every single workout and discovered how amazing lifting weights is. Lifting makes me feel strong and invincible. It makes me feel unstoppable. 
 
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Fitness and I have had a pretty complicated relationship. We’ve had our ups and downs. But I am so thankful for fitness. Because exercise and moving my body is something that I love so much now. The gym has become my therapy. Yoga has made my soul flourish. I appreciate all my body can do now and give it the rest and love it needs. 
 
Moving your body is tons of fun. Especially when you allow yourself to do what you truly want. We all know there is no better feeling than a great sweat. I know that for sure. Yet I also learned how to listen to my body along this fitness journey, and that is something I am so incredibly thankful for. 
 
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