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Do you ever feel like one of the obstacles to making it to the gym is just knowing what to do? I have a laundry list of excuses that keeps me from exercising as often as I’d like. Aside from finding time, the notorious offender, I often just don’t know what to do when I do find the time. I’m not a runner and everyday on the treadmill or elliptical bores me to tears, or shall I say, bores me to being a couch potato. When I get to the gym and see all the machines or set forth to create a home workout, I just don’t have the darnedest idea of what exercises to put together to make a good sequence.
When I was younger and had all the time in the world, I attended classes at gyms and studios. Over the last few years, I’ve taken advantage of my personal trainer mother-in-law and combined her suggestions with some sequences I’ve found in magazines or on the TRX website. But loose magazine pages torn out and handwritten sequences floating around on my counter become giant clutter disasters and ended up in the recycling bin or buried in my phone or email.
Feeling inspired to find a new solution, I though I’d try a bulletin board to easily display a handful of sequences I could pull off the wall, take to my living room for an at-home workout, and tack right back on the wall when I finished my workout.
As I racked my brain for solutions, my creative resourcefulness started collecting a few things lying around my apartment. I needed something lightweight that didn’t need to be a long term solution necessarily (we live in an apartment that’s nice but not our “forever home”).
You know I’ve been moving toward a more socially responsible and eco-friendly life too after my week dedicated to conscious consumption and my recent 90/10 Socially Conscious Style Challenge. Thus was born my upcycled DIY cardboard bulletin board!
I’ve got to be honest! I was pretty proud of myself as I created this simple and very effective project with a few remnants lying around the house. Motivated by my excitement and the prospect of working out a bit more frequently, I came up with a list of a few more environmentally friendly ways to get my butt in gear for a good butt kickin’. Without further ado:
5 “Green” Ways to Motivate Your Fitness Routine
1. Dust Off That Old Boombox
What’s a workout without great music?! Grab a couple CD’s that you’ve already got laying around your house and jam to some old school tunes.
I think it’s so much fun to rock out to old songs I haven’t heard in FOREVER but loved, especially when I was about ten years old! After a little Taylor (not old school obviously), I think I’d start with a little New Kids on The Block “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Step by Step”. Remember those songs?!
There’s a decent chance my giant boombox needs a new set of batteries. Did you know that Energizer recently introduced a new EcoAdvanced Recycled Battery? It’s a pretty neat and innovative idea and the first of it’s kind on the market. They use recycled batteries to create new batteries that are actually their longest-lasting alkaline batteries too. Cool, right? So power up your old school beats with new-age technology that keeps a few batteries out of our ever-growing landfills. Every little bit helps!
If you’re not using your boombox, snap those batteries into your TV remote. We all know that gets regular use in most households (between our rigorous workouts, of course).
I picked up my EcoAdvanced Recycled Batteries from Walmart (you can get AA or AAA) right near the checkout counter next to all the candy that my impulsive sweet tooth wanted to chow down despite my focus on fitness.
2. Refashion an Old Shirt for New Sporty Style
Doesn’t everyone have a little pep in their exercise step in new workout clothes? I know I definitely do. Instead of dropping a pretty penny on the latest and greatest attire, consider refashioning something you already own to spark your fitness frenzy.
If you’ve got an old t-shirt lying around, chop it up a bit and add some fabric paint for a cool graphic design. Then go pair it with those super comfortable and stylish yoga pants that will feel awesome (and make your butt look good), because those are pretty great too!
I created this refashioned t-shirt a while back. It didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but I loved the finished product. Stop on over and check out the tutorial. It’s totally easy, I promise!
3. Create a Simple Upcycled Inspiration & Idea Board
Like a mentioned above, I often struggle to figure out what to do when it’s time to workout if I’m not attending an instructor-led class. Having created my upcycled DIY bulletin board, I have been posting my favorite workout sequences and referring to them when I have a few minutes to squeeze in a quick 20-minute circuit while the boys are napping.
Carry your boom box to your craft table, listen to some tunes while you make your board, and then pump up the jams for a little more energy to work up your sweat! Let me share my last two ideas and then I’ll give you the DIY tutorial details below.
4. Relax With Candlelight Yoga
Fitness doesn’t always have to be about sweat and racing heart beats. Our bodies benefit tremendously from a little relaxation and meditation to reduce the stress of our daily lives. Grab a few candles that you don’t often pull out except during those summer storms when the power goes out. (If you can’t find them, they’re probably in a drawer with your flashlight and those batteries you just bought.)
I love candlelight yoga and find it incredibly peaceful. Some of my favorite poses for relaxing night time yoga include child’s pose, legs up the wall, spinal twists, and savasana. If you’re opposed to silence, here are a few of my favorite songs for a calming yoga session:
Skin on the Drum by Michael Franti & Spearhead
Rose by Ludovico Einaudi
Come Home by Amatorski
What If You by Joshua Radin
Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch
Warm Whispers by Missy Higgins
Journey’s End by Blackmill
Rain by Blackmill
Sidenote: Blackmill has lots of great songs as well for more active yoga series. I love them!
5. Hair Elastic Organization Hack
I know I’m not the only one who loses hair elastics like it’s my friggin’ job. It’s so annoying. It’s even more frustrating when I have a bit of motivation to work out, and I’m wandering around the house trying to find an elastic to keep my hair up while I exercise. Please tell me this happens to you too?!
Next time you’re the one to use up the last of the toilet paper roll, hold on to the darn thing. Stand it up on your bathroom counter and store all your hair elastics around it. Now that they have a home, you’ll need to be diligent to return them when you’re done. Good luck!
Now let’s move on to the instructions for the super simple and totally functional tutorial!
Easy DIY Upcycled Bulletin Board Tutorial
As I wandered around my house, M and the two boys all napping on a cold Saturday afternoon, I grabbed a box full of diapers, some fabric remnants I had from a previous project I never completed, and some good ol’ scissors, glue, and painter’s tape. I intended to use glue to attach the fabric to the cardboard, but the painters tape proved to be a much easier and more effective solution. Let’s get down to some upcycled DIY business.
Cardboard box (size as desired)
Painters tape (not pictured)
Razor blade (optional)
Fabric (enough to cover the cardboard)
Step 1: Cut apart sides of the box to create flat pieces.
Step 2: Lay fabric face down (wrong side or back side facing you), lay selected side of the box on the fabric, and cut around the cardboard with a 2″ allowance or so around the edges. This definitely doesn’t have to be exact.
Step 3: Fold over all four edges, one at a time, taping the fabric to the back of the cardboard. Place a 3-4″ piece of tape in the middle of the fabric on each of the four edges, and be sure to pull the fabric pretty tight as you tape.
Step 4: Fold the corner of the fabric like you’d fold the corners of wrapping paper around a present. Tape down the corners. This doesn’t have to be beautiful as no one will see it, so long as the edges of fabric aren’t sticking out past the edges of the cardboard.
Step 5: Collect a few random nails from your toolbox and pound that baby into the wall. (If you’re like me and can’t find the hammer, use the back of a heavy wrench. It’s works just the same for this type of project.) The cardboard is light enough that you don’t need to nail these into studs. But don’t forget that because it’s so light, it won’t hold any heavy materials either.
This project is so darn easy! It could probably be a project in my son’s preschool class! I suspect also that many of you have all the supplies laying around your house. Let me know if you try it and how it goes!
You also have lots of ideas to get movin’ and grovin’ (and relaxing in the candlelight) to give your body a little love and attention. Throw on some of your favorite old school jams and take care of your body while you also take care of the environment!