A conversation with Fitness Instructor, Kelsey Ujvari
If you follow me on social media even a little bit, you will recognize Kelsey. She has been one of my best friends for the last 15 years, and about 12 years into that friendship she decided to date one of my brothers, Jaren. She and Jaren live down the street, so I see her almost daily. Kelsey has always been a fitness junkie, but over the last 10 years she has taken huge strides to become one of the best fitness instructors in Columbus at one of the most prestigious Columbus based gyms, System of Strength.
As I talk about in the post My Workout Journey, I have not always had such a positive relationship with fitness out. Kelsey has always done her best to get me to join in, but I mostly only showed up because it was her birthday and what she wanted to do for her birthday was a workout (LOL). So, during the time of corona virus and home workouts, I wanted to talk with her about how to get a home workout routine in place AND actually stick to it. – Chelsie
Wo// Wa// Wild// Kelsey, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
My name is Kelsey and I love all things fitness. Does that sound cliche? Probably, but hear me out.
Growing up, I was given the freedom to try out anything and everything I wanted. I was on the swim team, I played softball (if you know me, then you know how funny this was to watch), I was a gymnast, cheerleader, clarinet player and so much more. Looking back, all of this helped me discover something huge about myself – that I am incredibly motivated and pretty excitable by just about anything! I love to try something new, give it my absolute all and get pretty decent at it, then move on to the next thing. I learned at a super young age how to keep myself engaged, how to challenge myself and how to keep trying whatever comes my way until I find what I’m truly passionate about, which is how I found fitness! It provides me with so many different opportunities to keep my attention while pushing me to find new sources of motivation. It’s a perfect fit.
Wo// Wa// Wild// You typically work out in a gym, but recently you have been having to work out entirely at home and you make it look so easy – what is your secret to starting and keeping an at-home workout routine?
We live in a world filled with get-rich-quick schemes and how-to-lose-weight-quick ads. We keep ourselves so busy, that we are always looking for the easy answer. That’s probably why you saw the title and thought “wow, a few paragraphs and I can be successful working out at home? I’M IN!”. No judgement – I’m the biggest sucker out there. I have bought new running shoes thinking they would suddenly make me quicker and new pre-workouts that I swore would give me the energy to do better workouts.
But sometimes, just sometimes, we hear something or read something that really sits with us and changes the way we view things. That’s what this idea is for me- truly easy and revolutionary for my at-home fitness routine. I tried every type of workout – at home and in-studios – out there and I’m so excited to share my insights with you, because this one is an easy fix. Are you ready??? The secret is: don’t do the same thing every day. That’s it people! It’s so simple: keep your brain and body challenged, engaged and thinking just by mixing it up.
“It’s so simple: keep your brain and body challenged, engaged and thinking just by mixing it up.”
Let me give you a personal example, I love running. I ran five half marathons in the span of two years and I went all-in on my training. I had time goals with each race in the hopes to get faster every time. The outcome? I got burnt out. I didn’t run for years. But, finally, I love running again. Why? Because I don’t ONLY run, I run and I also mix in so many other things that challenge me.
Wo// Wa// Wild// So, let’s say I’m just starting out on my fitness journey, what would you recommend?
When you’re working out at home, plan a different type of workout for every day that week! For example, on Monday you take a yoga class from YouTube, Tuesday you do a 20-minute HIIT class from a fitness ap (there are so many!), Wednesday you plan a walk (or run) around the block, Thursday you find a strength workout from Pinterest and on Friday you go for a hike. There are so many options out there, and the key is to keep yourself challenged, excited and to make fitness fun. You don’t have to do 60 minutes everyday to make it count. Switch up the type of workout, the time and the intensity and I promise your body (and mind) will respond in big, big way!
Wo// Wa// Wild// So, the secret key is variety! What other tips and tricks do you have to make sure you’re successful?
At the end of the day, we are all humans. We will always get bored doing the same things day after day. Aside from changing up your workouts, a few other things have really helped me master working out at home:
- Always have a plan before you start. If you just start doing some random moves and hoping it will turn into a kick-ass workout, 9/10 times you’ll probably be disappointed.
- Schedule your workout like you do a class at the gym. There is nothing worse than having all day to do something, getting to the end of the day and not getting it done. It doesn’t matter if you plan it for morning, noon or night, just make sure you have make the appointment with yourself.
- When I’m lacking motivation, I phone a friend. Sometimes we workout over FaceTime, sometimes we meet up for a run and sometimes a friend will come over. This helps keep me committed, while also keeping it fun.
- Don’t use your phone to text/check Instagram during your workout. Okay, I know I sound like a mom here, but seriously. I CANNOT tell you how many workouts I’ve ruined by answering a text, taking too long to answer then getting out of my workout groove and just quitting. Whatever it is, it can wait. If you’re going to be tempted, just put your phone on DND – I promise, it will help keep you focused!
- Find a method of accountability. Maybe you post on social media a workout you’re going to do and then take a few pictures/a video and post it to let everyone know you followed through. Maybe you tell a friend (or favorite trainer) something you’re going to try and tell them to check in later and make sure you did it! Maybe you make a monthly chart and check off your box for the day. It doesn’t matter how self-motivated you are, there are going to be days when you need a little extra push – having baked in accountability will help on these days.
- Invest in a few pieces of at-home gym equipment. That doesn’t have to be a treadmill or bike, but even a few small resistance bands or a set of weights will give you options to switch thing up. My favorite at-home equipment? My jump rope! I can use it inside or outside and incorporate it into almost any workout for a great burst of fun cardio!
Wo// Wa// Wild// Starting is always the hardest part, what resources do you recommend?
Some of my favorite at-home app-based programs are:
1. The System of Strength Digital Studio – This is the studio I teach at in person, the app launches this studio into your home! And as we say, the system works!
2. The Peleton App – This app has so much to do! There are workouts for all levels and all amounts of time. Even guided outdoor walks and runs!
3. The Sweat App – These are two of my favorite instructors, Kayla Itsines and Kelsey Wells. They are high energy and great instructors.
If these three don’t suit you, not to fear, there are *millions* more! For starters, hop on pinterest and do a few searches. You can find tons of workouts and the variety to keep you inspired and motivated!