I have been in a serious exercise slump lately. I used to exercise every single day! And now....I can barely get myself motivated to workout once a week! Why? A lot of reasons. Partly because I have a full time job and who wants to either get up at a god awful time of the morning to hyperventilate and sweat or run to the gym after a full day of work? NOT ME! I am also married now and have responsibilities, I have to take care of my husband, dog, and cat. This leaves little time for myself, and when I do get time to myself the last thing I want to do is spend it exercising. Sound familiar to you? I know a lot of people who feel the same way. So I decided to write a list of tem ways to get yourself motivated to get to that gym, or go for that run because in the end, your body, health, and those you love will thank you!
1. Remember something is ALWAYS better than nothing!
I always try to start the day off on a great foot and tell myself I'm going to go to the gym after work and run 4 miles at record speed. Of course, after work is over what I really want to do is go home and sit on my couch, order pizza, and watch TV all night. So I try to tell myself to just go to the gym and get on that treadmill. Even if I don't feel like running, walking is better than nothing. If I can just get myself to the gym, I usually end up having pretty good workout. Don't think about the workout....just get yourself to the gym, or outside, or in that pool and feel good about the fact that you were able to get yourself there!
2. Set Goals!
This is a great way to keep yourself motivated, but only if you make your goals reasonable. I like to use SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Be specific, do not just say my goal is learn how to run. How far do you want to run? How long do you want to take to run that distance? Your goal must be measurable, how can you feel like your making progress if there is no way to measure it? Your goal must be attainable, do not set a goal of running a marathon if you have never run in your life! Start smaller, eventually you will be able to run that marathon but do not make that your first goal! Make sure your goals can be achieved in a timely manner. Reassess your goals on a weekly basis!
3. Make plans with a friend!
Working out with a friend is a million times more fun than working out by yourself. And then, you are accountable to someone and are much more likely to stick to your plan. Get each other excited about working out!
4. Keep your gym bag packed!
That way when you are ready to work out, all you have to do is grab your bag and go. No thinking, no time to change your mind!
5. Work out first thing in the morning or right after work.
These are the two best times to go workout. First thing in the morning is great because you get it over with and don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Wake up and go, don't think about it just go! If you can't get yourself to get up early enough in the morning to go, then go right after work. Bring your gym bag to work so you don't even need to go home. Yes I know most of us are hungry in the morning or after work so bring an energy bar. If you eat a full meal you will lose all motivation to work out!
6. Give yourself a break!
It is much better to work out hard three days a week then do a half ass workout every day. I try to go to the gym three days a week, and when I do I make sure I sweat and work hard. I make sure I get my heart rate way up there! It feels good, and then I have a few days to recover before I have to do it again. I never burn myself out so I'm less likely to quit my exercise routine. Now does that mean you can sit on your butt those other days? NO! Try to stay active, go for a walk, play with your kids. Just don't make it feel like a workout.
7. Treat yourself!
Let yourself have that piece of chocolate cake or ice cream every once in a while. And don't feel guilty! You've been working hard for it!
8. Make sure to keep it fun!
Do what will keep you interested and wanting more. If you absolutely despise running...then don't do it! Take a dance class, go for a hike, ride a bike, play a game of tennis, do what is fun for you because in the end that is what will keep you doing it!