Spring has sprung in Boston (or summer, not quite sure)! Warm, sunny weather = lots of people running outside and/or hitting the gym. Not sure if the sun just gives everyone a little boost, or the impending bathing suit season but people are moving and shaking out there. If weather alone isn’t enough to put a little pep in your work out routine, here are some tips to stay motivated to get up, get out, and get going!
- Be an early bird: I don’t know if anyone likes getting up super-early to workout. However, almost everyone likes having their evenings free, being energized before work and having an “excuse-free” time to work-out. It’s a feeling of accomplishment to have cranked out a workout before most people have had their morning coffee. And there are no looming deadlines, happy hour invitations or dinners out coming between you and your morning workout. Your evening workout however, may fall victim to those and any number of excuses.
- Mix it up: It’s pretty easy to get bored with a workout. But exercise shouldn’t be boring. Exercise should be fun!! It’s no secret I love yoga, but I didn’t always. And recently I’ve cut down on yoga to focus more on running again (did I mention the weather we were having in Boston?). If your gym offers classes, try a new one. You’ll never know if you love dancing silly-style in front of the mirror if you never try. Pick up a jump rope and re-live your childhood. Flip through fitness magazines for inspiration. Just try not to fall into a rut.
- Phone a friend: It’s easy to blow off a workout, but it’s not as easy to blow off a friend. I don’t love working out with other people, but even just meeting someone at the gym or the park and then doing your own thing can be a great motivator to actually get there. A buddy can challenge you, keep you committed and keep you company. Plus, your friends might have awesome moves for you to copy.
- Make it stick: Research says it takes 21 days to form a habit. That’s just three weeks! So if you want to start a new fitness routine tell yourself, “Just three weeks, just three weeks, just three weeks….” You can DO IT!
- Schedule it in: I try to treat my workouts like non-negotiable meetings. I know people who schedule their workouts into their calendars. Then fitness time just becomes an extension of all the other commitments we have, except it relieves stress and keeps us healthy!
- Bribe yourself: If all else fails, bribe yourself. Whether it is a small bribe -I’ll buy a nice iced coffee-or a bigger one-if I hit the gym three times this week, I’ll get some new running shoes – sometimes treats can be awesome motivation. Plus, if you treat yourself with some sweet workout gear, you’ll have to find the time to show it off!
* I use the word gym a lot here, but if you don’t have a membership you can take out fitness DVDs at the library(or buy them), run around your neighborhood, bike, walk, do push-ups on your living room floor, etc. We live in the age of the internet, which means a quick Google search for “free walking trails” or “quick home leg workout” will yield a bunch of ideas.
What are the ways you stay motivated to work out? Or if you don’t, what is holding you back?