Getting started, or restarted, with your fitness routine can be tough. Here’s a guest post with 5 tricks to keep you motivated.
For a time I was unemployed and everything about it stunk except for one thing. It was easy to keep up a regular exercise routine.
Once work started again, I found myself having a harder time getting out to the gym. Partly for practical reasons (time constraints), but also because it was so much harder to motivate myself to get out of the house after a long day of work, making dinner, and putting the kids to sleep.
But no matter your circumstance, you can always find time to exercise. You might just need some extra motivation, and here’s a few tricks I find especially helpful when skipping a workout seems so tempting.
1. The “Tie My Shoes” Trick
This one comes courtesy one Mr. Matthew McConaughey, who explained to Men’s Health Magazine that he starts every workout by tying his shoes. Just as I find I can get more done at work or home when I start with something easy, this trick takes that idea to the extreme.
So instead of thinking about all the weights you’ll be lifting or the miles you’ll be jogging, think about your shoes. Then, you can move on.
2. Use a Whiteboard
The possibilities are endless. You can use anything from cheap refrigerator whiteboards to custom-etched glass dry erase boards to provide yourself with motivation. Just a few ideas include tracking when you work out, writing out motivational quotes, and writing out a series of exercises to perform at home or the office. Either way, there’s something about a big, unavoidable reminder that some people just love.
3. Sign Up for Something
So you want to get fit but can’t quite seem to motivate yourself? Well, here’s an idea. Sign up for a 5K. Or a 10K. Or a charity bike ride. Just do it. Once you’ve committed to this event and especially once everyone knows it, you’ll have a concrete reason to start working out.
I’ve never worked out harder than the months before a 2-day, 200-mile charity bike ride. I was so nervous about the event, I trained hard to prevent having to give up or not be able to climb hills.
4. Use an App
Fitness apps provide two benefits. First, they make it easy to track your exercise routine, which itself is motivating. I use FitnessBuilder to track my strength training, for instance.
Second, many fitness apps include suggestions and tips for exercises. Some apps can be set to command you through running intervals. Or, you can connect an app to your heart rate monitor and optimize your workouts.
5. Lower Your Expectations
OK, look. I may get in trouble for saying this, but if you really, really can’t seem to find the motivation to exercise, you may need to think smaller. At least to start. While a 5-day-a-week regimen that alternates strength and cardio exercises is great, you don’t need to be stuck thinking that’s your only option. Try a 10- or 20-minute plan.
And while you should make every effort to stick to a routine, don’t kill yourself if you miss a day here-or-there. Keep at it, and you’ll see long-term benefits.
About the Author: Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website about kitchen fashion and home style. She also writes about mobile technology and self-improvement.