{Fitness: Eleven ways to motivate yourself to workout}

It’s crappy outside..I’m tired…I don’t have time..It’s too hard… 

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Those times when the thought of working out is about as appealing as cleaning the toilet or watching Canadian Parliament on TV.

But no matter what your fitness level, we all have this inner battle with ourselves, so here are eleven tips to help you get your butt back on that fitness train.

*Dislaimer – Please check with your doctor before starting a new workout program and don’t attempt anything unsafe or beyond your capabilities.*

1. Think of how it makes you feel after – Have you ever really felt worse than you started? Working out gets the blood flowing and all those feel good endorphins flowing through your body = a happier you.

2. Do something you enjoy – To me, the thought of jumping on an elliptical of a spin bike makes me wanna run for the hills. But I love choreographed aerobics and good music, so I tend to gravitate towards those kind of classes. Find what you like, there are a lot of cool trendy exercises out there like Zumba, strippersize and boot camps.

Not a fan of the gym? How about joining a recreational team sport or hiking. It’s crucial to make exercise something you like doing, otherwise you’ll dread getting round to it.

3. Find a partner – You will feel more accountable when you plan to meet a friend for a workout, making you less likely to cancel. Plus you can motivate and encourage each other. It’s also a great way to catch up, I often like to do my long easy runs with a friend so we can chat the whole time, making the workout fly by. Or try a group class, a room full of motivated people inspires you to stick with the whole class.

4. Start small and work your way up – Often times people will just go all in and try to do too much at once, which can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been out of the workout loop for a while. The more gradually you take on an exercise plan, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Your body will adjust better if you start slowly, and you’ll get stronger without injuring yourself. Each week you can track your progress and watch yourself getting fitter and stronger.

5. Fit it into your busy schedule – Always feel like you don’t have time to workout? Why not try a tabata workout – sets of 4 minutes of intense interval training that are guaranteed to make you sweat as if you’ve done an hour workout. A full tabata consists of 4 exercises for a total of 16 minutes. My favourite website for this style of workout is bodyrock.tv. Plus, just look at Zuzana’s hot bod! That’s gotta be motivation enough to do these workouts.

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6. Get halfway there – This is a tactic I often employ. It’s as simple as putting on my workout clothes and forcing myself to the gym. After a long day of work, I often feel tired and lethargic, but I know if I just get myself there, I’ll end up getting some sort of a workout. Still not motivated? Try the 10 minute rule. Tell yourself that you will workout for 10 minutes and if you still want to leave, you can. More often than not, you’ll end up working out longer than that.

7. Set a realistic goal for yourself – If you’re not clear about how and why you want to get fit, you’re unlikely to stick to a routine. Having clear objectives and a challenging, yet achievable goal will motivate you to keep going. It can be as simple as training for your first 5 or 10km. Knowing that you have signed up for an event will encourage you to train. The feeling of accomplishment after will make you wanna set a bigger goal. I’m proof of that, I went from being unable to run more than 5 minutes 4 years ago to running my first marathon last year under 4 hours.

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8. Reward yourself – There’s no better way to sustain your motivation to get fit than immediate gratification. So, when you reach the halfway point of your goal, treat yourself to something like a nice dinner out or some cute new workout clothes (I heart Lululemon). Share your accomplishment with family and friends, as acknowledgement of success will inspire you to further press on towards your goal.

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9. Change it up – I get of the bored doing the same exercises (which is probably why I can’t do at-home DVDs, I get sick of doing them after a couple weeks). Engaging in various forms of exercise is the key to a balanced, fit body. Try yoga, strength training, aerobics and balance exercises in equal measure in order to achieve an all-round fitness objective. Try downloading a fun new playlist on your IPOD to keep you engaged and focused.

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Side note: Ladies! Don’t be afraid of strength training! It has been shown to be just as important if not more effective than cardio in creating a slim and lean body. I noticed a huge difference in the tone of my body when I incorporated power yoga into my regular workout routine. Plus it helps to improve posture and core strength which is important in your everyday activities.

10. Allow yourself rest days – This is a very important part of my week. I always make sure to give myself at least one rest day a week to recharge and recover. Exercise obsession is as bad as none at all because it’s physically and mentally counterproductive. Allowing your muscles to rest and rejuvenate is a crucial part of being healthy and achieving maximum results. And giving yourself a mental break prevents burn-out and makes you more likely to stick to a long-term exercise plan. Listen to your body and if you’re having an off-day, take it easy and rest.

11. Have your cake and eat it too – One of the best rewards of working out and sticking to it, eating all my favourite foods with ZERO guilt. Staying active allows me to indulge in all this yummy desserts without the extra pounds. Being a food-obsessed person like me, this is definite motivator 🙂

Question: How about you? What motivates you?

Comments
3 Responses to “{Fitness: Eleven ways to motivate yourself to workout}”
  1. Colline says:

    For me, finding something that I enjoy is the most important.

  2. Tatiana says:

    I am simply unable to motivate myself properly. The times when I’m most successful at exercising for long stretches involve the thoughts of beach vacations 🙂 Seems like the threat of a bikini is the only way I consistenltly work out. The fear principle if you will.

    I also find some people really get huge endorphin rushes, and they get cranky if they don’t work out, and people like me aren’t built like that. I can enjoy long stretches of no exercise and not feel any worse for the wear.

    I fully agree with weight training though, it takes A LOT of effort to gain serious muscle as a woman, and most people will not go anywhere near unattractive bulges. Plus pound for pound muscle burns way more calories than fat.

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