I have a bit of a reputation for being a yo-yo exerciser, but last year, in anticipation of my 50th birthday, I made a pact with myself to regularly use my (rather expensive, but worth it) gym membership. After a few months, I had accidentally happened upon a consistent workout routine and was hooked. Today, almost a year later, I am regularly hitting the the gym, sometimes 5 times per week, and have let go of my fear that everyone else there is better, fitter, thinner, stronger than I am.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't have days where I am dragging my feet up until the moment I step foot on the Stairmaster, but for the most part, I look forward to my daily workouts. Building on the mistakes I've made in the past and what I hope to accomplish in the future, I've put together this list of easy tips for establishing a love-love relationship with your workouts.
It's time to stop thinking of exercise as a chore and as another binary task to cross of your list. Exercise doesn't have to be boring or rigorous. Make a goal to do something active each day (a short brisk walk, light weight training). Some days will be more taxing than others, but the point is that if you are doing what you like, you'll begin to look forward to exercising and stop seeing it as a chore.
Establishing a workout routine is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the biggest mistakes I make is being too enthusiastic at the start of an exercise program. I tend to be over the top, wanting to work out every day and constantly checking the mirror for results. The key to having any success is to do it slowly and steadily and with consistency. Set a reasonable goal for yourself at the onset. Start out small and work up to bigger and better things.
Where's the fun in working out if you can't wear cute clothes? Forget the oversized t-shirts and baggy sweats. Invest in a few new pieces of active wear, and I promise, you'll be motivated to work out. One of my favorite lines of Workout wear is from prAna. prAna makes sustainable, fair-trade certified clothes that are ideal for yoga, exercise, or adventure.
Here is an outfit that is ideal for working out. It includes clothes that are comfortable and cute. The perfect combo!
Top | Pants | Jacket | Sneakers | Yoga Mat | Water Bottle
Fitness trackers are great tools for helping you achieve your goals. Not only do they track your daily fitness, but many also offer groups which can provide inspiration and support when you need it most. I love my fitness tracker because it keeps me on target and it provides friendly competition in the form of challenges with friends and our daily steps.
Many fitness trackers also provide free tips and training information as well as ways to monitor your sleep, diet, and water intake.
I've tried working out at all times of the day, and the only time that truly works for me is first thing in the morning. I get my workout clothes ready and pack my gym bag the night before so that I am ready to go (no excuses!) in the morning. I drop my daughters off at school at 7:20 and 7:50 respectively. As soon as I do that, I head straight for the gym before I can think of all the reasons I shouldn't go. I am home, showered, and sitting at my desk by 10:30. Working out first thing in the morning not only allows me to get it out of the way but it also sets the tone for a productive day.
Not only will doing the same activity over and over again yield zero results, it will also become terribly monotonous. In order to keep workouts interesting and fun, you need to constantly switch up what you're doing. I like to change up days where I workout on cardio equipment with days that I take a class or do strength training. It keeps me from getting bored while giving my muscle groups time to recover.
Another way to get stuck in a rut is to force yourself to love something you loathe. For the longest time, I tried to convince myself that I enjoyed running. Eventually I started to dread my workouts because I despised running. Discover what you love and pursue that passion. For me, hot yoga, a good, strenuous walking workout, and light strength training are my therapy.
See you on the trail!
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