No matter what area of the country we live in, there are always obstacles that hinder our ability to keep up with our exercise routines. Loss of motivation can stem from living in New England during the winter months with the cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours or living in the South in the middle of the summer. With New Years’ Resolutions a distant memory, but with hopes of spring soon arriving, here are some tips to reinvigorate you with your exercise goals, whether it’s walking, yoga or even using that gym membership you paid for Jan 1. The key is to make exercise enjoyable!
1) Enlist a friend: You’ll be more apt to keep a workout appointment if you know a friend is waiting for you. Even if you aren’t the most motivated individual on a particular day, having a friend can make working out in the morning, at lunch or in the evening more enjoyable if you know someone is there with you. This is a give-and-take relationship because there will definitely be days when your friend isn’t as motivated, and you’ll be his or her motivation to work out. By having a friend, you might be more prone to do something you wouldn’t typically do on your own, like signing up for a rumba or kickboxing class!
2) Switch your routine: If you tend to do the same activity day in and day out, switch your routine. This could be buying a new workout DVD, using a program On Demand, signing up for a class at the gym or doing that hot yoga class you’ve always wanted to try. If you live in colder climates, use the winter months as an excuse to downhill or cross-country ski, snow shoe or ice skate with the kids. For those in warmer climates, use this a great time to start walking, jogging or even swimming.
3) Buy some new gear: Not many people enjoy spending money on workout gear they are just going to sweat in, but buying new gear will make you more likely to use it in addition to making you feel better about yourself while you’re working out.
4) Make exercise non-negotiable: Just like you have to get up for work each day even when you may not want to, think about your workouts in the same way. By blocking out a chunk of time in your calendar each day or setting the alarm a half hour earlier, you’ll be less likely to have the excuses pile up as the day goes on. Once you get into the habit of working out regularly, you’ll not only feel better about yourself, but you’ll be more likely to make sure this is one part of your day you don’t let slip away.
5) Sleep in your gym clothes: In colder climates, the winter months make it hard to get up, especially if it is dark out first thing in the morning. What’s worse and less motivating is changing out of your warm clothes into cold ones. Sleeping in your clothes is one solution to this problem because once the alarm goes off, you can get up and go straight to the gym without having to deal with both the dark and cold. If you have a gym membership, you’ll be excited to see how many other people decided to get up early just like you.
6) Bring your workout gear with you: Sometimes it’s more difficult to get out of the house at night after a long day at work. Each morning pack a snack and your gym bag. Instead of going straight home from work, change at the office, have your snack in the car and you’ll have the motivation to work out after work. Being hungry and not having your stuff with you are two reasons you’ll be less likely to go back out once you get home.
7) Social Networking Sites: Use Internet social networking Web sites to get you motivated. There are numerous places online where you can join fitness groups that will get you motivated. Don’t want to work out in front of other people? No problem! You can connect with other people who feel the same way and who will give you tips for staying active even if you are embarrassed to work out with others. Connect with friends on Facebook or in the area to see if they would be willing to meet for a walk or planned activity. This is a great way to reconnect in addition to accomplishing your goals!
Nothing contained in this blog is intended to be instructional for medial diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult your personal physician immediately.