This week on the blog we're doing something a bit different. Most weeks we try to mix it up. Do a post in our Life Happenings category, do one or two posts in our Healthy Eating category, one in our Healthy Mind category, etc.. This week we decided to write four Fitness posts. These are the first fitness posts here on the blog but what could be more perfect than writing all about how to stay motivated and giving you exercise ideas when we're all falling off the fitness resolution bandwagon?
Nothing. Nothing could be more perfect.
So, if you are anything like me and one of your goals for 2016 was to start or maintain an exercise schedule and you're slowly but surely (or in my case all in one foul swoop) falling out of the routine, these tips are for you!
- Put your workout on the calendar
I'm a big scheduler. I like to know what I'm doing and when I'm doing it so everything goes on the calendar. I also have a unique job where I can get meetings booked anywhere from 6am to 10pm PST so if I want to squeeze in a workout it's pretty much crucial that I put it on the calendar so the time is blocked and I can't get booked in meetings. This also helps me hold myself accountable.
- Set a rule that you can't skip more than two days in a row
I read this quote on Pinterest once that said to never go 3 days without a workout. I interpreted that as never skipping more than two days in a row, same diff, right? It really is important though, when you skip multiple days in a row you start to slip out of the routine and getting back into the gym is harder and harder with each passing day.
- Find a fun event to plan for
Maybe it's the Color Run or a Mud Run, maybe you want to train for a fun marathon or maybe you just want to schedule a yoga day to look forward to. Find something you can put on your calendar that is exciting and fun and a way to look forward to fitness.
- Buy new workout clothes!
DUH. This is on every female workout motivation list but I don't even care, it works! Nothing motivates me to hit the gym more than having a new cute outfit to rock.
- This goes along with #3 - only wear yoga pants on the days you hit the gym
I know, I'm crying for you, this is a tough one! I have found that when I'm really in a good workout rhythm I can motivate myself by putting my gym clothes on first thing in the morning (when I work from home) and that means I have to get to the gym. Plus, as much as I love yoga pants, and believe me, I LOVE yoga pants, they're NOT going out clothes. If this simply won't work for you, try replacing yoga pants with a sports bra, put a sports bra on and know that if you're wearing it you have to hit the gym.
- Switch it up
This should be a no-brainer but I am particularly bad at this one. I just want to hit the gym, I don't like classes, and this gets me in a workout rut more often then I'd like to admit. Find some classes to take at your gym, switch up what days you do what muscles, run outside instead of on the treadmill. Switch it up for your sanity and to mix up your muscle memory and get more out of your workout.
- Keep a log
In September/October I participated in an 1800 minutes challenge put on by Living In Yellow and some others. The goal was obviously to log 1800 minutes of movement in the two months. Proud to say I crushed it. Tracking my progress and having a goal to work towards was a huge motivator for me. Erin from Living In Yellow has been gracious enough to allow me to modify and share out the template they provided to us. If you want a copy fill out this quick form and I'll be sure to send it your way!
- Eat well to support your hard work
I'm not saying you have to eat 100% healthy 100% of the time, exercising is meant in part to allow you to indulge a bit with food when you want or when you're craving something. However, losing weight, or maintaining it for that matter, is 80% diet and 20% exercise. If you are eating right and getting enough water exercising is so much easier, so much more enjoyable and so much more beneficial/effective. Treat your body well in every way, not just one or the other.
- Do it to get warm
Apparently it's still freezing in half the country? Or a quarter of the country? Either way, when I hit the gym I always get warmed up from the inside out. Use the warmth as an excuse - or, if it's boiling hot where you are, use the gyms AC as an excuse! It's a good way to get warmed up and then take a nice refreshing shower.
- Buy a months pass - GROUPON!
I am NOT a groupon-er. I just don't really care for it but I have found that it is great for fitness. They have tons of Groupon's for fitness classes, yoga studios, discounts for races, etc.. It is so easy to switch up your routine and for relatively inexpensive when you can get an unlimited yoga pass for 30 days for $30. Then when that 30 days is over, find another yoga studio in your area or take up cross fit or pilates or cycling. There are tons of classes and Groupon is a great way to try them without getting locked into memberships or spending a ton. *gag, I kind of hate that I just gave Groupon a plug on the blog - clearly this was not promoted*
Wow, what a list! I love these ideas, don't you? ;)
How do you stay motivated to exercise? Are there things you do when you need to get back in the habit of hitting the gym? I've found that the hardest part is getting back into the routine once you've gotten out of it completely.