Hey Happy Hour Gang!!!
In my journey of being healthy, the biggest blog requests I get are about what I eat and what exercise I do. My biggest tip I will tell everyone and anyone is just because something works for me, doesn’t mean it is going to work for you. A journey to living your best life is to find out what sprinkles your donut… or dresses your salad… ha, okay that is healthier. A workout I enjoy may be a nightmare for someone else.
I figured the best way to help y’all is not to tell you WHAT I do to workout that works for me but HOW to keep doing any kind of workout. Being successful in working out is a personal journey. It is trial and error of what works and what doesn’t and learning that the only person you are competing with is the person who you were the day before. Without further ado, I have come up with five ways to stay motivated to keep working out.
- Pick a workout you actually like. While this seems like common sense you would be shocked how many times I hear about someone running or kickboxing but they hate it. If you hate the workout you are doing, it is going to be harder to keep doing it and real easy to quit. If you haven’t worked out, go trial and error things. Go take a group class and see if it is your cup of tea. For some people, this is the motivation and direction they need to get a good workout done but for others trying to be any kind of coordinated while profusely sweating in front a group of strangers is a scene from a horror movie. I like to run but NOT long distances. I am all for running a 3K or even a 6K… It is when it starts creeping real close to half marathon status that I would rather eat string cheese that fell on the ground before doing that. For me I LOVE high interval cardio and weightlifting. I want to raise my heart rate up and go hard for three minutes and then cool down over and over till I am a puddle of sweat. Also, mix it up so you don’t get burnt out or bored. Summer is finally making its way here in the PNW so once or twice, I will add swimming to my cardio mix. It is fun and a great workout. Just because you like what you are doing, doesn’t mean your workout will be any less effective. It will most likely be better because your energy is focused on the workout and not the time you have left just to get through it.
- Find your jam. If you are in a group class this isn’t for you. This is for all the individuals who are gyming it up or just working out solo. Find anything to keep you going in your workout. Again, this is about personal taste. I know many people who gym it up to audio books or podcasts and others who are listening to some dirrrrrrrty rap. I more often than not workout to music that is just a mishmash… It goes from pop to rap to top hits from the ’80s. Whatever keeps you going to kick that workout’s ass, listen to it. That is why they have headphones… so you listen and enjoy whatever will keep you moving!
- Set a goal. It is easy to say, “I am going to start working out!” and then never start. If you make a goal to start working out three times a week and plan when, you are much more likely to stick to it. Don’t just mentally or vocally set your goals but WRITE THEM DOWN. See them. Remind yourself. Hold yourself accountable to hit those three days a week of working out. Set a goal, own it and make it happen. Sunday night, make your weekly goals for the week coming up. It will not just help you stay motivated in healthy choices but just in overall life planning. It works.
- Have REALISTIC expectations. While writing your goals, be realistic. This is a two in one tip.
- Be realistic when you are first starting out. If you have not run in your life… or in the last ten years, don’t expect to get out there and run a marathon. OR even be on the same playing field as a marathon runner. It is not gonna happen. If you do this, you are going to end up feeling defeated, unable to move your muscles and stop all together. There is an appropriate way to push yourself in workouts but everyone starts at square 1. We have ALL been there and some more than once. So remind yourself that it is okay to be at square 1 and ease into harder workouts. Keep going and each day you will get stronger and stronger while realizing you can run further or lift more. Progress not perfection.
- The second part of being realistic is in the results. Don’t expect to see visible results overnight. Get that thought out of your mind. This again will just leave you defeated if you think a week of working out is going to change anything automatically. Remember that it did not take one night to be unhealthy or overweight… it was months or even years that went into where you are now. Same with getting healthy, y’all. It is slow and you have to work for it. BUT IT IS WORTH IT.
- Don’t just weigh yourself. This ties in with being realistic. You need to weigh yourself to know where you’re starting point is to help decide where you want your end goal to be and the in-between progress. However, there are some weeks or months the scale isn’t moving as much as you want and THIS IS DEFEATING. Those are the moments the negative voices come in and convince you are working tooooooooo hard for little results. WRONG. Not today satan! Y’all, sometimes the scale isn’t moving but the inches are dwindling and things are changing. My biggest tip is do not JUST weigh yourself. I not only take my measurements but I also take progress pictures. There were a few that I was shocked because the scale was not showing as much progress as I would have liked. But when I compared the pictures with my inches lost, I gained much more confidence in my workout journey.
There are so many other tips in staying motivated to workout, but these five I think are really important when first starting out. Find what works for you, running, tennis, group fitness, etc. and go for it… any movement is better than sitting on the couch after sitting at your 9-5 job. Little things add up to big results. What do y’all do to stay motivated? We are all in this together! 🙂
(PS: Old Navy’s workout shirts are sooooooo cute lately!)