If you are reading these blogs, then you want a change in your life. Perhaps you may want a change in your fitness routine, or simply a change in your diet. Either way, you want to change your lifestyle for the better. That right there is motivation and determination. Many times, you might catch yourself saying, “Oh, I want to workout, but I just loose interest and get bored”, or, “I’m too overweight to begin running. Where do I even start?”, or my personal favorite, “I don’t have the looks or skills like any of these other people. I need to go home before I look dumb”. What we say constantly in our head will eventually cause us to lose all motivation and determination to better ourselves. So, have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? Or have you ever said any of the things above? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many people start fitness programs but stop when they get bored, discouraged, or results come too slowly. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.
1.) Yes… you have to set goals! But how do you set an attainable one? Click here for my blog post about setting amazing goals. Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious. For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day three days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk/run. Get a group together and achieve the goal together!
2.) Mix it up, make it fun. Do not, and I repeat do NOT spend 30-60 minutes on the elliptical or the treadmill, or the stair master. That is way too boring, no wonder you get discouraged! Do some HIIT or Tabata (click here on my blog about HIIT exercises, there’s tons of great ideas in there!). According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, circuit training beats aerobic exercise for building upper-body strength while giving an equal boost in cardio capacity.
3.) Get a buddy. Speaking from experience, I cannot workout without having a buddy either with me, or someone I have to send pictures of my workout to when they aren’t there, because I hate working out alone. When I am with my workout buddy (AKA my best friend) I have so much fun! We really push and motivate each other, we even go grocery shopping together. There’s no sneaking cookies and other junk food into your cart when you have someone there with you to help remind you of your goals!
4.) Try a sport. Yes… even if you are in your mid 40’s you can still get involved in sports! There are so many softball, volleyball, and basketball leagues out there. Also, try out some fun groups in your area. Lulu Lemon in Cincinnati does a running group during nice weather. If you’re not much of a runner, try out a local yoga class. Get out there and be active. Hike, walk, jog, fix up the house or yard, clean the garage, wash your car, take a workout video and go to your local park and try out some new moves in the warm weather, etc. Warmer weather is upon us. There is no excuse not to be outside!
5.) Become consistent. If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up and down sidelines while watching the kids play sports. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night. Take the family out for a bike ride (you can run while the kiddos bike too). Get some kind of exercise in throughout the day. A great quote to live by is “Either do 30 minutes of exercise per day, or do 3 miles”.
6.) Invest in a gym membership (they don’t have to cost 1000’s of dollars!), or invest in some amazing at home equipment. Personally, I have a jump rope; pull up bar; 10, 20, and 25lb weights (if you get light weights, do more reps); 3 different levels of resistance bands; foam roller; and a stability ball. I love doing circuits inside on the stability ball when it’s raining or snowing outside. When I can workout outside I typically will go to a park and hill sprints after a strength training session.
7.) Eat right. Feel good. Yes! You need to eat right in order to see your results, or else you may become extremely discouraged. Here are my top quick tips for eating right
– get in at least 60 ounces of water per day. NO LESS.
– Eat lean meats
– Fuel up on protein when possible
– Don’t restrict. Let yourself have that cookie after dinner. Don’t deprive yourself of carbs be cause they’re “evil”
– Remember serving sizes
– Shoot for 1-2 salads per day. You can add fruit, veggies, chicken, steak, nuts, etc. to them! They’re great for your health and you can add whatever you want to them! (In moderation)