You would like to lose some weight and be fit. You know how important it is for your health to have an active lifestyle and eat right, but you can’t think of anything that’ll give you that motivation to start moving. Or maybe your workout routine is boring and you want to quit? Well I want to share a list of everything I did (and still do) to help me get motivated and moving.
1. Workout Buddy. You can get your significant other or your best friend to be your workout buddy. Make a workout plan together and compromise, so don’t you dare stand him/her up. When I started, my husband was my workout buddy, and he pushed me to lift more because he knows I can do it. Now I love to be a workout buddy for people. I’m helping them to reach a healthy weight.
2. Make a Bet. To commit yourself, make a deal with a friend, co-worker, or a relative that you are going to lose weight and inches from your waist by a specific date (make sure it is doable). It doesn’t have to be about money. Maybe you can make a bet with your spouse – If you run a 5k event; he/she will reward you with a trip to the spa or a shopping spree for new workout clothing.
3. Tell Your Family. Tell your family, friends and co-workers about your new goal to reach a healthy weight, so every once in a while when they ask how you’re doing, you can give an answer that you are proud of. You can even be an inspiration to others. During my transformation process, a lot of people congratulated me, and asked me to give them some tips and help them to have an active lifestyle too – I made new friends.
4. Gear Up! Buy workout clothing and commit to be fit to make your investment worth it.
5. Get a Gym Membership. You can go to a gym close to your home, or at your work place if they have a gym. Ask a fitness specialist for workout advice and about proper form for every exercise in your routine. Don’t skip the gym for weeks because you’re still paying a membership! Make your investment worth it, and make your health a priority!
6. Find a Trainer. Find the help of a trainer. They can inspire you to give 100% and help you design a long-term program that’ll fit your needs and make your workout challenging and exciting.
7. Take a Class. Sign up for an exercise class at your gym, and make new friends who will cheer you on to keep going.
8. Keep a Journal. Keep a journal as your workout log where you can keep a record of your routines and keep notes of your progress. When you see you are improving your endurance and your strength, you can see how much you've accomplish and feel fulfilled because your physical condition is getting better every day. I always keep one that always motivates me to keep lifting more weights.
9. Motivational Music. Workout to your favorite tunes. So definitely get an MP3 player and take it to the gym or when you run outdoors. Music can help you give 100% and make your routine fun. According to researchers, music can help motivate you and help you concentrate better. The best genre for my workouts is Heavy Metal - it really pushes me even more, especially when I do sprinting intervals; and death metal for weight training is all I need to lift more.
10. Use Pictures. Have pictures of your family - they are a great motivation. Yes, I know you need to be healthy for YOU but why not be a role model for your kids? Set an example so they can have a healthier and active lifestyle. And of course, when your health improves, everything in your life will change for the better too.
11. Maintain. When you reach your goal, think about maintaining. Don’t go back! If you return to your old sedentary lifestyle you will increase your body fat percentage and lower your energy levels. I mean, if you feel and look great since you started your program, why go back? So you can feel depressed, with low-energy and an unhealthy body? I don't think so. Always find time in your daily life to incorporate exercise - this way your health will be number one on your priority list.
12. Change It Up! Choose from various daily workouts and change your workout routine to avoid getting bored. You can do 3 days of weight training to work your muscles and 3 days of cardio – choose between running, walking, aerobics, jumping rope, pilates, yoga and many more. Don't get stuck with the same exercise routine for months because you won't see improvements; your body will get used to it and it’s not going to be challenging and enjoyable. Also try changing your weight training routine every 6 to 8 weeks. For even more variety, you can get some exercise DVDs or check ExerciseTV On Demand or on your computer. There are great workouts out there: Gilad Janklowicz, Jillian Michaels, ExerciseTV trainers, Tony Horton, Shaun T, Cathe Friedrich. You can even find exercise games, if you have a Nintendo Wii, and play with your family.
13. Be Realistic. Be realistic and don’t get discouraged. Don't expect to run a marathon or lift a lot of weights when you are just starting an active lifestyle. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Also, at your local gym, they can do a fitness test to check your endurance and prepare an exercise program for you. Or you can check at home - for example: how many pushups you can do in a minute, how long can you hold a squat position in a wall, how many minutes can you last jogging? This will help to determine your fitness levels.
Don't get discouraged by the results because, remember, that Rome wasn't built in a day. For running tips, I always recommend alternating between walking and jogging for maybe 30 minutes – in time you will run 30 minutes without stopping. And you can start with a basic weight lifting routine (3 days a week) - with weights, during your first workout you will have to play and test with how much weight you can start with. If you can't finish a set of 6-8 reps, decrease the weights and if you can easily do more than 15 reps, increase it (remember: It has to be challenging without compromising form).
14. Reward Yourself. Set a monthly goal and reward yourself for your achievement with one deep tissue massage, a facial, buy new clothes, accessories, or a weekend getaway. Please try not to reward yourself with junk food!
15. Read. Subscribe to fitness magazines or an online fitness website. What a perfect example: Muscleandstrength.com! You will find routines, recipes, training tips, nutrition tips, info on supplements, and much more interesting information. Also you will find success stories that can help inspire you - check out the M&S transformation section @ https://www.muscleandstrength.com/transformations - and make friends with members who can encourage you to give your best.
16. Put Effort in Perspective. The time you dedicate to physical activity is worth it. Don't think that if you can't do 30 minutes or more of exercise, then it’s not worth doing. It is going to help burn calories, give you energy and improve your health.
17. Walk Your Dog. If you have a pet, you can compromise to take him out 2 or 3 times a day for a long walk. This way your dog is not the only one staying active.
18. Get Moving! Be active as much as possible. Look for ways to exercise whenever you can, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, clean the house, go for a walk on the park.
19. Do Something New. Make exercise fun by finding new activities. Practice your favorite sport with family and/or friends. I can recommend finding an indoor rock climbing gym - It is a great way to burn a lot of calories and you will always feel great when you reach the top.
20. Find a Special Event. Be a part of a special event (like a 5k, a fun run/walk, even a half marathon) to raise money for a nonprofit organization. You will exercise and help a great cause. Or you can even start a running club with family and friends to train and participate in these events as a team. You can find events in your area @ http://www.active.com.
Now that you have an idea of how to find motivation, go ahead and start this New Year committing to be fit!