On the road to fitness, there are certainly days when you can’t muster the motivation to complete your workout. Frequently skipping workouts or becoming burned out can really hamper your efforts to get fit, though. Here are some ways to stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals.
Be safe when exercising. Nothing slows you down faster than a sprain, strain or tear, and recovering from such injuries can take a while. Work out safely with proper warm-up and cool-down routines, and always use equipment and gear properly.
Work out or compete with others. Whether you play basketball with friends or jog with a neighbor, having workout partners can help you stick to your fitness routine; after all, you won’t want to let your partner or teammates down. Time seems to pass much faster when you’re having fun, and you may forget that you’re even exercising!
Purchase new, comfortable workout clothing and shoes. Whether you prefer plain cotton tees or high-tech, sweat-wicking materials, new workout duds can be a great way to reward your initial successes and stay motivated on your path to fitness. Choose clothes that fit properly without rubbing, binding or otherwise restricting your movements.
Put your workouts on a calendar. By essentially setting an appointment with yourself, your prioritize your fitness routine just as you do other important events in your life. Setting aside time specifically for working out is key; otherwise, it’s too easy to rationalize that you are “too busy” for a jog or a visit to the gym.
Get small bursts of exercise when you can. Exercise doesn’t have to fit into neat, 60-minute stretches. Five minutes here and ten minutes there can still add up to a fit, healthy body. Walk a few laps around your building on your lunch break, or do a few push-ups before you leave the house in the morning. It all counts!
Give yourself rewards along the way. Set specific goals, and allow yourself healthy and reasonable rewards for attaining them. Small treats may include a piece of your favorite gourmet chocolate, an iced coffee or a favorite microbrew. As you hit larger goals, you may choose greater rewards, like trips, a new wardrobe, or a sassy new haircut.
Track your results. Whether you use a dedicated note-book or a smartphone app, logging your workouts is a great way to measure your successes and see how far you have come. You may choose to track the number of miles you have run, the number of inches or pounds you have lost, or other figures that you find personally meaningful.
Don’t beat yourself up when you fall short of a goal. Missing an occasional workout or hitting a weight-loss plateau are not good reasons to give up on your routine altogether. Pick yourself up, put your shoes back on, and resume your exercise routine when you can.
With these tips in mind, you can stick to your intentions of getting in shape without losing steam. Seeing the results of working out is one of the most powerful motivators to stick with it, so put on your shoes and get busy!