Every day the alarm goes off to wake us up to our first obligation of the day. For most of us, our day is jam-packed with responsibilities that can lead late into the evening. A long of day of completing a to-do list at home or putting out fires at the office can kill any motivation you have to go to the gym.
Except we tend to live sedentary lives full of temptation. Office vending machines, grocery stores over-stocked with worthless foods, restaurants serving enormous portion sizes and high-liquid-calorie happy hours can all increase our waistlines. That’s why exercise is essential for weight management and overall health (both physical and mental). We all know we should, but when it comes down to actually putting on those gym clothes, a post-work glass of wine or extra hour of sleep in the morning win. If you know you need to make a change (and for real this time) on the exercise front, check out these tips to help motivate you to start working out and sustain it.
Believe in Momentum
Starting is the most brutal part. The shame of how you let yourself go, intimidation by others or the physical pain from being so out of shape can make the start of a workout routine feel miserable. Make the commitment and start with micro goals. You’ll become more empowered as you start to become more comfortable with a workout and feel its rewards, no matter how small. Just don’t lose momentum. On average, it can take two to eight months to form a new habit. As your commitment deepens, experiencing the benefits is likely to keep you on track. It’s a process to trust. Motivation and maintaining momentum together can turn a person of leisure into a fitness fanatic.
Find a Workout for You
In today’s fitness world, you have plenty of options for getting your workout on. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to getting in shape, reminds Julie Booher, nutrition coach and certified personal trainer. The most important factor toward success is consistency in whatever type of exercise you choose. Explore what’s out there and “date around.” Trying new things can be exciting and challenging. From boot camp gyms and yoga studios to Pilates and CrossFit, there’s a workout for everyone. Understand what your goals are and be open to the experience.
The gym isn’t exactly a playground for everyone. The weight room may be a second home for some and others can hop onto a treadmill every day like it’s a merry-go-round, but the gym can be intimidating and morph into a warehouse of meaningless machines for many others. Gyms, like CrossFit boxes and fitness studios, also can be expensive, and a $150 membership may not fit within the budget.
So go ahead and skip the gym. Work out at home, in your yard or at the park, instead. Your phone can be your biggest resource in these scenarios; it’s your personal trainer, workout coach, yoga instructor or cheerleader. The Samsung Galaxy S8 enables you to do anything, anywhere, and that includes the fitness part of your life. The My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app offers beginners through advanced workouts that can be with or without equipment. The AsanaRebel app leads you in yoga-inspired fitness no matter where you want to practice. Wherever you take your phone, your workout goes too.
Choose Your Perspective
Working out is certainly work, but you can see it differently by shifting your perspective. Yoga helps you decompress and de-stress, and spinning can be your scheduled alone time. Go hiking or train for a 5K run as a way to spend time with your family, rather than going to get ice cream. Workouts also are a great way to socialize or meet people. Turn happy hours at your local bar with co-workers into happy hours at the gym or trail for a jog. Athletic retail stores like Athletica and Lululemon also offer free community yoga and fitness sessions in certain cities. You even can challenge yourself as a part of a team by signing up for a Ragnar Race or Tough Mudder. Your workouts will be more like training, but you’ll have the support of your team to keep you motivated and inspired.