Wednesday, February 12, 2014

12 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

 Today I was asked why I workout as religiously as I do. It's simple: I really can't afford not to workout!  Heart disease is the number one killer in America and by exercising 30 minutes a day the risk is cut in half.
Well Sylvia, that's great but how do you find motivation to exercise when you don't want to get off the couch? Well today, I am answering that question!  I sat down and really thought about what keeps me motivated and while there are millions of ways to motivate yourself to exercise, I'm going to share a few that have worked for me.

  • The feeling after a workout. I love that "high" I get after a long workout.  I remind myself of how good I am going to feel later. 
  • Me time. While we find time to take care of others, we often put ourselves on the back burner. Exercising is one of the few times a day I truly zone out and take care of myself mentally and physically. 
  • Adrenaline rush. I get a rush of energy when I am doing a new workout. Ride that rush to complete it.
  • Calories burned. Recently, I received a Polar heart-rate monitor watch as a gift.  I track my calories and push myself to go a little farther and harder than the day before. 
  • Having fun. I am constantly mixing up my workout routines.  One day I'm at the gym, next a fitness class, after that a home workout DVD.  I always try to keep things new and exciting and prevent getting in an exercise "rut". What's the best part about mixing up your workouts? No muscle memory so you are constantly working and pushing yourself!
  • The future you. Visualize a happier, healthier you.
  • Blogs. I love to read blogs from RD's, athletes, and runners.  Learning their up and downs is inspirational and you can learn from their experiences. 
  • Success stories. Nothing can compare to testimonials of others who have reached their goal.  Just think, one day that will be you.
  • Cheat days. Let's be honest. It is unrealistic to have perfect days all year long.  Schedule yourself a cheat day once a week.  Studies have determined if you allow yourself a cheat day you will be more likely to comply to the new lifestyle habit. 
  • Contemplation time. I do my best thinking when I workout because I have a clear head. 
  • The dreaded feeling of not exercising. I love waking up early in the morning and getting my workout in before the rest of the day.  Whenever I don't workout, I feel more tired and sluggish.
  • Upcoming event. Anything from a weekend date, graduation, or upcoming vacation.  Find a day that has meaning to you and make a commitment to yourself to prepare for the event. 
What keeps you motivated? I would love hearing your thoughts and ideas! 

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