Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tips for getting motivated to exercise!

As you'll probably know, one of the key factors in losing weight (and maintaining a weightloss and leading a healthy life in general) is exercise. Exercise can be lots of fun (Zumba!) but it can also be difficult too, especially for those of us who are just starting to get into working out, and are trying to make exercising a part of our daily routine. For the most part, I do enjoy working out, but there are some days where it's more difficult.

I've put together a list of the things I try and do when I'm struggling to get it together to exercise! All these things might not work for you, and they don't all always work for me either. But usually, if the only excuse I have for not getting down to the gym is I'm being too lazy, at least one of these usually helps me!

Treat yourself to some luxury shampoo/shower gel
I was in the supermarket one day trying to work out which shampoo & conditioner I should get for in my gym bag. I was torn between my normal shampoo/conditioner, or a more expensive, absolutely delicious smelling one. I decided to go for the more expensive one, but to keep it in my gym bag and only use it after I'd been to the gym. Now, I really look forward to using it! It keeps me going, just a little bit. It might sound silly but if I'm at the gym or on my way there and I'm thinking "gosh, I can't be bothered!" I just say to myself "well, at least I'll get to use my gorgeous apple shampoo!" I plan on treating myself to a nice shower gel too, but at the minute I'm using all the little travel size bottles I got in gift sets for Christmas! This works even if you don't exercise at the gym, even if you just do a workout DVD at home you can still buy some and just keep it in your bedroom and away from your partner/kids/self and just take it with you after a workout.

Find an exercise you love
Whether it's swimming, running, walking with your dog, yoga, aerobics, cycling, or trampolining, find something that you enjoy doing, and that you look forward to. For me, I love Zumba, yoga, and swimming. I go swimming about five times a week, and go to a Zumba class once or twice a week, and a yoga class once a week. If I had to go to the gym and do an hour on the treadmill or bikes five times a week, I know I wouldn't do it, because I don't enjoy it. But everyone's different, and that might be what you enjoy! If you don't like what you're doing right now, find something else. Try a different machine at the gym, find a class that you think sounds fun or buy/borrow a new workout DVD.

Write down your goals, and refer to them often
I think it really helps to have some goals in mind. Write them down, so you can refer to them often and look at them. Maybe have a couple of bigger ones, and then lots of small ones too (I plan on sharing mine on the blog soon!). Give yourself positive encouragement when you achieve your goals, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication it's taken to be able to cross each goal off your list.

Track your progress
Keep a record, and again keep looking at it. Don't forget how well you've done, and how far you've already come. A couple of weekends ago, my partner and I went out for a meal with my family to an Indian restaurant. Following the plan that I'm on, I could order a curry without going over my set allowances/points, but I usually order a naan bread too, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to resist. Before I went, I jumped on the scales to remind myself how far I've come already, and seeing those new, lower numbers made me realise that however tasty that naan might be, it wouldn't be as good as seeing another weight loss the next week!

Make lunch before you go
I don't know about you, but when I come back from the gym, I'm absolutely ravenous, and it's at times like this where I find myself caring less about what I'm eating - I just want to eat! I'll be tempted while I'm getting lunch ready to just snack on something completely unhealthy. What I try to do is decide the night before whether I'll be going to the gym or not, and if I am I'll make something for my lunch that I'll be able to eat straight away as soon as I get back. A salad, pasta or even just a healthy sandwich are all good options and I can just come in, open the fridge, and eat straight away.

Take a rest day when you need one
On Monday, I woke up and my legs were stiff and my heel kind of sore after doing a Zumba class, swimming and a long walk with my boyfriend and Izzy the day before. I decided to make Monday my 'rest' day, and give my body a break and a chance to recover! Pushing yourself to exercise too much and when you're experiencing stiffness or soreness is only going to make you hate it more, and make it that much more difficult the next time you need to go.

So there you have my tips! They might not work for you, but if they do, I'm glad! Do you have any tips for getting motivated that you want to add? If so, I'd love to hear them!


Anonymous said...

I love the idea of some nice soap to treat yourself to after a good work out.

My own tip would be to make sure you have a good playlist on your mp3 player. Include current songs and lots of active, happy music. I've gone to the gym a few times without any music at all and it is absolutely boring. The music really helps pumps me up.

Anonymous said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. How I get motivated sometimes when I just don't want to do it, I say to myself I'll just work-out for ten minutes and see how it goes. I usually end up finishing, but I know I have the option of quitting after 10 minutes. Works for me.

RickGetsFit.ca said...

I can relate to the shower gel. I've got a really good one for men in my gym bag. Cheers, Rick

Tiffany @ Simply Shaka said...

I saw your dog Izzy on Carrots and Cake and holy adorable!!

Lori @ According to Gus said...

Had to stop by and say hello after seeing sweet Izzy on Carrots n Cake. What a cutie!

Plus, I always need tips on how to get motivated!


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