Working out can literally change your life. It can turn flabby muscles into beautiful streamlined rods of steel. Working out can get rid of a gut that seems impervious to dieting. It can help eradicate high blood pressure. Working out can shape your body as you lose weight, turning simple weight loss a beautiful, body-altering experience. These are all proven facts, and reasonable people know them to be true. And yet when it’s time to work out, you suddenly find yourself parked on your sofa streaming the latest season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Why is it so difficult for many people to get out there and move?
It’s hard to get motivated to work out, even if you intrinsically know that it’s good for you. If you haven’t worked out in a while, or haven’t worked out at all, it can be really hard to get into some sort of a routine. If you’re struggling to start working out, some of the following tips can help.
Give yourself milestone gifts. There is absolutely every single reason in the world to celebrate reaching your goals, so don’t feel guilty about treating yourself once you meet them. Make sure the gift is something tangible and real. “I’m going to a book a hot-stone massage at Le Fancy Schmancy spa.” “I’m going to treat myself to tickets to that play I’ve been dying to see.” “I’m going to book myself into a hotel for the night.” These may seem over the top, but celebrating and rewarding yourself for something that it has been difficult for you to do is incredibly motivating. Mark your progress on a calendar style chart and tick off every pound you lose. You can have several weight goals; maybe you celebrate every 10 or 20 pounds, or you toast yourself when you lose a certain number of inches off of something like your tummy or your thighs. By keeping a calendar, like ticking days off of a calendar as you count down to a vacation.
Buy yourself beautiful (and functional workout) gear.
You notice how when you wear beautiful clothing that you love, you feel extra powerful and a lot more confident? Make the exact same choices when choosing your workout gear. Throwing on an old t-shirt and sweats to work out wouldn’t exactly make you feel motivated, especially if you’re having trouble charging up your energy to get moving in the first place. Splurge on some new sneakers that are appropriate for the type of exercise you’re doing, and pay a few extra dollars to get workout gear that not only looks good and feels good, but also works with you. Gym clothes made of moisture-wicking fabric that moves with your body while keeping you cool can make all the difference at the height of your workout. Remember to buy the best quality you can afford. Gear that chafes your skin or feels cheap and uncomfortable is gear that won’t be worn again. You’ll also have another excuse not to work out.
Do it with a friend.
Never underestimate the value of working out with a friend. Good friends provide all kinds of support when you need it most. If you find someone who’s also on a fitness journey, you can motivate each other together. Many people find that working out with a friend makes them a lot less self-conscious and hyper aware of themselves. Check out local bulletin boards and see if there are exercise groups or other social groups in your area that focus on working out. The great thing about these types of groups is that you can build new and strengthen existing friendships while bonding with others over common goals. Maybe you’ve just given birth; a post-baby workout group where you work out with other new moms would give you an amazing emotional boost in addition to the obvious physical one. Or maybe you’ve got 50 pounds or more to lose; hooking up with people who have the same amount of weight to lose can truly be motivating. You can set goals together, schedule buddy check-ins and give each other moral support. There are plenty of people out there with the same goals as you, and finding out that they’re out there will help remind you that you are not alone.
Mix it up.
Eating the same food every day would be booooring. Wearing the same outfit every day is kind of weird. Doing the exact same exercises every single day is the quickest way to lose interest in working out. No one is excited to get bored. Choose different types of exercise; maybe you run one day and another day you rock it out in a zumba class. The variety will help keep you interested and help you look forward to each day’s workout sessions. Speak with a trainer about what alternative exercise options.
Take It outside.
Many people think that working out means you have to go to the gym in order to get a real workout. That’s not true at all; taking your workout outside of the gym can open up a whole new world to you. Many trainers do their workouts with their clients or classes outside in nature. Instead of trudging along on a stairmaster inside of a gym or walking endless miles on a boring treadmill, take your routine outdoors. Run up and down a staircase at a park. Hike on local, popular walking or running trails. Join an exercise class that takes place in a park. Being out of doors is so inspiring, making working out seem like less of a chore.