One of the biggest questions my friends ask me is “How do you stay motivated to work out?” I exercise everyday and am grateful that I allow myself that time. It's easy to talk yourself out of exercising. You look out the window and it's raining, you see dirty dishes in the sink, the laundry is not done and there is yard work to do. All those thoughts come creeping into your mind and before you know it you have spent your entire day doing things for other people or tasks that needed to get done but you really have not spent the time needed for yourself.
I believe that healthy living consists of three parts; exercise, nutrition and rest. Without those three in balance you are not going to achieve your goals of a fitter, healthier life style. There is not one aspect that is more important than the other you need all three to have a body in balance. Proper nutrition supplies your body with the energy and strength you need to get through your work out. This also helps to keep your waist line in check. Exercise energizes you and makes you feel more confident and strong in your body. While you sleep your body is rejuvenating and rebuilding muscle so that you can continue to progress forward with your exercise and or weight loss goals.
So back to my friend's question – how do I stay motivated? I have found what works best for me is that I have many different routines I do so that I do not get bored. If you exercise the same way every day, you will lose interest and exercise will fall by the way side. I have found that having some equipment at home in a home gym makes all the difference. If you do not feel like going to the gym you can work out at home and still accomplish your goal of getting some kind of physical activity in each day. I also run outside, I do exercise videos with my girlfriends, I do mixed martial arts and play indoor soccer. I vary my exercise routine everyday to keep it interesting and fun.
I like working out with friends so we have work out parties. We get together and do exercise videos or those of us who like to run will run while my other friends will bike together. We all go out at the same time and run / bike the same country roads. The bikers finish before the runners but we all have fun which is what exercise is all about. The best advice I can give to stay motivated is to change your routine, find people who are like minded and exercise together. We keep each other motivated and find that it is harder to come up with excuses when you have several friends texting you to get off the couch and get your workout clothes on because they are coming to your house today to exercise.
Once you get into a habit of exercise you will start to feel better and find that it gets easier. The hardest part is making the decision to start. Once you have decided that you are committed to starting an exercise routine then you will start to look and feel better and that is the biggest motivator to continue and keep you going.
I really believe in home gyms and am a big advocate that you do not need to spend tons of money each month and year for an expensive gym membership. I have not been to a commercial gym in probably 15 years and I am in the best shape of my life. I am a wife, mother of two, work a full time job and am turning 40 this month and still find time everyday for myself to exercise. When I tell people my age they always look shocked. I truly believe that I do not look my age because of exercise.
There are many people that are too embarrassed to enter a gym since it has been years since they did any type of exercise. My advice is – do not. If you have health problems then get cleared by your doctor before starting any exercise program but there are wonderful exercises you can do without walking through the doors of that dreaded gym.
The first thing to consider is what do you like to do? Do you like to swim, walk, bike, run or exercise videos on your TV right in your own home? The best way to start is to take what you already like doing and start there. If you like to bike but have not been on a bike in years then start slow. Set a goal. For example the first day your goal is to ride around the block then increase that a little each day. The most important thing is that you are out there doing it. As mentioned before find friends that are willing to exercise with you. Friends are a great way to keep going. On the days they do not want to exercise you will motivate them, on the days you do not want to exercise they will motivate you and before you know it you are exercising several times a week, having fun and feeling better.
So dust off those walking shoes and get out there!