We all know it can be TOUGH to always keep that energetic, positive attitude toward exercising. Trust me, this is something that does not always come easily to me either! After working a full 8 or even more hours sitting in a resting state then getting into your car and sitting again during your commute home, it can be hard to get your energy levels up to feel a desire to be active. Not all people have office jobs and sit for hours on end a day, but many do, and those who do not still often struggle with with the time factor. There can be so many other priorities you feel like should come before taking a little time to work out, right? What about your family, your laundry, who's going to make dinner, feed the cat, etc., the list goes on.
I get it, believe me. I don't even have kids and I get it, so I can't imagine how working moms must feel sometimes.
Tips for Staying Motivated to Stay Active
This brings me to Motivation Tip # 1
1. MOVE FOR YOUR MOOD! A little exercise goes a long way - for your mind, your sanity and your outlook. You don't have to run 5 miles, sometimes even just getting out and doing a 20 minute walk when you can does a lot for you. Breathing fresh air and getting out in the light of the world can bring a new perspective and kind of "reset" things. Plus, doing something is better than doing nothing. This is key on days where you really just can't get there mentally with the whole exercising thing. 10 minutes on an eliptical or just walking is better than laying on your couch eating ice cream from the carton!
Motivation Tip #2
2. BEAT YOUR EAT! Exercising helps control cravings and hunger. I know this to be true. The nights I work out or go for a run I guarantee are not the nights (or even day's after) where I "accidentally" polish off any and all chocolate I can find in the house. They are not the nights that I give in and eat grilled cheese and french fries for dinner because I am too tired or lazy to make anything else. Nope. I always find I am more motivated to make sure I eat healthy and replace my body with the nutrients it needs after a good work out - not a bunch of garbage, processed food.
3. ENERGY! Behold this scenario: You leave work, wake up on a weekend, whatever. You know you have plenty of time to go to the gym and get in a decent workout or run, and what do you do? Not workout or run. Find 14 other excuses why it just won't happen for you right then. This happens to me after work more often than I like to admit. My energy is zapped, my brain is fried and I just want to go home and put on my pjs and drink wine. Despite my craving for comfort and rest, this is NOT what my body needs. Sure my energy is low but that's just because I haven't actually moved in a few hours! The second I do get moving, the blood gets flowing and I feel that little bounce in my step, like yeah!, I know my energy is on it's way back up. My body was literally just at a resting state for so long and that's hard to come out of.
Motivation Tip #4
4. MUSIC MAKES IT HAPPEN! I honestly do not think I could make it through some tough runs without a playlist that gets me fired up. My go-to music involves a lot of Eminem, Nicki Manaj, and almost any of the new trend hiphop-house blends. I have no idea what that's called. But it could be anything that gets your heart rate up. As long as it's sparking you to get moving that's all you need.
5. CHANGE IT UP! Don't feel like you have to do the same routine every time you are the gym or run the same route or stick to the same classes. In fact, it's GOOD to involve a variety of different workouts and routines to what you do. It keeps your brain from getting too bored or comfortable and keeps your muscles guessing. I used to love my weekly kickboxing class I took for stength training an then I would supplement this throughout the week with 2-3 mile runs.
The takeaway here is that although it may not always be easy to carve out time for a workout or you may just be feeling drained, it's so good to just suck it up and do SOMETHING. Even if it's just a walk around the block or 10 minutes on a workout DVD. It will make you feel better and you'll be glad you did it. Make it a time that is all your own, with your favorite music and keep it interesting by throwing in a new class or trying a new running route. Act like it's a fun activity and it WILL be a fun activity. The more positive you view being active, the more likely you'll be to stick to something for more than a week.
I am going to go take my own advice now since I just caught myself daydreaming about a nice dinner and early bedtime rather than hitting the gym like I planned. That's not happening today!