Working out in high school was so easy. I didn’t have to force myself onto the elliptical. I didn’t have to schedule my workouts or lay on the couch repeatedly telling myself to get up and do something active. I didn’t have to because I was constantly working out. I played every sport under the sun and was on the dance team, which is a year-round sport. College wasn’t too bad either. No, I wasn’t playing sports. But I was walking to class daily and waiting tables. And for those of you who haven’t waited tables before, it basically includes power walking for hours at a time. Things went downhill after college. I sit at a desk for 8-9 hours every day. Then I go home, somehow exhausted from my hours of sitting, and working out is just about the last thing I want to do. So I’ve come up with a few strategies to get motivated, and hopefully they’ll work for you too! Here are some ideas to motivate yourself to work out.
Love Your Workout Clothes
Am I the only one who thinks working out is more fun when you’re wearing cute workout clothes? I’m not sure what it is, but it definitely makes a difference. The first thing I did when I wanted to get serious about working out was invest in some workout clothes I loved. My go-to workout clothes are the Champion brand at Target, but there are tons of options!
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Find Your Ideal Workout Time
I think it’s super important to find a time when working out is ideal for you. And realistic. I can tell myself day after day that I’m going to get up in the morning and work out before work. But is it every going to happen? Doubtful. I’m not a morning person, and adding anything else to my morning is just not an option at this point. I’ll turn that alarm off every morning. Working out in the evening is a better option for me. I find that I’m mostly likely to follow through if I plan to do it immediately after work. If I plan a late-night workout after I’ve eaten dinner and had time to lounge and watch TV, I’m unlikely to get motivated again!
Maybe you are a morning person, and would rather get it out of the way first thing. That’s great! Then working out before school or work is probably the best course of action for you!
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Mix Up Your Workout
Doing the same workout day after day can get stale, and it’s hard to get excited about your workout. I definitely recommend finding a workout you genuinely enjoy and mixing it up so you aren’t doing the same one day after day. If you’re a running your workout is probably similar each day. But you can mix it up by finding new trails to run on, instead of limiting yourself to the treadmill. For at-home exercisers like me, there are literally an endless supply of workout videos available online! I love that I can do a different workout each and every day, and I can try new workouts I would never have done otherwise. My favorites are kickboxing and Pilates!
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Get a Gym Membership
In the interest of full disclose, this is not a strategy that has personally worked for me, and I ended up cancelling my gym membership long ago. However, it’s one that works for a lot of people! Many of my coworkers have a gym membership downtown and use their lunch hour to work out. It’s a great strategy because you can get it out of the way without having to use up part of your evening. I think another reason it’s effective is that you’re making an investment. Each time you skip your workout, you’re essentially wasting money. For most people, that’s pretty good motivation to hit the gym!
A gym membership is also convenient if you don’t have workout equipment at home. They’ve got all the equipment you need, so no other investment is necessary.
Remember Your Why
Of all the tips I shared, I think this one is most important. I know plenty of people who truly enjoy working out, and it’s an important part of their day. But I know more people who are trying to get in better shape and reach fitness goals, and struggle because fitness doesn’t come naturally to them. But remember why you’re doing it is immensely important in staying motivated.
How do you motivate yourself to work out?
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