You need some more reasons to start fitness and keep going your workout motivation than I gave you in my previous article? Here you go, five more. And don’t tell me you still find a way around putting on those running shoes or grabbing the dumbbells!
1. Get a new book
I understand this workout motivation tip is a point of contention because a lot of people say, “If you can read while you workout, then you are not really working out at all!” Yes, yes, you can make that case… but regardless of the fact, my desire to get some hardcore reading in has been a motivating factor in getting my butt to the Cybex Machine on more than one occasion.
While I wouldn’t want this to be my workout every time, you can’t deny that moving those legs is much better than sitting at home on my couch. Also, what about audio books? Some people get motion sickness trying to jog around and burn 500 calories while reading, so listening to an audio book on your iPod and furthering your knowledge on a subject of your choosing is a great way to motivate yourself, while having some “you” time. (In a similar vein, sometimes watching the news is a motivating factor: I learn what’s going on in the world, while cramming my fitness time in and kill two birds with one stone.)
2. Make a solemn oath to yourself, write it down
“Dear Jenn,” I write, “If you really want to drink all those beers later, you MUST MUST MUST go workout today to earn the right to devour all those calories.” You’ll notice that feasts tend to bring out the motivated fitness freak in all of us. Gyms are a flurry of activity the morning of Thanksgiving and the number of roadside runners also increases exponentially. Unfortunately (for my belly), drinking is one of my favorite pastimes. Yet, the amount of calories consumed is really antithetical to my fitness goals, so I’ve made this oath to myself that I must work out on any day that will involve drinking.
3. Maintain a list of workout motivation quotes
If you’re crafty, you should make some sort of artwork out of these quotes and hang it where you can gaze upon it regularly. There are loads of motivational quotes to consider, pertaining to fitness.
Have a look at my buddy Sam’s blog. He lists 65 awesome quotes there. One of my favorites is “Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret!” Another one I like is from Muhammad Ali: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.” For the best impact, try to memorize one or two and remind yourself of these quotes when your body is telling you to quit and give up.
4. Find a buddy
Isn’t this just the hardest one of all? My goal has always been to find someone who can make a workout routine and really stick to it. I know that the combined synergy of myself and one worthy partner would just take my fitness to new heights, but everyone I know is just so darn lazy! (Sorry, guys. You know it… you talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.) I always see people at the gym running alongside a friend and chatting it up (not working out hard enough, of course, but still – getting out and being active nonetheless).
Even when I can’t speak to you because I’m panting too hard on my bike, know that I am eternally grateful for your presence. You’re like my silent rock. You make me try harder and push myself farther, just by being there. For people with a competitive spirit, finding a buddy is a crucial motivator. Sometimes I see people at the gym and just imagine that we’re buddies even though we never spoke to one another. We make eye contact and recognize on another in all the same classes and will occasionally give the token nod. I note that her bubble butt is gone and she sees that my love handles have diminished. Secretly I can’t wait to see what happens next week. Will she triumph over her love for carbs, or not? It’s like reality TV.
5. Experiment and find “that special time”
Much of the problem with workout motivation is that there seems to be no “perfect” time to do it. Ready for excuses in 3…2…1…
- Morning workouts suck because I am groggy and my body’s stiff and I just can’t get into it.
- On the plus side, you may like morning workouts because you can get them over and done with right away, so the world is your oyster for the rest of the day.
- Afternoon workouts suck because I need to stop what I’m doing to go.
- On the plus side, you may like afternoon workouts because you’re more awake and the gym is the least crowded around this time.
- Evening workouts suck because you’re tired from work and thinking about dinner.
- On the plus side, you may like evening workouts because you can just shower and relax all night. Late late workouts are also nice because the gyms are not crowded.
For me, I think the best schedule is usually the 4pm to 6pm time bracket. I get enough work accomplished and have enough time to fuel myself and wake up. It actually breaks up the day quite nicely, separating my work and leisure time. So you really need to experiment and work out at all different times to see what feels right for you. Then you’ll be well on your way to making a regular schedule and sticking to it, for real this time!