Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 ways to stay motivated in your workout plan

I've always been an active person - but sticking with a routine is still hard with my busy life. Here are a few things I have learned along the way to staying fit. 

1. Focus on weekly goals
        Set up and focus on weekly goals, rather than always staring at the final goal. Slow and steady wins the race. We often want to see results quickly and expect to reach our final goal without seeing all the steps in order to get there. Seeing yourself achieve each step will keep you moving forward. 

2. Reward yourself
        Set up a reward system for yourself when you reach certain milestones and goals. Make them something you really want to work for or it will be easy to dismiss. It could be one big item, or lots of small things. Try not to reward yourself with chocolates or ice cream, etc. It could be anything from a new pair of shoes to setting aside money for a vacation.

3. Set a routine
        Set a day and time for your workout time. Don't leave it to chance, or it will be easier to go to bed each day without getting it done. Try to schedule your workouts everyday, or every other day. 

4. Mix it up
        Once or twice a week, depending on your workout schedule, substitute a different activity into your workouts. If you run, try cycling or yoga. If you weight train, try going for a hike or swimming. Do something that you will look forward to each week. You could even try something new. 

5. Use the buddy system  
         It is a lot easier to stay consistent if you have a workout buddy. You can help each other show up and push each other to finish strong. It is too easy to end your workout early or only put half the effort in when you workout alone. 

6. Report to someone
         Find someone you can report your progress to, and who can ask if you are meeting your goals. Its a lot harder to explain your excuses to someone else than to yourself. Social media is a great way to report. There are apps that show your progress and compare you to others that are doing the same thing you are doing. A popular one for runners and cyclist is Strava, but there are lots of others out there. 

7. Read motivational media 
         Find some books, magazines, or blogs that inspire you to keep pushing through. There are a lot out there, so they are easy to find. 

8. Find and enter a race or competition
         Having a competition to work for is a great way to stay focused, especially because you have to pay to enter. Money talks, and if you are like me, you don't want to waste your money. It could be once a year, or once a month. Do what you feel comfortable with, but the more you enter, the more likely you will stay consistent. There are events that are once a year, and others that are once a week. Start looking, and you will be surprised at how many there are. 

9. Sign up for a league, or create one
         Participating with a group of people every week is great motivation. It could be swimming, tennis, volleyball, soccer, hiking, skiing, softball, etc. If you can't find one in your community that interests you, get some friends together and make a group. It is fun and an easy way to add a extra exercise to your workout plan.

10. Rest up
          When you are working out regularly, rest is essential. Be sure to get enough sleep at nights, and be sure to set aside one day a week that is workout free. If you are not getting the rest you need, you will burn out quickly. Add an extra 30 minutes of sleep to your schedule if you can, or add a power nap during a lunch break. It can go a long way to helping your body recover from all the extra training. 

What helps you keep up your routine? 

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