Finding workout motivation (from a workout-aholic)

It’s a re-blog! My friend Dana over at mylittlecelebration did me a great honor by letting me repost her blog on skinnyshae.

Working out. It isn’t everyone’s joy in life, right?

Let’s face it. We can’t all be 5 a.m.-risers that just can’t get enough of long runs, weight lifting, cardio classes and endorphin highs.

But, if you haven’t already guessed from reading my blog, I kind of am that type of person.

Dana from mylittlecelebrationFortunately for me, I was born to perhaps two of the most active parents on the planet who have kept their bodies in incredible shape throughout their lives. And along the way, they’ve taught me about the importance of taking care of my body and living healthfully.

The reason I write this post about workout motivation is because working out is easy for me, but I realize that it’s not that way for everyone. And I figure that if I share what gets me excited about exercise, and maybe you do the same, then we can all be inspired to be more active, more often, and have more fun doing so.

Dana from mylittlecelebrationAnd another reason I felt compelled to write on this topic is that I have lots of friends who absolutely dread going to the gym, and the last thing they want to do is jump on a stationary bike for spin class or lift weights.

So, it got me thinking, “If we all want to be healthy but don’t all share the same enthusiasm for it, then we should help each other out by sharing what motivates us toward health through exercise.”

Sounds like a good idea to me.

How I came to love being active

Somehow, whether it be because of my upbringing or lifelong love of athletics, I simply LOVE working out. And it’s seemingly always been that way.

Dana from mylittlecelebrationWhen I was 5, I started playing tee-ball. I was one ponytail amidst a sea of bull cuts, and I loved it. The sunshine, the uniforms, the free pop and candy after every game, the mass amount of sunflower seeds…what wasn’t to love?

I continued climbing the baseball ladder to slow pitch, machine pitch, and eventually fast pitch where I started pitching, thanks to the encouragement of my dad who was my catcher many nights while I practiced.

I stuck with it until high school and dropped it to pursue other sports. I tried my hand at track and volleyball in middle school. And even though I didn’t continue with them, I still enjoyed the active aspect of them both.

I’ve also been dribbling a basketball since I was itty bitty; before I was ever strong enough to shoot a free throw. And I continued playing through grade school, middle school and most of high school.

I started playing soccer in high school and it quickly became my favorite sport. I just loved all the running, and that the field was so big that no one could really tell if you messed up.

The Transition

But even after sports were no longer in the picture post-high school, I still made a poignant effort to stay active and take care of my body no matter how busy my life became.

I joke about it with my husband now since we have somewhat different exercise mentalities. But before we were married, my absolute ideal Saturday morning looked something this:

  • Wake up at 7:30
  • Drink some water
  • Put on workout gear
  • Go for a 5-7 mile run or workout at the Y
  • Get back home
  • Whip up some pancakes
  • Have some coffee
  • Do a little reading
  • Shower
  • And get on with the rest of my day by 10 a.m.

Super productive, right? Call me crazy but that was my paradise.

I don’t do that so much anymore now that I’m married because leisurely weekend mornings with my husband are much more appealing to me, especially since our Monday-Friday can be so busy and tiring. But, I do still enjoy my weekly morning workouts – just not at 5 a.m. like I used to.

The point of me sharing this is not at all to boast about my almost nauseating energy and excitement for exercise and all-things health.

But rather to inspire others who don’t find exercise enjoyable. As well as to seek out your tips and advice on what inspires and motivates you to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle.

So let’s call this more of an open forum rather than a one-woman blog post, shall we?

Now when it comes to exercise, my mentality is pretty simple: Just do it. You’ll feel better.

I can honestly say that I feel better when I workout. And here are a few reasons why.

It gives me more energy. It helps me maintain a healthy weight. It helps me build strong muscles and keep my heart and bones healthy. It helps my body burn more calories so I can enjoy more delicious foods. The endorphins make me happy. It’s a stress reliever and mini escape. It allows me to be outdoors more often. It gives me confidence. And, I feel plain lousy without it.

Exercise is just a part of who I am. And I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for why that is, but the thing is, it’s mostly because I’ve chosen to make it that way. And I think that’s the key thing when it comes to anyone’s exercise regimen: you have to choose to make it a priority or it won’t be, and it will begin to fall to the wayside.

Tips

So, here are some tips that may or may not be new to you, but are always good reminders to help re-motivate you to work out:

  1. Get your workout clothes ready the night before for morning workouts or evening workouts, so you it will be less of a hassle to get ready.
  2. As soon as you get up, before you can talk yourself out of it, put on your workout clothes and go.
  3. If you take the time to workout, don’t waste your time! Push yourself every time and try and stay in that mentality, making every minute you’re moving worth it – otherwise, you won’t get results!
  4. Find a workout partner to ride to the gym with, run with, do yoga with, whatever. Just find someone to make your workouts more enjoyable and consistent.
  5. Have a good playlist and make sure your MP3 player/ipod is fully charged. And make new playlists frequently so you don’t get bored of of the same old music.
  6. Switch up your workouts: take new classes, run new routes, try new lifts – whatever it takes to keep you from getting bored.
  7. Set mini goals, whether it be to do 20 push-ups, run 5 miles, become more flexible, or look better in a swimsuit. Find what motivates you.
  8. Track your workouts and estimate how many calories you’re burning each week. Every time I write my accomplishments down on paper, I remember why I worked out in the first place! I don’t sweat in vain! I sweat to keep my body healthy and feel great!
  9. Sign up for a race. It’s a good way to motivate yourself to a goal.
  10. Check out Web sites like self and womenshealth for workout ideas.
  11. Wear the right gear! It doesn’t have to be expensive – I get most my clothes from TJMaxx and Target  – but invest in yourself. When you look good at the gym, you’ll feel good. And you’ll be more motivated to workout hard.
  12. Step outside of your comfort zone. If yoga scares you, try it! If Zumba doesn’t seem like your type of thing, give it a go. You’d be surprised how changing it up and trying new things can give you a refreshed excitement for working out.

Now, add your tips!

Qs:
What motivates you to workout?
What is your favorite workout of the moment?
Running outside and using resistance bands.
How do you get out of a workout rut?
Make a new playlist, run a new route, try some new lifting/resistance moves, do an all abs and cardio day, or challenge myself to increase weight or reps.

Those were Dana’s… these are mine:
I have no idea!
Yoga. Forever and for always.

Workout rut? I suppose I need to get in to a workout first, huh?

Oh, I am DEPRESSING! Aren’t I? Well, Insanity was painful this morning. I cried a little, ended with a weak finish and decided to hate my computer because it’s the only thing around to hate right now. And I just need to hate something. (Side Note: It’s going back to Ribbit Computers so they’ll really ACTUALLY fix it this time.)

I have a Q for you: What do you do when you feel like you can’t do it? Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer.