The hardest part to switching over to a healthy and more active lifestyle is not the idea of eating healthy or even working out. It’s finding the motivation to stick to it. Think about it, after running after the kids all day, working, and doing errands…the last thing you probably want to do is hit the gym. You might tell yourself that you’re too tired, too busy, too cold…etc. But these are all excuses. Once you overcome the first step and put on your tennis shoes or get into the car, you’re already half way there. To help you take the first step, I’ve listed 9 tips…
(1) Turn up the music – Have you ever heard a song come up on the radio and you just want to get up and dance? Create a playlist of your favorite tunes…those that make you get up and move. Then, when it’s time to workout, turn it on, and watch your body naturally start working out. You don’t need to jump into 10 push-ups. Just start off dancing like no one is watching. By the end of the song, you’ve achieved great cardio. You can even incorporate some resistance training to achieve a total body workout.
(2) Schedule it in – As they say, you make time for what you make time for. If you can easily squeeze in a few episodes of morning cartoons in with your kid or set up that business lunch…you can just as easily pencil in your workout. Schedule it in like any other appointment.
***Tip – Many find it easiest to schedule their workouts in for the morning before the rest of their day is carried away…and if a 30 minute workout is really too difficult, break it down into two 15 minute sessions or three 10 minute sessions.
(3) Create a checklist and stick to it – Create a checklist of exercises. You can find many online. For example (and for simplicity purposes), write down 3 minutes of dancing in place, 1 minute of sit-ups, 1 minute of push-ups, 1 minute of squats, 3 minutes of running in place, etc. Then make it a rule that you won’t end your day till all the exercises on the list have been completed. Again, you can either do it all at once or break it out throughout the day…3 minutes of dance in the morning…1 minute of sit-ups while your child is grabbing their favorite book…1 minute of push-ups during commercials…etc. Each time you finish one, check it off your list and before you know it, you’re done with your workout.
(4) Get inspired – Post up that old pic of yourself that you’ve loved or the pic of the 40 year old, mother of three, who once weighed 250lbs and now rocks the 6 pack abs. Whatever that pic is, post it somewhere that you’ll see it daily (i.e. in your wallet, daily planner, on your phone, the fridge, the mirror), as a reminder of what you’re working to achieve.
(5) Set a date – Have you ever had a wedding to go to or an upcoming vacation you planned for that you were pumped up to lose a few pounds for? If so, remember the determination and motivation you had to create success? Well, you can repeat it. Each month set an event that you’re trying to get ready for (i.e. a date night, a family vacation, a family photo shoot, a bbq with friends, or maybe even a benchmark date). Create an attainable goal (i.e. lose 6lbs in 4 weeks) and work to achieve it
(6) Make physical activity fun and easy – The more difficult something is, the easier it is to come up with excuses. Therefore, when it comes to working out…make it fun and easy. Perhaps try something that doesn’t require any weight machines so you can do it anywhere. Maybe have a gym bag ready with clothes, shoes, and anything else you may need. Have your music ready at all times. Perhaps, instead of hitting the gym, you can go on a family walk. All you need are tennis shoes and a family if you’re taking them. Maybe join your kids in a game of tag…that’s a complete cardio workout. Then jump on the jungle gym with them for strength training. Try finding 20 to 30 minute workouts online, workouts that don’t require time but make the most out of your time. Think back to what you liked doing as a child. Was it skating? Then get into those old skates and burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes.
(7) Inform your friends about this new healthy you – Let others know about the new healthy and active you. While at first many will probably congratulate you, soon enough, many would like to join you and be kept up-to-date on how it’s coming along. Not only will that motivate you, but it’ll be a daily reminder to stay on track. You can even try getting others involved so that you can do it all together. Send reminders to one another. Motivate one another. Reach your goals together.
(8) Break big goals into small, incremental goals – For instance, if you’re trying to lose 20 lbs, that can be overwhelming. Since 1 lb is comprised of 3500 calories, that could mean you would have to create a deficit of 70,000 calories to lose those 20 lbs. Instead, think of trying to lose 1 to 2lbs a week. That’s only 500 calories a day. Just seeing the scale drop by 1lb can be quite fulfilling…it means you’re going in the right direction. Keep in mind that you will notice ups and downs, so if you see an increase in one pound, don’t let it get you down, it can also be your newly added muscle.
(9) Celebrate each success – Seeing the scale drop or feeling the jeans get looser can be quite gratifying. Celebrate those moments. You have worked hard and succeeded. Each success adds up to your ultimate goal, so celebrate and reward yourself!