In a perfect world we would all agree that we are super motivated about exercising. In this fantasy land we’d lay out our color coordinated workout clothes every night and when our alarm went off at 5 a.m. we would spring out of bed, full of excitement for our two hour long exercise routine. Unfortunately, reality is not usually this easy or enjoyable in regards to hitting the gym or the pavement. We are much more likely to hit the snooze button. Sometimes we struggle just to find our sneakers or matching socks. For the small percentage of you who live in the perfect exercise fantasy land…good for you. For the rest of us, here are some ways to trick yourself into being excited (yes, I said excited) about your workout.
First you need to think about what you like. What’s your thing? What makes you happy? Is it shopping, cooking, dancing, reading, listening to music, etc? After you decide what really makes you feel great (you can choose a few if you’d like), you can use this to your advantage.
If shopping is what really gets you excited, find ways to make this relate to exercise. If you’re a shoe girl or guy, set a goal for the week and when you meet it, reward yourself. For example, tell yourself that if you work out four out of seven days this week you can go get that new pair you’ve had your eyes on. Better yet, splurge on a fantastic new pair of sneakers that you can show off at the gym.
If you love to cook, go out and get a cookbook full of healthy recipes and get to work making some new dishes that will fuel you up for some great workouts. If you’re on a budget or just don’t want another book to clutter your shelves, print some new recipes off of the internet. There are endless resources for fast and easy, but still healthy, recipes online.
Who doesn’t love to dance? Not everyone is great at it, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t like to do it. Dancing is great exercise. Take a few dance lessons or if you want to amp up the calorie burn, sign up for Zumba or simply blast some music in the privacy of your own home and get moving!
This one is a trick I always use. My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip. It’s not for everyone, but I always want to know about the break-ups, make-ups and the “secrets” to the perfect celeb bikini body. Instead of grabbing a magazine in the checkout aisle and rushing home to read it, I keep it for the next day’s gym session. I don’t let myself read it unless I’m on the treadmill, elliptical or bike and I have to read the whole thing before I get off. By the time I’ve found out where Lady Gaga went on a date last weekend and what she was wearing I’ve finished a 30 or 40 minute workout. Works every time.
Lastly, another one of my favorites is putting new songs on my iPod. Nothing is worse than trying to get motivated and being bored with your music selections. You know that feeling when you hear a new song that you can’t get enough of? Immediately put that song on your music device of choice and get to the gym or outside. If you want to listen to it 10 times in a row, that’s perfect! Thirty minutes later, you’ve gotten your fill of the new tune and you’ve walked a couple miles around the neighborhood. If you have a handful or more of new songs that you love hearing on the radio, download them ASAP and make a new workout mix. You’ll be grooving away and not even realizing how many calories you’re burning.
The key to really tricking yourself is to make sure you go along with it. You can’t say to yourself “Oh I’ll drop 5 pounds and then go buy that new dress I’ve wanted” but then not actually do what you promised and buy the dress anyway. You need to keep yourself in check. If it helps, write it down or tell a friend your plan, which will increase your accountability. These tricks should make doing what you already want to do (workout more, feel better, eat healthier, lose weight) easier and more fun. It’s a win-win in my book.
Leave a comment: What are your “tricks” for staying motivated to exercise? Have any of these tips worked for you in the past?
-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.