Throughout my weight-loss journey, many people have asked me how I get and stay motivated. It wasn’t so easy for me at first, but now exercising has become part of my daily routine. I probably work out five to six times a week, even if it is just going for a short walk to get myself moving. I definitely start to get crabby if I do not get enough exercise during the week. I found that if I do exercises I really enjoy, I’m more likely to stay motivated and exercise regularly. You can read more about my journey on my about page.
Here are some tips for make working out fun instead of seeming like a chore.
Exercise with a friend. It is much easier to motivate yourself when you have a running partner or gym partner! For the longest time I hated going to the gym alone–I never felt motivated enough to go by myself. You will encourage each other and maybe even have a little fun in the process. I still prefer running with a partner than running by myself (longer runs tend to get lonely sometimes).
Find an activity you enjoy and turn it into exercise. I know from experience that I am more likely to go to an exercise class if I’m having fun. I really enjoyed taking kickboxing classes at a local boxing studio, so I made sure to go to class a few times a week. I had fun while getting an excellent, calorie-burning workout in. I also love running road races, so I make sure to train regularly so I can run them. Some other fun and interesting ways to keep fit are gravity yoga classes, cardio dance classes like Zumba, high-intensity interval classes like Tabata, or one of my favorites, a weight lifting class to dance music called Body Pump.
If you want to get into running, sign up for a race. When I first began running, I had the desire to sign up for a 5K. I finally had an exercise goal! My goal for the race was to run the whole thing without walking, and guess what? I did it! I finished it in 37 minutes. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Four years later I’ve run many races of all distances, and I’m currently training for my first marathon. There are a lot of 5K training plans out there, one of the most popular being the Couch to 5K program, which makes it easy for anyone to train for a 5K successfully.
Keep it interesting. If doing the same old workouts day after day gets boring, try something new. Try new exercise DVDs, or take new classes at your gym. If I get in a rut, I try something new. I have even been guilty of buying new exercise outfits to keep me motivated. If you’re tired of running the same old route, try taking a new path or go running on a new trail.
Think about the results. I know it can be hard to get yourself up and moving, but the reward will be fantastic. You’ll feel better about yourself and you are burning calories in the process. As long as you burning more calories than you take in, you will lose weight.
Eventually, if you stick to it, exercise will become like second nature. I can’t even believe I used to live a sedentary life–I’ve actually come to love working out. It makes me feel great and even improves my mood. I’m an overall happier person since I started running and exercising four short years ago. I’m so glad I made the lifestyle change. If I can do it, so can you.
About Guest Blogger Jen Masa:
Jen M. writes about health, food, fitness and training for her first marathon on her blog Jen is Green. Four years ago, she changed her lifestyle and lost 80 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. She was not always an avid exerciser and used to loathe the thought of working out. Her journey started out slowly, and after getting into the habit of daily exercise, the pounds came off and she learned to love it. Exercise is now a part of her lifestyle!