Spring is in the air and the weather is warming. Time to pack away the baggy sweaters and start showing some skin again. This is the perfect time to get your fitness motivation back or to take things up a notch in your current routine! Longer days and warmer weather makes us feel more awake and like we have more time in the day. Besides, you know what’s right around the corner… Summer!
I’ve got some ideas to put some spring in your step and get you moving. You’ll feel more confident, be able to wear what you want, and you’ll also feel better doing those summer activities. Let’s get fit!
If you’re not currently training for a fitness show or the Ironman, then you probably get in a fitness rut from time to time. Like maybe during the winter months when it’s cold and dark outside. Whenever it happens, it’s totally normal. What we want to do is keep those times to a minimum, get your fitness motivation back and move-on so that you can keep making progress.
So how do those dedicated gym people make fitness look so dang easy? It seems like they’ve always been fit!
Actually, many of these people have amazing stories that start with being new to fitness. Ask them about it, they often like to share. They are not self-absorbed narcissists; they are people who have learned to take time for their health. Now is the time for you to do that too? Health and fitness motivation need to be the top priority First and foremost, like that avid gym person, health and fitness need to be the top priority in life, it’s a lifestyle change. You need to say NO to things that don’t improve your health and YES to things that do. Everything else has to wait until after your workout, or run, or that healthy meal, etc. and hey, it’s even better if you join people at the gym instead of happy hour. Fitness folks tend to attract other fitness folks and they build a community of supportive people who are achieving their goals. It gives them healthy competition and fitness motivation. The biggest part of long-term success for fitness is finding a supportive group of people who are also working on their health and fitness goals.
Ugh, but Amy, I hate working out.
Well, it’s time to change your view of exercise.
Working out is not a thing to dread like the dentist or spring cleaning or some other terrible chore that you don’t want to do. Hooray, it’s time for you! You will enjoy it all the more when you think of it as play and a special time for just you. Speaking of play, I challenge you to do just that. Find an activity that feels more like play and less like work. There are so many ways to get the blood flowing. Such as: jumping rope, running up stadium stairs, hiking, taking a bike ride or just taking a walk on the beach. When was the last time you did any of those things? Has it been a while? Well, here is your chance to get outside and be part of the changing seasons. If you live in a place that is nasty and rainy during the spring, you could try a new gym class, like dancing or group fitness. And, it’s a bonus if you have access to an indoor swimming pool. I can’t even begin to tell you of all the benefits of swimming or water aerobics, especially, if you have any injuries.
Whatever you choose to try, new things are always a little harder at first. Make sure you give it a fair shake before you make up your mind. If you hate it, move on to the next activity. Try a few new play activities to see what works for you. It’s like a new spring wardrobe for your workout routine. Hey, you might even find more than one activity that you like. Cool! If you have a hard time getting in a full hour working out, try working out with music. Be your own gym DJ and set up your playlist so that it will give you an hour of music that puts you in the gym mood and gives you the fitness motivation you need. If you are jamming to your favorite tunes, time will fly by. There are even underwater I-pods for swimming. Just get lost in the music and feel happy that you’re able to be there, having fun with that new activity, and lucky enough to be active.
I love throwing a little daily challenge for myself and my clients I will have them set the alarm on their phone to alert them so that they can do an activity at the same time every day. For instance, we are all currently doing a 100-sit-up challenge at 7 pm. This type of activity alarm should be something you can do anywhere, and in addition to your workout plan. Don’t make it something that you’ll never do by setting your goal too high. 100 push-ups might be a bit much but, if it’s not, that’s sweet!
Another tip that helps me, is to keep a set of gym clothes in my car. I make sure that I plan my day and have my workout schedule set. “Oh, it’s Tuesday, it’s leg day, and I’m meeting Heidi at 4PM to work out.” If hitting the gym sounds intimidating, hire a personal trainer to get you going. That’s what they’re here for. They will hold you accountable. When you’re not working out with your personal trainer. Not only is it spring, and you want to look hot wearing less, it’s also a bonus to your self-esteem when you start an exercise program.
Completing goals, involving your health and fitness, tells your brain that you are confident and that you can complete tasks. Take a minute after your workout and think about how good you feel. It can be hard to get your fitness motivation back and to start a new fitness goal, so relish the fact that you did just that, and you’re awesome!