It’s only February, and already our New Year’s resolutions have become more like suggestions. It never takes long for fitness goals to fall by the wayside, but keep reading to learn how you can snap out of the funk and get back into the groove.
There Will be Boredom
First, recognize that you’re not weak, pathetic, or pitiful for not sticking to your workout. It’s natural to go through phases during a fitness routine—just like the phases you go through when you first start dating someone.
1. Honeymoon period: You’re giddy and excited and feel like you could spend the rest of your life doing this. You do outrageous things and have goals in only the highest places.
2. Post-honeymoon period: All the lofty goals and habits you had are too much work now. You get careless and lethargic once you realize the routine/relationship takes actual hard work. You start dreading the routine/relationship. At this point, many couples and fitness routines break up.
3. Work period: You want the routine/relationship to work so you go to the gym/therapy and do things you don’t always want to do. Sometimes, it sucks. Sometimes, it’s rewarding.
4. Peace period: You’ve resolved most of your conflicts with the routine/relationship and although it’s never quite smooth sailing, you’re both committed and making strides.
The best way to get out of your post New Year’s resolution funk is by accepting and even knowing ahead that you will experience boredom. This way, you can prepare for it and ride out the waves.
This doesn’t mean making even bigger goals and even longer, tougher workouts to revamp your fitness routine. To the contrary, this will wreck your motivation in the long run. Instead, be honest with yourself and create a realistic routine. Even if it seems too easy when you’re in the honeymoon phase, it’ll be realistic once the boredom sets in. At least then you’ll still be working out.
Identify Your Motivators
Why do you want to get fit? Health benefits? To feel athletic? To finish a triathlon? To feel more energetic? Figure out what makes you want to be fit and place reminders of your reasons around your home and in your workout log (which you will need, by the way).
Make a Workout Log
Every day, write what you did for your fitness routine—even if (especially if) you didn’t do it. You’ll get a more realistic idea of what motivates you, what demotivates you, and what you can keep up with.
Breaking promises to yourself is a common demotivator because we get down on ourselves and give up. Pick days to work out when you know you’ll have time to do it. Do you have a lot going on that day? Will you be able to fit a 30-minute workout during your lunch hour even though so-and-so has asked you to run a few errands? Will you work out in the morning or afternoon? Make the first hurdle easy to clear so you don’t cheat and say, “Eh, maybe tomorrow”.
Don’t Use Food as a Reward
If you already have a good relationship with food (you don’t restrict yourself), you can use a night out at a restaurant or making your own recipe as a reward for sticking to your game plan, but otherwise using food as a reward can turn into something undesirable like a binge. Instead, reward yourself for a week of good fitness ethic by replacing one workout at the end of the week with running around with the dog on the beach or the dog park. Play a game of tennis with a friend. Invite some pals to a day at the local paintball field. Making exercise fun is a great motivator to keep up with your current routine.
Prepare for Rainy Days
Literally. If you’re an outdoor exerciser, keep a few fitness DVDs handy on your workout days to keep your promise to yourself. We can’t always keep our promises exactly, but just as you would make it up to a friend, make it up to yourself.
This article was specially written for Simply Fitness Gear by Maria Rainier. Maria is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, writing on fitness instruction as well as other online degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Thanks to the electric treadmill, many people are able to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle that they otherwise would be unable to achieve. The average workday gets more and more time consuming and stressful. This eats up huge amounts of our time. Few people have the time and energy to go to the gym after they worked for eight to ten hours. But thanks to the multitude of modern home fitness equipment, people are able to work out from home.
Having their own treadmill at home increases the likelihood that people actually do work out. This leads to consistency: when people’s workout routines are not affected by things like bad weather or a tight schedule, they always find the time to work out for at least ten minutes per day. This is a great habit because it leads to consistency and that’s the number one thing that helps us to build up good habits.
Not being able to work out on a daily basis seems to be no big thing, but it can make a very big difference. Everyone knows this: we often get motivated about things and decide to do them every day (like drinking a cup of tea, taking a walk, getting our treadmill workout, writing in a diary, the list is endless). The most important thing in all these examples is that we actually do these things. We normally do that for one or two weeks. Than we have a bad day and decide to do it tomorrow. Here is where most people fall off track. If we can skip it on one day, we can skip it at another day too. We soon skip multiple days in a row and that’s enough to lose a good habit.
That’s exactly why an owning an electric treadmill is so great: there are few excuses not to use it.
Running headphones aren’t made just for runners. They are also a perfect fit for people in need of a longer, tougher work-out, fitting perfectly with their work-out regime. The music coming from those running headphones help drive people to work harder and it makes exercise a more enjoyable experience. The music alone is beneficial to a work-out regime, but so are good quality headphones that won’t fly off the head with every movement.
It may be the music that spurs people to work hard in a work-out, but not all headphones will work well for this purpose. Ordinary headphones that are most often used with radios or MP3 players can become a hindrance rather than a help. They do have their purpose, but they are not designed to withstand all the joggling and jiggling people do when working out. Ordinary headphones were designed for bus-sitting, desk-sitting and beach-laying. Aside from walking, they are generally made to be worn in more sedentary situations. The ear buds on these headphones can, and often do, fall out when running or bending over and the headphones themselves can more easily slip off the head.
Running headphones, however, are made especially for runners and athletes of all kinds. They are designed to hold up well when people are active. Running headphones are light enough that the wearer barely knows he has them on. There is no added weight, or discomfort to his head, a distraction which could otherwise easily take him out of his “zone.” And there are some running headphones designed in a manner that does not absorb human sweat, which is inevitable with a good work-out. This adds significantly to the comfort and longevity of the headphones.
Runners love them because the stay firmly on the head and the runner doesn’t have to make constant adjustments. Quality sports headphones have the ability to absorb the physical impact of jogging and exercise, and they will serve the wearer well in the long run, making them a good investment.
Runners and all people who work out should always consider using the right equipment for their work-out or sport. This ensures them they are getting the most out of their time in exercise with their eyes clearly on the prize.
Guest Post from Running Headphones Central.
Running is my favorite workout. I like running outside and feeling the sun warming up my face. If it’s a rainy day, there are other indoor exercises and the treadmill. What makes exercise more fun though is workout music.
My playlist for exercise music varies all the time. If I was going on a slow jog, I’d pick soothing music that would make me more relaxed, while enjoying the fresh air and the view around me. If I want to go a little rough and beat myself up with my workout, I’d go for electronic or punk rock music. Gives me the rush and keeps me feeling all pumped up in losing weight. If I really want to enjoy my workout and keep myself sweating, I love putting on dance music. This keeps my feet moving and I end up shaking my head and hands along with it.
We don’t have to stick to just one playlist or one genre of music while doing our workout, we can also put it in line with our moods. I’ve read blogs about workout music and it’s interesting how different people choose them. Some like listening to a specific artist, some like listening to a specific genre and then there are some like me, who can go from slow to really fast music.
It doesn’t stop with listening to music and your favorite songs though. Some prefer to listen to audio books instead while running or walking. You can also have a TV set in front of your treadmill and do your exercise in time with your favorite series. You won’t notice time passing and you’re basically multi-tasking. It’s like getting two things done in one sitting!
We all want to be healthy. We all want to look good and be fit. There are a lot of exercise and diet information passed around. Choose whatever works for you best. One you’re sure you can stick with. Weight loss advice is given everywhere, from people at home, to work, to the gym, and to your circle of friends. We can listen to all of them, and while we’re at it, won’t hurt if we listen to music we like on our iPods and have fun while keeping healthy and fit.
This guest article has been provided by shedyourweight.com
I always say that the very best way to exercise is to do something you love and guest author Holly McCarthy in the article below is very much in agreement.
You never have a prima ballerina complaining about dancing or a baseball fanatic complaining about playing a game in the park.
What will you find to love this year? If you don’t think there’s anything, you haven’t tried enough activities!
But if you still insist there’s nothing that will get you going, Holly has 4 more ways to encourage you to exercise …
Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Your Exercise
Exercise! Now all of us know its benefits and how we must make it a part of our daily lives so that we may be fit and healthy. Most of us start a fitness program with great enthusiasm but find it difficult to stick to the program when we get bored or when the results come too slowly. It is quite a challenge to beat exercise boredom. But that should be no excuse to quit your workout. Check out these tips to make your exercise program more enjoyable.
- Do physical activities that you enjoy doing. Nothing can be more fun than doing something that you love doing. You like dancing? Then maybe your exercise routine should be all about dance – some salsa, jazz or, ballroom dancing would be a lot of fun and at the same time give you a perfect workout. Don’t like dancing? Then, how about bicycling, swimming, or maybe even a game of football or basket ball? That should do the trick. Exercise does not have to be about boring gym equipment alone?
- Join a friend or a group of friends in their routine. Wise was he who said ‘the more, the merrier’. Unless you are one of those loners that like no company, working out all alone can be very boring. Join a group and make exercise more fun. A group can keep you more committed to your routine and it will also cheer you up when you are down. Friendly competition and challenges can keep you greatly motivated. Also, a few laughs with friends while working out can make exercise something to look forward to.
- Have a nice mix of activities. However much you like what you are doing, there is a chance that it will get monotonous when you do it everyday. So have a nice variety of activities so that when you are bored with one activity, you could try another one. I love dancing, power walking, bicycling, and high energy aerobics. But I get very bored when I stick to just one of these. If its dance for Monday and Wednesday, I try bicycling on a Tuesday and Thursday and aerobics on Sunday. Believe-you-me, this is a great way to beat the drudgery that goes with exercise.
- Take your routine outdoors. Yes, I agree, gym routines, swimming in an indoor pool and aerobics in a studio are fun and effective but make sure you do not miss out on the pleasures of working out outside too. Jogging through the local park, a walk along the beach, ice skating in winter can all make exercise more exciting. And if it is done in the morning, you get to take in the cool fresh air too – an added advantage!
- Take a break occasionally. If in spite of the above tips you find your exercise is getting boring, just take a break. I know you have to be consistent with your exercise. But a break from routine once in a while will do no harm. In fact, it will make you return to your routine with more gusto. While taking that break, you could do some stretches and lunges as you clean your windows, rake your garden or run up and down the stairs at home. That way you will not feel very guilty about your break.
Now, if exercising could be made fun and enjoyable, who wouldn’t want to go for that healthy and chic body that comes with it?
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of geriatric nursing certificates She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com
If you are struggling to keep your fitness motivation going after starting out full of enthusiasm in the New Year it’s time to give your fitness regime a motivational boost.
If you are not already using a heart rate monitor then seriously think about getting one.
The thing is that a heart rate monitor will show you how much fitter you are getting before you feel any difference yourself. And you will always have something to challenge yourself with.
I have a Polar F6F which is a great little mid range heart rate monitor. It is like having a coach asking you to work a little bit harder, a little bit longer, an extra few calories during your fitness session yet it tells you if you are pushing yourself too hard. You never have to reach a level higher than you are capable of, yet you can’t get away with slacking either – your heart rate will tell you when you are.
And if you like to see your progress in black and white you can plot your results until the cows come home until you are literally off the charts from where you are just now.
Lazy by nature, I use my heart rate monitor whenever I exercise so that I can’t get away with anything. And I’m convinced (in fact, I know) I wouldn’t do half as much without it)
Just now Amazon have some great deals on heart rate monitors with up to 30% off – if finances are a bit tight don’t go for anything fancy – the basic functionality will do just great and you can always upgrade if you get hooked. (The Polar F6F is my second heart rate monitor.)
I’m sure it’s not news to you that working out and eating right can make you younger.
But it’s all a question of degrees. A plateful of broccoli and a gentle stroll in the park once a week are not going to keep any drooping and disintegrating at bay (though they won’t do any harm).
And yet it’s no good overdoing it and making your life one long chore of worthy eating and exercise either. (They do say enjoying yourself and feeling happy keeps you young too).
So how much is enough to push back the years?
Lodge says “If someone who is sedentary really commits to exercising six days a week, he would be something like 10 or 15 years younger in the functional respect within a year.”
And according to Crowley that commitment consists of relentless, steady exercise including strength training and aerobics six days a week, 45 minutes a day.
In many respects, it’s really not much to combat all the signs of aging we don’t want to see, although of course, you may need to work up to that level if you’re not there already.
How does exercise help combat aging?
According to Lodge, the cells in our body turn over all the time and each time they regenerate they can become a little stronger or a little weaker. Exercise is key to that switch. Along with avoiding the worst dietary excesses. The big culprits in the march towards old age are sugars, simple starches (such as those found in white bread and pasta) and saturated fats.
Of course, the authors have one view about the level of exercise required but not everyone agrees. Some research carried out in the 70s which is the basis for my Fitness in No Time program shows that as little as 10 minutes three times a week can be enough the keep us healthy well into old age.
If you have 45 minutes 6 times a week then I believe it’s a good idea to do that amount of exercise – why not? It will make you feel and look great. You know it will!
But if weeks go by and you’re just not getting out for a run or managing to hit the gym then 10 minutes three times a week of the right exercises sure beats getting old.
***Many Thanks to Gonzalo Haro for that striking image of him aging from 29 to 89!***
When I was a project manager a few years ago, working flat out, I often didn’t make a gym session I’d planned. Sometimes I didn’t make the three gym sessions I planned for the whole week.
Either there would be a sudden meeting called about some triviality over lunchtime (my gym time) or there’d be a real crisis that needed dealing with.
When I got home I’d be too tired to go out again and there was only once I was organized enough to go to the gym in the morning before work.
Now that I work from home and set my own timetable I have to find other excuses
But seriously, if you are going to get a fit, healthy toned body you have to find some way to fit exercise in around your work and the rest of your life.
There is no way you are just going to “find” the time to exercise – it has to be found. You are not going to get more than 24 hours in a day so if you want to spend an hour exercising, then something that you were going to spend an hour on is not going to get done. You get to decide what that is – although your boss may have something to say about it if you decide it’s an hour of work!
What are you prepared to give up to feel fit, toned and top of the world?
An hour of rubbish on TV? An hour of lounging about? An hour on the phone or PC? An hour of sleep?
Maybe when I worked in that office I should have always had a plan B for my lunchtime exercise – and followed that Plan B no matter what. I just didn’t get around to it and exercise time was always the first thing to suffer when I got busy – which was most of the time.
I do know that this was one of the many reasons I left my job in the end. Some things are just too important to ignore.
Whatever is happening in the world you know that within the next 3 months you could be as fit as Madonna if you put your mind to it, don’t you? And you can feel like a million dollars, credit crunch or no credit crunch.
All things being equal it’s better to be awash with cash than poor as a church mouse, of course. But the wealthy are often trapped in unhealthy bodies whereas you can feel on top of the world for no money at all. See 27 ways to get fit for free if you’re short on ideas on how to get fit when money is tight.
You certainly don’t need a personal trainer (but don’t let me stop you if you can afford one!) and you don’t need a gym (especially one you keep promising yourself you’ll go to but never do). The most important thing you need is motivation to just get out there and do it. And that costs nothing at all.
Being super fit is just one way of staying in control in a world which seems to have been a bit uncontrollable lately. Fitness is something you can do for yourself no matter what happens “out there”!
If you just can’t be bothered to get to the gym, go out for your run or even take a 15 minute walk today watch a quick 10 minute video which will work miracles on your fitness motivation.
It will make you see that no matter how busy you are, how tired or how little energy you have, you really can just get out there and do it. There are no excuses – you can do something to get fit today – you really can.
If you set your mind to exercise, there is no stopping you. You have so much going for you. Make sure you put it to use.