Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Motivated to Work Out

It's not always easy to get motivated to work out. It should be, you know, given all the health benefits associated with exercise. Yet there are days, weeks even, when it just seems like too much work. 

Maybe you don't feel like putting on your sweats, you'd just rather be home vegging out. I get that. Life presents you with enough demands as it is, and to add another one to your schedule just seems painful. However, the fact still remains that your body needs exercise. When you workout, in whatever way that you choose, I'll bet that you always feel better afterwards.

During the school year, I enjoy working out in the morning. After drop off, I visit my local coffee shop for breakfast; yogurt parfait and coffee. After that, I go to either the gym or a studio for some weight training, cardio, or a class. Next, I come home and shower, and my day begins. On the days that I miss the gym, I notice that I am more sluggish, and that my body feels weaker.

A couple of nights a week, I meet my boyfriend, W, at the gym and we workout together. On these days, I do something different at night than I did during the day, or I skip my a.m. workout altogether. If we lift, we don't lift together and spot each other (necessarily) but we share the same space and hang out between sets. It's nice because we are both doing really good things for our bodies, and for me, seeing him there encourages me to push myself a little harder. If we do cardio, we try to workout next to one another, whether we are on the treadmills, ellipticals, or AMTs. We talk for a few minutes, and then plug our earphones into the t.v. pods to listen to whatever we choose to watch. 

My motivation in the morning is the knowledge that I am starting my day off with something positive, following a routine that betters my health. Since my boyfriend doesn't have the option to go during the day, he goes at night. Knowing that I will see him at the gym is a huge motivation for me to go in the evening.

Finding what will motivate you is an important thing. It should never be related to food, or a habit that isn't positive. For example, you don't want to workout for the reward of a piece of cheesecake or a pack of Marlboros. You may choose to workout to be around other like-minded people, or to make your own personal best in the weight room. (My goal for my 40th birthday is to be able to do two sets of four solid bicep curls at 30 lbs.) If you start a class with a friend or loved one, you can motivate each other. Your motivation may just be, simply, to stay healthy.

I find that the more you move, the more you want to move. Try and find something that you love and do it as often as possible. I go in waves, and W will always ask me what my next big thing is. Currently, it's to cross-train. I've created my fall schedule and it includes spinning, yoga, Zumba, and my favorite, weight training. If you like the consistency of doing the same thing every day, then go for it. If you want to switch it up, do that. Your best schedule will be the one that you enjoy doing. And the more you love it, the more you'll want to do it. 

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