You’ve made the first – and hardest – step in deciding to get back to shape. You are ready to start exercising more but with life, relationships and responsibilities, it can get difficult to find the energy and motivation to actually get moving. Here are five tips to get you going:
- Eat the right foods…and drink plenty of water – When you are exhausted, it is especially important to find ways to fit fruit and fiber into your diet. I find that when I increase my produce intake, it really makes me more energetic, not just about getting my workout in but with life in general. Grab some apples or celery with peanut butter or nosh on a handful of nuts and grapes to keep your energy levels consistent. The same goes for water – as you become dehydrated, you become more and more sluggish. If you don’t like drinking water, add lemons or mint to the Brita so it gives it some flavor.
- Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room – I prefer to work out in the mornings. It really gets my day moving in the right direction to get my blood pumping and body moving. That being said, I am not at all a morning person and have been guilty of snoozing repeatedly, thus missing or shortening my workout. To fix this, I bought the alarm clock with the most abrasive alarm I’ve ever heard and I keep it on the opposite side of my bedroom. This forces me to get out of bed to turn it off – and for me, actually getting up is the hardest part of the battle.
- Start small – Force yourself, yes make yourself do SOMETHING. No matter how exhausted you feel, exerting yourself in a small way is a great step into get started and back on track. Furthermore, as you begin to get more exercise in, you will find that you actually have MORE energy and your next few workouts won’t be as much of a struggle. When I’m wiped, I bargain with myself to complete the first 10 minutes. If I am legitimately too tired to go on after that, I stop and give myself a break but more often than not, I find that I can finish my workout.
- Set up a reward system – Start a reward fund – it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, you could start with a dollar per workout or per cardio or weight session. Use that money to treat yourself to some small (good for you) pleasure like a pedicure or updating your wardrobe, especially with fun new workout clothes.
Step out of your routine – I have workout shiny ball syndrome – boring cardio will NOT keep my attention. It is really hard for me to find the energy and motivation if all I’m doing is running on a treadmill. I get the most out of dancing or classes – especially when the instructor varies the routine. Find a gym that offers interesting classes and try something that sounds exciting. No matter how tired I am, I find that when I’m actually excited, the exercise becomes a treat as opposed to something I need to force myself into. If you are on a budget and that fancy gym is out of the question, become a Groupon or Living Social fanatic – these sites are constantly offering classes and packages for steep discounts and you are sure to find something you enjoy.