June 16, 2015

Workout Tips & Tricks to Keep Yourself Motivated and Energized

Good morning!

It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything regarding exercising or fitness, so I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that help me get through my workouts.

1. I don't consider the gym my enemy. I consider it my church. It's literally a sacred time for me where I become very attuned to my body. It can do AMAZING things and so can yours. What better way to appreciate yourself and the way nature made you than by working out your God-given body? You just have to start viewing your workouts as a reward and get "in the zone" as I like to call it. When I hit the gym, I'm usually very focused during that time. It de-stresses me, it re-energizes me, and I ALWAYS feel better about myself (and life) after a good workout. Once you change your thoughts on the gym (or working out in general), and you start to see improvements (for example, lifting record weights, having more stamina during a workout class, adding one more sprint/mile, etc), you'll see what I mean. But I think this is first and foremost if you want to be motivated. Motivation comes from within, and no one can do it for you.


2. Stay accountable. After a long work week, do you sometimes forget which days you went to the gym and kind of guess how many days you actually went? Yeah, I used to do that. Guess what? I was going a lot less than I "estimated." So, I started keeping track on a calendar, putting dots on the days I worked out, whether it was HIIT, cardio, weight training, yoga, hiking... anything active counts! Since then, I've gone from 3-4 days/week to 5-6 days/week. That extra day or two has definitely helped to shred a few extra pounds of fat. And I'm better conditioned, therefore I go to the gym more, therefore I have more energy, therefore I'm happier... see where I'm going with this? Make your gym routine a habit.


3. Get a partner or friend who helps keep you accountable and motivated. My boyfriend and I made a deal when we first started dating that we would never become one of those couples who just lets it all go. Just because we are comfortable with each other doesn't mean we should stop trying when it comes to eating healthy, working out, putting effort into being fit, and trying to look damn good for each other (and if you have kids, don't you want to be healthy and active right alongside them?). We each keep dots on our joint calendar in different colors (he's orange, I'm pink) and we motivate each other to workout. We also try to eat healthy most of the time. Instead of going out to eat a big, heavy meal a few times a week, we cook at home most of the time. It saves calories and so much money. Typically we can't workout together, but we do a daily "Did you go to the gym today?" This doesn't mean we don't understand when the other person is busy, has a crazy day at work and has to stay late, friends come into town... But keeping each other motivated and accountable helps tremendously!! Don't you want to feel as amazing and look as sexy as you can for as long as you can? I know I do! You have the rest of your life to grow old, why start now?


4. Eat right. This is ESSENTIAL. No matter how many hours you put into working out, if your diet is bad, you will not change your body. You may become a little stronger, but working out does not burn enough calories to make up for fatfast food, that 350 calorie donut, a bag of chips, and a ton of other crap in the American diet. Not only does this food literally poison your body, but it all goes straight to your fat stores. None of the processed, fast food garbage out there is useful for powering you through your day or a workout. If you want real results, change your eating habits. I cannot stress this enough. Trust me, I love sweets as much as a kid on Halloween. But when I start overindulging, my body shows it. It's a machine. What you put in shows... you have to decide if you want to put in positive options or options that negate all your hard work. There will always be donuts, cookies, and pizza. Do you need those things every day, every other day, 3 times a week? Try to limit yourself to one cheat meal a week. You'll enjoy it all the more when it comes around.


5. We all know this one... stop making excuses. It's a no brainer, I know. But what I've realized over the past few years is that life is busy. Things happen. Social events seem to pop up around every corner where you go out to eat, get drinks, eat cupcakes for your co-workers birthday, etc. How do you manage to stay fit with all of life's events? Two things: Plan your workouts, learn to say "no." Honestly, I plan my workouts the day ahead, sometimes days ahead. I figure out if I want to do a group exercise class and which one I want to go to, if I just want to workout on my own, or if I want to do a home workout. Planning ahead leaves a lot less room for an excuse. If your friend wants to meet up after work, can your push it to 6:30pm and get in a quick workout? Weekends are not a time of slacking off at the gym. Wake up and get energized and refreshed with an exhilarating workout. Then you can have your cheat meal at brunch or dinner. During all those social occasions, do you HAVE to drink 3 beers and eat burgers and fries? No one's forcing you. Try to limit yourself unless it's your cheat day. Go to happy hour and get a water. Who cares? If anything, you might motivate the other people around you once they see your results.



Bottom line: You can't indulge in every single social event and celebration or you will not change your body. It might suck sometimes, but if you want to feel better and look better, you have to change your lifestyle. Don't diet. Make your diet your lifestyle. I promise you will start to love it once you keep at it. There's nothing more important in your life than your health and happiness.

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