Friday, October 29, 2010

Workout motivation!


When I had my formspring up, I'd get a lot of questions about motivation in regards to working out. Recently, a few of my friends have asked me how I find the energy to get myself to the gym or out walking so often while pregnant, so I thought I would write a quick post highlighting the things that work for me, with child or not. I should also note that I'm definitely no expert- so for specific workout questions please see a certified trainer. :)

So, here's a quick little list of five things that work for me, and help me stay motivated!

1) Workout first thing in the morning. To me, there is no better feeling than having my workout DONE for the day. I really prefer to go super early in the morning, literally rolling out of bed, brushing my teeth and heading straight into the gym. If you're worried about looking good or not having makeup on, really don't even worry about that. The only people at the gym that early are the people who are there just to workout- no one cares that you have pillow marks on the side of your face or that your unruly morning hair is in a huge bun on the top of your head. Here's a (kind of embarrassing) confession: I have a much better workout when I feel cute. I don't do well when I feel gross. Yes, I know this is silly but it's just the way it goes for me. In the mornings though, I couldn't care less. At 5 and 6am you have the people there, right along side you who are NOT there to socialize, they're there to get their workout in and get on with their day. I love it. If you haven't tried working out in the early morning, trust me, it's amazing. One of my most favorite feelings in the entire world is leaving the gym at 6:30 in the morning, knowing that my entire workout is done for the day. Plus, you get a huge rush of endorphins to start your morning off right, listen to your ipod and get stoked for the day, and when 5pm or the end of your work day rolls around you have the whole evening to yourself, no gym time needed. And one more plus- once you've woken up early, expended energy and worked hard, you are way more apt to make healthy food choices. Give the early morning workout a try, I bet you'll love it!

2) Wear your workout clothes to bed OR set out your workout clothes right next to your bed. This is so, so important. If I'm having a rough, unmotivated week I will wear my workout clothes to bed the night before so when my alarm goes off early I have no excuse; I'm already dressed! All I have to do at that point is lace up my sneakers. If you have everything all ready to go- either on your body or stacked next to the bed, water bottle filled and in the fridge, ipod next to your car keys...when you alarm goes off all you have to do is wake up and get yourself to the gym. Planning ahead is key. And if you're curious about whether or not to eat before your workout, I typically like to do my morning cardio on an empty stomach, but if I'm feeling hungry I'll do a half a Luna bar or half a banana. Just a little boost to get me going and then I'll eat a huge, healthy breakfast when I get home.

3) Play the whole picture in your mind. Sometimes when I'm feeling lazy or unmotivated I seriously just want to camp out on my couch, play online, watch a movie, whatever. This often happens when I haven't made the effort to workout that morning, I've had a long day, and the last thing I want to do is exercise. However, I try to run the entire picture through in my mind. I think of the scenario I'm in: I'm already feeling lethargic and lazy, and I have two choices. I can either continue to do nothing, keep lying around, and then lo and behold, I'm sure to feel guilty later that evening when I realize I made a bad choice. The other side of the coin is that I can get up, get moving, spend some time treating my body well and with respect, and feel SO proud of myself when I am done. Who wouldn't want to feel great? When I think about the whole picture, and focus on how I will feel afterward, I always choose to be active and exercise.

4) Use the 15 minute rule. Even when I don't want to go to the gym, I make a deal with myself that I will go and workout for 15 minutes. At the end of those 15 minutes I can then decide to leave or stay. It's pretty safe to say that when you are already there, you won't want to leave, and you'll actually begin to enjoy yourself.

5) Workout anywhere/mix it up. If you don't have a gym membership, there is NO reason you still can't get a good workout in. Running is great, but not for everyone. Walking can also be a wonderful way to use your body and get exercise. Walk outside at a good fast pace for about 40 minutes- swing your arms and break a sweat- and you will get a great workout. You can do pushups, lunges, squats, etc. in your living room during the commercials of your favorite television show. You can get 5-15 lb. weights at Target and get a full body workout all in the comfort (or privacy if you're iffy on working out in public) of your own home. Nothing motivates me more than finding a new workout to try. Keep challenging yourself to try new things! Zumba, yoga, or even a video! In the snowy winter months sometimes it's just not feasible to get out of our house. In that case, I will go between a few different videos- namely a Billy Blanks Tae-bo dvd and Jillian Micheal's 30-Day Shred. If you are a gym-goer, make it a rule to never do the same cardio machine twice in a row. One day do the elliptical, the next do 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the bike. And obviously you shouldn't work the same muscles everyday when lifting weights. Changing things up often will keep you engaged and interested...and make working out fun!

Good luck and happy exercising! :)

27 comments:

  1. Great tips! I lay my workout clothes by the bed,but I just step right over them! LOL..
    I never thought of wearing them to bed! The 15 minute rule is fantastic and so true. You Rock!

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  2. thanks so much for this. I have been struggling lately with actually getting to the gym when I say I will. This helps me feel totally inspired to go!

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  3. these are so right on! i used to be a schizophrenic exorcizer until i started doing hot yoga at 6am! the first day i went it felt so amazing that i just HAD to get up and go the next day. now i go every weekday morning and i seriously cannot stop!

    i love your idea for those winter months! i think i'm going to get a belly dancing dvd so i can workout at home when it gets colder.

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  4. I love these tips! I really need it for getting back into shape. I don't plan to start until after we move back to California though. There is just too much going on right now. :)

    Little Sugar Monster

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  5. These were amazing! Thank you!

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  6. Great tips! Thanks for posting this, I needed it. :)
    -Kinsey

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  7. Dani do you go straight from the gym into work? How do you get the time to get ready for work? That's what has always put me off about pre-work gym...I need my breakfast/make up/getting dressed time.

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  8. Becky, I go so early so I have time to get totally ready. So I will go one hour before I'd normally get up to get ready so nothing really changes. For instance I'll do the gym from 5am-6am, get home by 6:15ish and get ready for work and head out! :)

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  9. I need you to come to my house and help me be motivated at 6am. I am NEVER motivated... but arthritis kills me in the winter... so it's sort of a good excuse.

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  10. thanks so much for the encouraging post! I am training for my first half marathon and have to get up early in the morning for a 7 mile run. I really was dreading it, and then read your post. Made me realize how much better I'll feel to just have it over with! Thanks!!!

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  11. I do all of those tips too, except for the 15 minute one! That's great! :) Thank you!

    XOX,
    Little Miss Paige

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  12. These are some good tips! I already go to bed with my work out clothes on to motivate myself in the morning. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. hahaha

    But I think working out on an empty stomach isn't a good idea. :(

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  13. Hi M. :)
    Yeah, some people think that, but it's debatable! I like to, but everyone's different. My old personal trainer said it was a-okay, and I really prefer it so early in the morning. Here's a couple links if anyone wants to check out both sides of the coin:

    http://www.suite101.com/content/benefits-of-cardio-on-an-empty-stomach-a217094

    http://blog.mensfitness.com/2008/09/should-you-do-cardio-on-an-emp.html

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  14. That's good to know! I always feel bad when I hit the gym on an empty stomach, now I don't have to feel so guilty.

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  15. Thanks for the great tips!The 15 minute rule really rocks!! I use that rule too when i have to work out at home and i feel really unmotivated.
    BTW have you tried a wii fit and what do you think about it.. I was considering buying one since a have to work out almost half of the week at home but then again i am not so sure..

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  16. I wish I could work out at a gym in morning, but I would have to get up at at least 5, if not earlier. Home is a much better option for me, but I prefer the evenings. I love FIT tv - you can record the shows, ad Gilad has great workouts!

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  17. Thanks for the tips. I love getting it over with in the morning too. One thing I do to better motivate myself is to make a new playlist to work out to. I have one for cardio(rap & dancy stuff..le tigre, wu-tang, etc)and one for weight training (more trancy & chill....radiohead, the bird and the bee) Music is a huge motivater and totally alters my mood. One of my all time favorite gym songs is Planet Rock.

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  18. I'm with you on the morning workouts :) I love getting up at 5 and going when there's hardly anyone there. Sadly, most days I go back for a quick run or a spin class after work too - so twice a day! It keeps me energized and helps fuel my eating habits :)

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  19. Thank you for this!

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  20. This is great advice! I just need to get to bed earlier! ;)

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  21. It was really nice post.In today's busy life,Sometime it becomes hard to find time for workout at gym,Work out at home is and easy and less time consuming activity.

    personal trainer

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  22. this is so great i love all your ideas! quick ? do you still workout while pregnant? what is best when working out to do? and do you have to take it easier...it sucks bc i have gained 10 pds bc i have been trying to get pregnant and have had no luck so i am a tad bit depressed...so i have gained weight no good and never started working out bc i read somewhere it wasn't good to start if you didnt work out before...thx xx

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  23. Thanks for the tips! I've been trying to get back into a workout routine and will try the early morning thing!

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  24. Have you ever done a post on your workout routine and what you typically do at the gym? I'm seriously lacking motivation and creation with my routine lately.

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  26. Wearing your workout clothes to bed. I have to try this. Cold mornings are not my friend!

    Loren P | London Fight Factory

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