I’ll be honest, I do not LOVE exercising. I love being done with exercising ’cause I always feel better after burning calories, but finding the motivation to get up and get moving is hard for me.
Last year I decided I was going to be a runner. This was a
stupid big decision for me to make, seeing as though I have never ran an entire mile without stopping. Running the mile in junior high and high school rank right up there with my least favorite memories of my youth! But I realized that all of my really fit friends ran miles each day- they loved it and they looked great. I wanted to look great so I was going to become a runner. And I was going to learn to love it. My first day as a runner went something like this:
Get dressed in workout clothes. My workout clothes could double as pajamas.
Put on running shoes. I think I have something other than flip flops laying around here somewhere….
Put baby in stroller. This umbrella stroller will have to do!
Head out the door. I should probably stretch first, right? Like, do lunges or something?
Start running. And when you feel like stopping “Push through it”, as my fellow running friends would tell me.
…annnnnd day one was not successful for me. I literally made it about 6 or 7 houses down my street before my 3 year old needed help with his bike so I
got had to stop. I was already so tired, and out of breath, and my lungs hurt. Becoming a runner was going to take some practice I guess. So I decided I would start practicing that summer when I had more time.
I did eventually find the motivation to start running and I am happy to report that I can now run 2 whole miles without stopping! Girls, this is huge for me! (I’ve actually run 2.3 miles without stopping- just sayin’…)
Anyway, I just want to share some of this motivation with any of you who, like me, have a strong desire to get fit but who don’t necessarily have a love or passion to get moving. Here is what has worked for me:
1. Make it a goal to exercise for 5 minutes every day.
I know what you are thinking: “Five minutes? I will never get fit by only exercising for five minutes.” But I promise if you make the goal to exercise for only 5 minutes, you will not fail, and not failing is a great feeling! Five minutes of exercise a day is so easy to do. When I start to feel unmotivated I just have to tell myself “It is only five minutes and then I am done for the day!” Many times I will end up exercising a lot longer, but on the days I just want to whip out a few push ups and sit ups, I can be done in five minutes and not have any guilt because I still met my goal. It is refreshing and empowering!
2. Find something you love
Doing anything you don’t enjoy makes the task even harder. I had a hard time running because I found no joy in it at all. I did learn to like it (I still don’t LOVE it) because I learned it isn’t so bad if you have music to listen to or something to think about other than “I’m going to get to that corner and then I will walk the rest of the way!” I personally love a good Pilates workout, so I usually spend time doing a workout from something I find on TV. Ask a friend for suggestions if you’re stumped- you never know if you’ll love something until you try it!
…which brings me to my next tip-
3. Find a friend
While I do enjoy putting on my headphones and blasting music while I run and think (or not think) about anything else, exercising with a friend is very motivating! I workout with my little sister and we chat the entire time and laugh at each others inability to hold a certain yoga pose for longer than our unbalanced bodies will let us. I also enjoy running with my husband because he motivates me to keep going and it is nice to converse with him without kids taking over our conversation. Working out with a friend makes you less likely to skip out on a workout if you know someone is counting on you.
4. Set a schedule
(This is one I am still trying to perfect.) Treating your workout like any other commitment will make you less likely to skip it because of something else that came up. Try to establish a plan and then stick to it. Set a time of day- even a ball park range, “after lunch and before the kids get home from school” is better than “I will get to it sometime today.”
5. Revamp your workout wardrobe
As I mentioned before, I didn’t own any “workout clothes.” I owned some yoga pants because I discovered how comfy they were to lounge in when I was pregnant. But it is amazing how much better you feel with some cute workout attire! I’m not telling you to be that person at the gym with perfect makeup and your hair done up, but you will feel better before and during your workout if you invest in some fun apparel.
To be completely honest, I LOVE the way these items make me feel!
Active by Old Navy has GoDry moisture-wicking fabric, ControlMax supportive lining, and flattering compression technology. (You’ll feel skinner even before starting your workout!) This great line of active wear is also on sale – up to 40% off through January 16th.
So what are your tips for getting fit? I would LOVE to hear them! Leave me a comment in the section below.