Fitness Motivation – 5 tips on sticking to your exercise plan

As we all know, staying in shape is not easy, and it is even harder to stay motivated to exercise. I am guilty of the never ending pattern of joining the gym, just so that I can cancel my membership after six months. I was one of the repeat offenders who would join the gym come January 1st, just to jump ship come Memorial Day. In my mind, why stay in a stuffy, sweaty gym during summer time, when you can jog outdoors. Only problem, I would never jog outdoors, I would just slowly abandon exercising and repeat the routine come the new year. Things took a turn when we bought our house and decided to invest in a treadmill, and it worked for some time until the treadmill was predominantly used for hanging clothes. However, this year I have made up my mind that I need to exercise not to loose weight, but to stay healthy over all. By making it about health and not just lost pounds helped me stay on track with my fitness, however there were other pointers that helped me stay motivated and I wanted to share these with you.

Exercise itself is only part of the battle. For me, the hardest part about exercising is the actual act of getting off my a$$ and getting on the treadmill. It is mostly mental, and that is the block that I have to get over in order to keep going. I am a former gymnast and a former gymnastics coach,  and for me to get on the treadmill and walk in place for 30 minutes is the most mentally draining exercise of it all. I am used to jumping on the trampoline, doing flips, hanging on bars, and practicing leaps on the beam, so traditional cardio brings the least satisfaction to me. However, gymnastics classes for adults are scarce and if they do exists most of them are for beginners. There is no gym in the world that would let me come in and do what I want – as it is of great liability for the business should I get hurt. With that said, let me get back to sharing my tips on staying motivated and dedicated to your fitness regimen.

Instagram and Pinterest

   These days everything is within the reach of your finger tips! There are numerous pages on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook that will help you get inspired, motivated and provide you with tips on everything you need in order to spice up your exercise routine. I mostly use Instagram and Pinterest, and I must say –  I have picked up a lot from these two.

If you do not know where to start, check out my Pinterest Fitness board for various routines, exercises and exercise tips. I try to update my board and add to it on a regular basis, and please feel free to comment or ask questions as I do try out what I pin.

Instagram is another source for me. I follow @abs_at_home, @abs4all, @howtogetabs, @weightlossforher, @squatguides and @womenabsworkout. I love these pages because not only do they provide you with videos of various exercises to try out, but they also post motivational quotes, healthy food recipes, pictures that will inspire you to keep going and just over all humor and sarcasm that comes with trying to stay on track with your fitness routine.

What I like to do with Pinterest and Instagram, is that I will try out an exercise that I like for a couple of weeks, if I see that it is working for me, I will incorporate it into my regular routine, if not, then I move on to the next thing.

Mix up your work out

     As I mentioned earlier, I am not the one who can do the treadmill all the time. I need variety! It can get very repetitive and boring to do the same thing over and over again, and that is exactly what will make you want to quit. Try to go on a walk outside if you have a chance, play a sport, take a spinning class or a step class, dance is great for burning calories! One of the things that I have been doing is making use of On Demand sports channels. These are great if you are looking to do something other than your usual treadmill or elliptical.  This is also the time to try out one of those Pinterest weekly work outs that incorporate cardio and toning into the entire set. There will be days where you will not want to do your usual routine, and those are the days where you pick something different – it is better to mix it up than to skip a work out. Even a small change will help you keep going. For example, my usual goal for cardio is to burn 400 calories in 30 minutes, but believe you me at least twice a week I will get a little lazy and walk a little slower, but a little longer to get to my goal.

I follow the same protocol for toning. A girl cannot do crunches and squats all day every day! Sometimes it is completely okay to get off you regular routine and do something different. These are the times when I turn to Pinterest and Instagram for some new exercises and ideas.

Just do it

   Just like Nike said, sometimes that is all that you have to do. Do not think about it, do not think about all of the crunches or squats that you have to do, how many miles you have to run or how long you have to be on the elliptical – just get up and do it. Easier said than done, but it is mind over matter. Sometimes I like to not even have a goal, but to get on the treadmill and walk, and then if I feel like running I will run, but if I don’t then it is okay too. Sometimes I do not feel like doing my 150 squats, so I will do lunges or wall sits or whatever else that I feel like doing at the moment. Planks are my go to stomach exercises when I am not in the mood for sit ups or leg raises. To me it is about just doing it, without thinking about it.

Small work out is better than no work out

   There are definitely days when I am so exhausted after work that I am in no mood to do any type of exercises. These are the days when I will resort to a small work out or I will break it up to make it a bit easier on myself mentally. I might do two mini cardio work outs, or one 20 minute work out. I might skip toning all together or condition one part of the body only. Most important part is that I am still doing something for my body and I keep the flow going.

Keep it stylish

   This might not work for everyone, but it does for me! I love work out clothes, sneakers especially. Even though it might sound silly,but work out clothes put me in a work out mode. Once I am all decked out in my gear I have no choice but to put some work in.

I hope that above will inspire you to get physical and please do share with me what motivates you to keep going! But before I wrap up, I want to leave you with a quote that stuck with me and it is one of the main reasons why I keep working out!

Photo credit Hasfit.com

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