9 Tips for Making Exercise a Part of Your Life (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It) OldInbal Aharoni
It’s 7 pm and you’re finishing up a long day at the office – or 6 am and your alarm clock is ringing – you know you promised yourself you’d hit the gym today but… maybe I’ll just go home and watch a movie or catch another hour of sleep and run in the evening.
Let’s face it, the road to putting on another kilo is paved with good intentions, and yes, even elite athletes sometimes find it challenging to stay motivated. Here are some tricks and tips you can use on yourself to keep at it, even when you feel like throwing in that sweaty towel.
- Make time for exercise – put aside the time to workout, and make it a regular part of your routine. You would not go through a day without taking a shower, or drinking your morning cup of joe, right? So why should exercise be any different? Give yourself a plan – days and times you set aside to work out – and stick to it.
- Make it interesting – making exercise part of your routine does not mean it should be routine. Try different things. Get the family up on a Saturday morning and go ride trails on your bikes, go on a rollerblading date, hit the local pool for a few laps, try a kickboxing class at the gym. Bottom line – keep moving. And remember – exercise should be fun!
- Get a workout buddy–it’s much harder to cancel that 7am run when you know your running buddy will be waiting for you on the corner down the street – or Fido will be waiting for you at the foot of your bed. Find a friend (or canine) who also wants to get into shape and do it together!
- Reward yourself – exercise should not be drudgery, and when you stick to it, you will feel great. And you should reward yourself for every workout. Whether it’s an iced-soy cappuccino after legs day, or a dip in the Jacuzzi at the gym after spinning, treat yourself well!
- Look good to feel good – don’t go to the gym in a pair of old sweats and an oversized t-shirt. Buy those running tights or shorts you’ve had your eyes on, invest in a few sports tops that make you feel sleek. Then do that workout. You will feel the difference.
- Eat well – putting aside the fact that everyone knows chocolate is a food group, you need to make sure to get in enough calories as well as the right calories. It’s easy to go for the carbs, because that is what we usually crave. But living an active lifestyle means making sure you are getting enough protein. As every good vegan knows, sources include soy / tofu, nuts and legumes, quinoa, sprouts, spinach, jackfruit and more.
- Get a good pair of shoes – if you do not want to end up injured, you need to invest in a decent pair of shoes. And just because it is the latest pair of Nike Frees, does not mean it gives you the support you need to exercise safely. Every foot is different and you need the shoe that supports you. Go to your local sports specialty store and get fitted by a professional.
- Give yourself a goal – working out with a goal in mind gives everything more purpose. Losing 5 kilos before your best friend’s wedding is a legitimate goal, but sometimes, once goals like this are achieved, people go back to old habits. Instead, why not shoot for goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment and leave you wanting to achieve more? Like running a 5k race with a friend, or succeeding in doing a pull-up.
- Get enough sleep – with life and children, easier said than done but your body is only as good as the sleep you get. While you might feel fine on 5-hours, your body does not have the time it needs to regenerate on the cellular level, leading to sluggishness, increased rates of injury, and yes, illness and disease. Make sure you get your zzzzzs. For adults, recommendations are 7-9 hours per night.
Start with one and the rest will follow!
Once you are all set on achieving your goal of becoming healthy and fit, choose one item from the above, whichever one is the most realistic, and the rest will follow!