The key to any workout routine is staying motivated. However, when that alarm goes off an hour earlier than normal, or you’re exhausted after a long day in the office, putting on your running shoes might feel like the last thing you want to do. But let’s face it, you’re a warrior and you know that a healthy lifestyle is within reach. All you have to do is focus on what naturally motivates you.
Remind Yourself of Your Goals
Goals are always a great motivator, but if you’re not reminding yourself of your goals on a daily basis, it can be easy to forget about them. To remind yourself of why you’re waking up early each morning, leave your workout clothes and shoes out so they’re one of the first things you see when you wake up. If you prefer to work out later in the day, put inspirational quotes on your fridge or desk. Personally, I write myself messages on my bathroom mirror. When I see the words “Get movin’, girl!” emblazoned in fire engine red on my mirror, I suddenly get the urge to get going!
Establish New Habits
Working out, or not working out, is a habit in and of itself. You just need to find a way to sneak a workout into your daily routine so that you stick with it until exercise becomes second nature to you. One way to do this is to change the way you commute by either walking, jogging or taking the bike rather than public transportation. If your commute is too far to make any of those an option, get creative. Bring in a fitness ball to replace your chair or go for a walk on your lunch break. You’ll find that you have much more energy when you become more active throughout your day.
Find Inspirational Role Models
Other people’s stories of success and triumph over hardship can inspire you to keep going to meet your own goals. Take Annette Fredskov as an example; this Denmark native was diagnosed with MS and she fought back by running a marathoneach and every day. I’m not kidding. This woman ran 366 marathons in 365 days. Yes, you did that mental math correctly, one day she ran 52.4 miles. Completely unreal yet totally true! Reading her story, as well others like it, can be a wonderful way to inspire and motivate you to do more.
In the same vein, find a cause that’s meaningful to you, and build a fundraising effort around that cause. Not only will you be raising money, but you’ll also be working toward your goal of, for example, running in a 5K or half-marathon. It’s a win-win situation. As The Science of Happiness shows us: not only does being healthy make us feel happy, but so too does helping others.
Workout With Friends
Friends hold us accountable, and that goes for workouts too. Plan a “workout night” with a friend and head to the gym together. Or, if you’re new to the neighborhood, join a spin or dance class and make new friends there; after all, getting to know people in class will inspire you to keep going week after week. Alternatively, gather together some of your neighborhood friends and plan a weekly jog or walk; it’s the perfect way to work out while catching up with friends.
Keep Track of Your Workouts
By keeping track of your running mileage, or how many laps you’ve swum, you’ll be naturally pushing yourself to do better week after week. You can keep track at home in a notebook, for your own personal reference, or go online, where there are a number of applications and websites that make it easy to keep track of both your goals and your accomplishments. Online websites also have the added benefit of providing social support, if you choose to share your workout accomplishments with others.
In the end, working out is all about, well, doing the work. But as with any kind of “work,” it requires motivation, drive and desire. Get creative with the ways in which you motivate yourself and you’re sure to reap the many benefits of working out. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll start feeling happier and healthier too.
Savannah Marie is a wife, health enthusiast and freelance writer for 12 Keys. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking a trail with her favorite yellow lab or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen.
Amber Turner is an entrepreneur, military spouse and mother of two. Her blog iswww.HippyFitMom.com, which addresses health, fitness and wellness issues women have and face. She also created www.MilSpouseMinute.com for military spouses seeking employment. MilSpouse Minute is a blog platform giving military spouses a voice and visibility by using video, when it comes to the job seeking process.
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The thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of AAFMAA.