We all know that working out is great. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, it keeps all parts of your body in shape, decreases stress, increases energy, reduces risk of disease, you name it: Science proves time and time again the benefits of regular fitness. But when you're binge-watching Friends on Netflix for the fifth time and you have a bowl of chips and salsa right beside the couch, it's sometimes hard to get off your butt and get moving (don't worry, we've all been there!) Here are a few tips to keep you motivated to work out regularly, so that you can be healthiest and happiest you that you can be:
Put your equipment somewhere where you can't miss it.
The brain can be triggered by visual cues, so something as simple as putting your running shoes right by the door or keeping your work-out clothes out in the open instead of being stashed in a closet will act as a reminder to keep exercise near the top of your priority list that day.
Better yet, pick a place to store your workout equipment where you will see it several times a day, like in front of the TV rather than stored away in a basement. There's nothing like watching equipment gather dust day after day to prompt you to finally get on it. Check out these models that easily fold up and can be kept in the family room without taking up any space:
Multi-task while you work out.
We've actually written about this topic before: multi-tasking while you work out is not going to give you the toned and sculpted body of a Greek god, but it will help you burn a few calories and get your heart rate up (which is frankly much better than nothing at all). Plus, exercise doesn't feel as scary when you can watch a movie or your favourite show at the same time.
Plus, let's be honest: Committing to exercise on daily basis takes a lot of time that some people just don't have. Better to use that time as efficiently as possible and put the work back in working out. There's nothing wrong with hitting the gym hard less frequently, and using a desk exercise machine the other days.
Check out these multi-tasking masters for maximum productivity:
Keep track of your stats and share your progress online.
We are social creatures, and we let's face it: We love to brag, and nothing feels better than telling all of your friends about your accomplishments, whether it's walking 1000 more steps a day, running your first 5k, or completing a triathlon. Keeping track of your progress is a great way to make yourself feel great when you meet your goals, and hold yourself accountable when you don't.
The easiest way to keep track of your fitness stats and see all of the data laid out is with a fitness tracker app. You can even use it to connect to your social media profiles and invite your friends to join you in your exercise goals. Check out the top fitness trackers here:
Let the music move you.
Nothing beats working out to a beat: a heavy rhythm can get the heart pumping and the feet moving, and when you're dancing to your favourite tunes it hardly feels like exercise at all. Music is a proven motivator, and can be used a subconscious positive association with an activity that would otherwise be unpleasant (why do you think so many people blast up-beat songs when they deep-clean the house?) Put on a base-heavy R&B song when you're weight lifting, or a fast dance remix for a run - whatever your taste, let the music literally move you.
You're going to want headphones that are designed to be sweat-proof, to not fall out when you are moving, and Bluetooth to avoid getting caught up in wires. Check out some of these options:
Remember, it's much easier to keep an established habit than to start from scratch when you fall off of the wagon. While these motivational tips can help to give you a push in the right direction, working out regularly is all about holding yourself accountable to your goals, whether it's to look better, feel healthier, or just to try something new. Eventually, exercise can become it's own reward.