It’;s quite common for a client to seek out my help because they are not motivated to exercise or just not seeing the results from the exercises they’;re performing. All of us at one point or another need a kick to get back into our workouts.
Here are my 10 tips to help keep you motivated and maintain that enthusiasm that got you exercising in the first place:
1. Get a personal trainer for a few weeks
If you have the funds to hire a personal trainer, even if it’;s only for a few weeks, you will gain a wealth of knowledge about exercises and routines that will target the areas you want to improve. In addition, a professional trainer will introduce you to the latest exercise routines and the proper way to perform them.
2. Get out of the comfort zone
If you’;re not seeing results from your workouts, your body has adapted to the exercises you’;re doing. The result is your body does not need to work as hard to perform the exercise routine. Shock your body by either hitting the muscles in a different direction or increase the intensity or speed of your exercise. If your exercise is arm curls with a bar super-set that routine by doing reverse arm curls on the cable machine or perform more repetitions with lighter weights at a more rapid pace. If you are performing the dumbbell chest press on the bench super-set that exercise with push-ups. The key is to challenge yourself to push your body a bit harder.
3. Get your workout "fix" from activities you enjoy
You do not need to join a fancy gym to get a good work out. Try out a new activity like cycling, kick boxing, or swimming. As an alternate to running I enjoy cycling 25 miles one or two days a week for a cardio workout. Sometimes I cycle at a fast pace and other days I simply ride at a normal pace and enjoy the view. Participate in an activity you enjoy because you will perform better doing it.
4. Interval train or cross train
Interval training involves alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise followed with slow, easy activity. And if you want to burn fat; according to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercises than slow endurance exercises. Interval training will help keep boredom at a minimum and help you with a higher level of all around conditioning. For example it’;s very easy to do this type of training on a tread mill by sprinting for a defined interval then walking slowly.
5. Listen to upbeat music
If you are not listening to music while you workout I suggest you give it a try. If you already strap on your iPod load it up with music that is upbeat, energetic and stimulating to keep you tuned in. Distracting your mind with music is a good way to take the "work" out of workout and keep you exercising longer.
6. Move your exercise outside
Take advantage of nice weather and move your workout outdoors to the patio or a nearby park. Go for a long walk outside instead of on the treadmill or bike instead of a stationary bike.Try my dumbbell routines on this site out by the pool.
7. Set a goal and chart your progress
I am huge advocate of setting goals and charting progress. I was always taught that you can not hit a target if you do not have one. Simply write down your fitness goal and chart the steps you need to perform toward achieving it.
8. Try a fitness class offered at your gym
I lot of gyms offer free fitness classes like spinning, yoga, aerobic, and other formal fitness training programs. The benefits are you are in a group environment with a knowledgeable instructor, and you are introduced to new ways to work out.
9. Vary your workout routines
Whatever exercises you’;re doing, simply change the technique and equipment you use to perform them. If you’;re training training using weight machines try doing free weight routines that work the same body part. For example perform lunges with dumbbells (beginners start with light weights) instead of angled leg presses on a machine. If you normally do your abdominal exercises on the floor or bench, use the cable machine to do kneeling cable crunches.
10. Workout with a friend
Running, strength training or just about any exercise occasionally becomes repetitious and boring. So it’;s helpful sometimes to work out with a friend. A workout buddy provides company and someone to push you to try harder.
Whatever physical activity you choose to stay in shape, the key is to be consistent and keep it fun and interesting.