We all need some help getting going…
or staying going sometimes.
Some of these will be how I get myself unwrapped from the dogs on the couch and get myself outside, some will be ways I find as I scour the net to find the most helpful tips. I am an outside runner, so some of these may or may not translate to running on a treadmill. Or a completely different sport. I am always happy to have other ideas, so feel free to leave any tips in the comments.
Tip # 13: Take a day off! Muscles need a break, and so do you. You should be taking at least one day out of seven off, if not two. If you are exercising for the exercise and not for a specific event, you have plenty of time to get in shape! Feel free to rotate which day you take off. If you had a exercise day planned, but you are just not up to it, take the day off without guilt–as long as you didn’t do that for the last three days running 😉
Tip # 12: Read this story: Oldest Marathon Runner. The motivational value should be self evident!
Tip # 11: Focus only on yourself. There will always be someone fitter, faster or more flexible than you. Don’t compare your self to them, Endress says. Forget about them. Do not let them deter you from your goal. Your workout time is for you, and about you. —webmd, Gerald Endress, exercise physiologist
Tip # 10: Listen to your body. It knows what it is talking about. I always say I don’t consider it a run if I stop. But that means stopping because I am tired or the hill is too big. If I sprain my ankle, you know I am walking home. And when I hurt my back, I didn’t do anything to antagonize it. One blogger I read continued to run in a race long after her body said no. She knew she shouldn’t, but she let the monthes of training for the event persuade her that she needed to finish. Instead of maybe a week of downtime recovering, she was out of the game for months. We all need to learn from that lesson.
Tip # 9: Get dressed! This one works along the lines of getting up and doing other things. If you are dressed for whatever exercise you feel less than motivated for; eventually you have to make the decision to exercise or take off the clothes. It is quite likely you will choose to exercise–you are dressed for it after all! If you combined this one with tip # 1 (get up and do other things to get the blood flowing), your chances of actually exercising double!
Tip # 8: Today’s tip is a simple question to keep in front of you as you think about your exercise for the day– “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'” — Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner
Tip # 7: READ! READ! READ! May I say it again? Reading magazines, blogs, websites all motivate me to try new things. Reading can give me a new way of approaching a hurdle that has been in my way, and shows me the struggles and triumphs of other athletes. Maybe reading can inspire you to try a whole new sport. There is no end to the information and inspiration you can get from reading.
Tip # 6: “Reach a goal. Set a goal for weight, or your waist measurement, or a number of days to work out, or a number of miles to run this week. Setting and tracking a goal helps motivate you to complete that goal. Make it easily achievable.” –brought to us by Leo, at ZenHabits
Don’t forget to reward yourself after reaching your goal!
Tip #5: brought to us by the April issue of Fitness magazine–Pep talk yourself. Upbeat motivational speeches to yourself are free, easy, and effective. “A recent study published in Medicine & Science of Sports & Exercise found that athletes who practiced motivational self-talk were able to push harder for longer, which ultimately increased their endurance.” So be sweet to yourself, encourage yourself going up that rise and think positive as you push at the end of your session. You can do it! 🙂
Tip #4: Find a friend! Virtual or in person, a person to exercise will with keep your spirits up and get a little competion going. It is always good to have someone in your corner and keeping them going helps keep you going !
Tip #3: On days that I am just not feeling it, I give myself the 10 minute rule. Do it for 10 minutes and if I still am not into it, stop. I honestly can say I’ve never stopped. The hardest part is starting. Once you are there, it all falls into place. This tip is brought to us by Angela, at happyfitmama.com. Check out her website for more great ideas.
Tip #2: I love to listen to music in the car–loudly. The minute I hear a commercial or deejay, the channel is getting changed. My husband is always telling me to turn off the music once in a while to listen to the car. You know, make sure there are no knocks or odd sounds.
I do the same thing with running. Not because I think there are any odd knocks. But turning off the music makes you focus on you. I love the sound of my even breath–I remember when it sawed hoarsely in my throat. My feet hitting the ground in an smooth tempo. Music is great, but sometimes it helps to remember why you are out there and the satisfaction of all your muscles working together.
Trick #1: Getting off the couch or out of the armchair. I used this trick today. I let the dog out when it was still dark and the blast of cold air in my face made absolutely not go for my run. (Even though it was a short run today and it was daylight before I planned on going.)
I find this works: as you are sunk in the furniture, dreading the idea of EXERCISE, get up and do something else. Dishes, vacuum, laundry, play with the dog. Anything that gets your blood flowing works. I brought in wood for the fire and figured at that point I might as well go for my run as I was up and moving. Which is the trick: once you are off the furniture, the idea of exercise doesn’t seem so dreadful.