Workout Strategies to Stay Motivated

by Kayla Moffett

Although it may seem working out is harder than it looks, the biggest challenge in getting fit is staying motivated.

In reality, the easiest task of all is coming up with excuses NOT to exercise. You've got a full schedule ... You'll feel more motivated tomorrow...You haven't eaten enough today...Your muscles are a bit tight... The list goes on and on and on.


The secret to getting moving is to devise a workout regimen that you don't totally loathe. It doesn't have to be over the top. Maybe it's jogging a half mile every morning instead of sprinting a mile once a week. The key is to integrate to small changes. Why not build a workout that includes less strenuous workouts in the beginning? Begin by tackling molehills instead of mountains.

Planning is also important. Make sure you find the time of day that is best for you. Some people find that waking up an hour or so earlier to exercise gets the task at hand out of the way. Of course, if you're into outdoor workouts and live in a cooler climate, it might be a better idea to wait until the afternoons when the weather is more bearable.

You know your schedule better than anyone else. If you prefer to wind down from work with exercise, hit the gym after you've punched the time clock. Perhaps you're winded after a long day at work. Try making your wake-up call an effective workout regimen that gets you going? Play around with your timing until you find the time that's best for you.

When it comes to your workout, consider it part of your daily schedule. It should be penned -- not penciled -- in. Your workout shouldn't revolve around what's on television or what housework needs to be done. Set your workout time in stone so you'll be less likely to blow it off. You may feel overwhelmed at the notion of working out. However, once you've completed your routine, you'll be even more energetic to tackle the other things you need to get done.


It's also important to set a goal for exercise. Start small so that you don't get overwhelmed. Maybe it's increasing your miles per hour on the treadmill or the time spent on the elliptical machine. Have a goal in mind so that once you achieve that goal, you can keep progressing. Once you achieve what you've put your mind to, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that will keep you taking that next step.

While you are working out, find something that will compel you to achieve your goal. Whether it is the thought of what you will have for dinner that night or rock music on your MP3 player, inspiration is priceless.

Besides a specific scheduled time, other small things can help benefit your physical health greatly.

Walk quickly. Do not slouch, shuffle, or drag your feet. Not only does this look unappealing, it is bad for your back and doesn't burn nearly as much calories as a proper march. Stand up straight; take slightly longer strides than normal; and look where you are going, not at the ground. You may be surprised at how much this burns your calves and thighs at first, but walking actually does involve exertion if you do it properly. After a few days you will not feel as much because you already will be in significantly better shape.


Get into the habit of clenching your belly muscles every time you go through doorways. This yields absolutely mind-blowing results. Doing this, say, one hundred times a day every day forms abs over an astonishingly short time.

If you have little children, think twice before turning down a game of tag or soccer. This gives you an easy aerobic activity with absolutely no peer pressure. Children are always excited when a grown-up will agree to play with them and you will find yourself caught up in their enthusiasm.

Working out doesn't have to be work. It can be funor at least tolerable. If you can maintain a constant exercise, not only will you be healthier, you will feel relaxed and better about yourself. And we could all use that feeling, couldn't we?