There’s a chill in the air and the days are getting shorter. How do you stay motivated to exercise? Here are 25 tips you might want to throw into the mix to keep your workouts fun and engaging.
1. Spice it up. Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Change your route or try a new exercise. Variety is the spice of life!
2. Keep it simple. Maybe you’ve had a chaotic day and barely have enough juice in the tank to fall asleep while watching TV. Scale down and tackle a lighter workout. A little is better than nothing.
3. Short is sweet. Every day doesn’t have to be a mammoth marathon. If you’re feeling pressed for time, even a short workout can keep your body in tune and your mind focused on fitness. Even 10 or 20 minutes is enough to keep you in the game.
4. Get up and get moving. Walk to the coffee house. Walk up and down the stairs. Walk to the post office. Every little bit counts. Apps like Fitbit can even track each step you take and give you exercise credit.
5. Fuel properly. Make sure you eat right on workout days. Skipping meals can lead to fatigue and lack of mental focus.
6. Set short-term goals. Break down your goals into manageable bits that you feel can be attained. Simple goals like or ‘take stairs not elevator for a week’ will give your mind something to wrap itself around without overwhelming it.
7. Join the race. Signing up for a race is a great way to set a goal and work toward it. The pressure of having to deliver on a not-too-distant date is a great motivator.
8. Make a date. Keeping supportive, like-minded people around you can shore up your resolve if you’re flagging. MyFitnessPal members who connect with friends are three times more likely to lose weight that those who don’t! Workout buds also may have ideas about how to keep it interesting.
9. New duds. A new change of clothes may be just what the doctor ordered. You’re not just a regular person striding through the gym – you’re a sports fashion model showing off a little somethin’ somethin’.
10. New gadgets. Maybe you need some new shoes. Or what about Fitbit? A new GPS unit or headlamp would be very helpful to your workout. Wondering about how a new toy operates is a great incentive to stick to a workout. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it might also be what motivates you.
11. New apps. Similar to a new gadget, a new app can spark renewed interest in working out. MyFitnessPal is always hooking up with new partners that will track your data and sync directly to your MFP profile.
12. New sounds. Making a new playlist can give your mind some new things to think about when you’re getting bogged down. You can almost forget how hard something is when you are blasting the new pop ditty all the kids are talking about. Er…texting about. There are a lot of great recommendation engines now that can help you choose appropriate tunes for your workout.
Question of the Week: How do you stay active when the days get shorter? Share your ideas with us on Facebook.
13. Be gentle. Sometimes you push, sometimes you pull back. If your body is saying take it easy, listen to it. You don’t want to give yourself an injury in this crucial time period.
14. Plan rest. Don’t burn yourself out – plan rest days and take full advantage of them. Your body needs time to recuperate, and a lot of really good TV shows start up in the fall.
15. Be prepared. By setting your workout clothes out the night before, you’ll feel like half the work is done and that you already have effort invested in waking up and cranking it up.
16. Two-alarm fire. Get two alarm clocks and place them at opposite ends of the room (both out of arm’s reach). Or set you mobile phone alarm for two staggered times – one with an annoying alarm, the next with a REALLY annoying alarm.
17. Hire a trainer. Getting a few sessions with a personal trainer might be just the kick in the butt you need to keep you moving. Trainers can also help with setting goals and avoiding injuries.
18. Get inspired. Buy a fitness magazine. Watch a sporting event. Walk by a gym and stare in the window. Well, that last one might be dicey. But seeing people sweating through a workout can be a great motivator.
19. Reward yourself. There is nothing like the good old carrot to make a person step it up. Promise yourself some new shoes, a spa day, or some new workout gear if you meet your workout goals for the week.
20. Find seasonal activities. Even when the mercury starts dropping, there are plenty of activities to keep one active and break up the monotony. Sure it’s cold in the wee hours of the morning, but it’s fun to bundle up and take a hike before sunrise.
21. Break up the monotony. Exercise doesn’t need to be drudgery. Play with your kids or even play video games with motion controllers. And don’t forget stuff like raking leaves–every little bit counts.
22. Track it all in MyFitnessPal. Start a workout journal to track your progress and refer back to as you get more in the bank. Also, take time to write down your goals so you have a concrete target to remember. A great place to keep it all written down is in your personal MyFitnessPal blog attached to your profile.
23. Do body weight workouts at home. You don’t need a gym, you don’t even need weights. You can get a decent workout by using your own body weight and household furniture.
24. Do some reading. Keeping up with fitness and nutrition trends is great for new ideas and helps you remain focused on health. Sites like Greatist and Cooking Light can offer a world of interesting info.
25. Keep at it. Every day might not be a home run, but if you plug away and keep adding notches to your belt, you’ll feel like you have more invested. Consistency is a key element to fitness.
Hopefully some of these will help keep you motivated. Make sure to give us your tips over on Facebook!