This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!
Lately, I’ve found my mind kick-starting my body into shape; I feel motivated, driven, and inspired to move! It’s an invigorating feeling, the urge to pump endorphins through my body while my muscles contract. lurching myself into physical activity. Exercise is not only essential for a healthy physique, but also a positive mentality; the clarity that I’ve experienced after strenuous runs along the riverside and the gratitude I’ve felt after enlightening yoga classes make up for every sore muscle that I encounter the following day. With the benefits of working out so clearly defined from every perspective, why does it always seem so difficult to keep up that momentum?
Too often I get into a groove of rising early to work up a satisfying sweat, and then within a few weeks completely lose all energy to continue to do so. Suddenly, in the span of a day the gym can transform from a glorious temple into a dreadful dungeon that I want to avoid at all costs. Sure we all deserve a little rest every once in a while, but keeping a steady pace and an active lifestyle is sure to bring a rewarding factor to life. With clear goals to keep my motivation levels high lately, I’ve rounded up my top ten tricks for keeping a consistent workout schedule:
Look Forward to an Event
I’m most definitely a person who looks to the future — always have been — so looking forward to what’s coming up never fails to give me a thrill. My latest kick of motivation has been inspired by a big trip that I’ve been planning for months with my closest friends and family. In a few short weeks we’re headed to Jackson Hole, WY, where the buffalo roam and the mountains reach high into the sky. It will be the ultimate active adventure for our big group. With mountain biking, white water rafting, and loads of hiking on the agenda, I know my body needs to be in tip top shape to keep up with the strenuous activities we want to experience! Planning for a trip or exciting event is all the more reason for you to push yourself to feel and look your best. Try visualizing yourself climbing that mountain or taking long strides along that beach while you’re exercising and soon enough you’ll actually be there!
Focus on Your Progress
I think too many times we look in the mirror and think to ourselves “I wish...” Yes, it’s fantastic to have goals for your health but focusing on where you’re not at the moment is completely the opposite of what will get you moving. Let the negative thoughts drift away and concentrate on the positive improvements that you are making each and every time you exercise.
Nourish Your Body
There is a reason why eating healthy just feels right. Have you ever noticed how much your body thanks you when you put the right nutrients into your system? The same phenomenon happens when you move your body. Therefore, when you are eating healthy plus exercising, your body is one all around happy camper. I find when I start my day with a vitamin-packed green shake then have some kind of creative salad for lunch, I’m much more inclined to take an evening run when I get home because I’m energized from the nourishing food I’ve eaten all day.
Find a New Sport
It always feels good to be naturally talented at something. For some, they have a natural inclination to kick a soccer ball, for others it’s a passion for gracefully swimming through the water. Traditional team sports never came easily to me, however I found my niche in a number of activities: ballet, yoga, surfing, anything that made me feel free. It’s great to find the right sports that allow you to express yourself, but don’t ever stop at conquering just a few! When I was introduced wakesurfing last summer, I was certainly curious about the combination of wakeboarding and surfing. Once I took my first run and felt my body balance along a wave at the back of a moving boat, I became relentless in my quest to improve. Sometimes it takes being humbled by learning something new to make you hungry for more action.
Bring a Furry Friend
Pets will let you know when they’ve been cooped up inside for too long. When I take my dog to the local park and see her lean legs prance through the grass, my heart is happy and I feel the urge to race alongside her. Whether it’s just a brisk stroll or an invigorating run, your pets will be happy to move too! They will let you know when you need to push yourself and you’ll be helping them to remain fit as well.
Use Nature as Your Gym
Living in the northeast I get so disappointed that in the winter my only option to move is to either go the gym or a fitness studio. Not that I can’t get the same enjoyment and satisfaction from working out indoors, but when the weather starts warming up, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d rather lose the walls and soak up some sunshine. The summer is a great way to use water to move as well. Try paddle boarding on a local river or kayaking off the nearest beach for a seasonal switch to your routine and a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Unwind Your Mind
Anyone who reaps the benefits of yoga knows that movement can also be calming. In my opinion, there needs to be a balance in your routine of high intensity and low intensity activities. Yoga is the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath, take your energy down, and strengthen and stretch your muscles at the same time. Trust me, after a handful of chaturangas you’re definitely going to feel those triceps tomorrow.
Get Some New Gear
Studies actually show that feeling confident in your active wear actually makes you more inclined to work out longer and more often. If you’re feeling a total lack of motivation, buy a new outfit or accessories that you’re really excited to use. Maybe it’s a cool new sports bra, some colorful running sneakers, or even a new ipod to pump some motivating tunes. When you buy new items, leave them out somewhere in your house where you will be reminded that you should put them on and get moving!
Explore Your Backyard
I’m always inspired when I find beautiful or captivating surroundings in life, and I love when I can use those backdrops as my own setting to get active and lose myself. Often times I think that I live in a place where those surroundings are not exactly at my fingertips. I prefer to envision myself trekking peaks in Colorado. However, with the Rocky Mountains nearly 1800 miles away, it’s a little unreasonable for a weekend hike. Recently I’ve been trying to be more appreciative of the wonderful city I live in. Although not stocked with those glorious western peak views , my urban backyard is still a great place to be active and I’m taking the time to get out and explore every scene that I can.
Learn from Yourself
When we push ourselves to the limit we learn so much about our minds and bodies. One major point in exercising is listening to yourself and learning from your habits. On that long hike, when did you want to turn around? How did you convince yourself to make it to the summit? Keep track of these feelings because it’s important to constantly progress and adjust your routine. Staying active is a constant journey of finding what inspires you and helps you feel the happiest and healthiest person you can be.
+How do you motivate yourself to move? I’d love to hear in the comments below!