One(ish) hour until the weekend!
This week has been horrendously long and tedious (part of why I've been MIA) because I've been battling some sort of melancholy funk these days. If any of you are feeling low or fighting the it-needs-to-be-spring-right-this-instant blues, here are some great tips that I found in an article from Active.com!
Some of these are a little repetitive, but give them a glance to see if any are tailored toward your lifestyle or personality. I found some good ones and now I'm feeling inspired to brighten up my dismal days. I've highlighted some of my favorites :)
1. Set your goal. Whether your goal is to run for 10 minutes without stopping or do your first 5K, set it in stone. Once you make your end goal concrete, it will be that much easier to stay motivated and stick to it.
2. Buddy up. Friends make everything better. With a partner along for the ride, you will have someone to help pick you up for the lows and be with you for the highs. This will make the whole experience that much more rewarding.
3. Amp up your playlist. It's amazing what good music will do to help you pull through. Keep your ears happy and your legs will follow suit. Upbeat tunes can help pass the time, and you might not even realize how far you've run.
4. Write your goals out. Setting a goal is one thing, but seeing your written goal in front of you is another. Write out your goal and stick on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror as a daily reminder.
5. Log your training. Keep a journal. Write down what workout you did that day, what you ate and how you felt. Documenting your progress can help you improve and also show you how far you've come.
6. Buy a new workout outfit. When you look good, you feel good. Spice up your workout wardrobe. After spending money on the new gear, who wouldn't want to get out there and show it off?
7. Watch your favorite sporting events at the gym. Instead of sitting in front of your couch or at a bar to watch the big games, head to your gym and watch while you run on the treadmill. Watching top athletes in their element can offer extra inspiration.
8. Share your progress on Facebook. Keeping your Facebook friends informed of your progress will add to your accountability and motivation. You might even inspire some of your friends to get moving, too.
9. Buy a new pair of running shoes. Check out your local running store for a proper shoe fitting. The right shoes will make the running experience more enjoyable and keep you injury-free.
10. Sign up for a fitness class. If you're hesitant to get right on the road, start out with a fitness class. It will help to build your strength and get you more comfortable moving. As you get to know your instructor or the people in your class, you will start to look forward to your classes and will end up with a bigger support network.
11. Schedule it. Make your workouts part of your weekly schedule the same way you block off time for daily meetings, happy hours and dinner dates. When you schedule the time in your day, you can't use "no time" as an excuse.
12. Visualize your goal. The mental preparation behind accomplishing your goals is just as important as the physical preparation through training. See yourself crossing the finish line. Imagine your breathing with each foot strike, and build up the mental strength to know you can accomplish your goals.
13. Blog about your experience. Why not share your journey on cyber space? You probably aren't alone. A blog can help you get in touch with other new runners and wannabe athletes. It can offer an extra forum for conversation or even just a therapeutic release about your day.
14. Watch an inspirational movie like Rocky. Movies that make you feel like anything is possible can encourage you to do the impossible in your own life.
15. Celebrate the wins. Every little success you encounter should be celebrated. Didn't think you could run for 10 minutes without stopping and suddenly you're up to 20 minute runs? Shout it from the roof tops. Throw a party. Give yourself the kudos you deserve.
16. Keep your makeup or your work shoes at the gym so you have to go. Often times getting to the gym is half the battle. If it's your only option for looking presentable at work, you'll have to do it.
17. Get a group. Working out alone means you can skip a workout because you're only disappointing yourself. When you're working out with a group, you're letting everyone else down, too. Which one is more likely to keep you on track?
18. Get a training plan. "Failing to plan is planning to fail," as the saying goes. A training plan does wonders for keeping your workouts on track by offering structure and guidance. Find a plan that works for you.
19. Get fueled. Do you expect your car to do its job on an empty tank? Don't expect to get anything done on an empty stomach. Energize your workouts with healthy eating habits.
20. Hydrate. Drinking plenty of fluids will prevent you from feeling blah. Proper hydration can be the difference between a good workout and a bad one.
21. Warm up. You'll accomplish more and stay injury-free when your body is loosened up and ready to head out the door.
22. Listen your body. The more aware you are of your body and how you feel, the more you'll improve it. It's the only body you'll have, so take care of it.
23. Rest up. Sleep is one of your greatest friends on the path to a healthy life. Recharge your batteries so you have the energy and motivation to get in shape.
24. Hire a personal trainer. By investing in a professional coach, you'll have someone who knows how to get you fit and will demand commitment out of you. Plus, the financial investment will make you more likely to follow through.
25. Buy a new app. There are hundreds of smartphone apps that track your training, provide inspiration, or help you achieve your goals. This way you'll always have data on-the-go and your progress right at your fingertips.
26. Take before and after pictures. Results are a real motivator. Once you compare a before and after picture to see proof of your transformation, you'll be more likely to stick to it until your reach your goal.
27. Reward yourself. After a good workout, treat yourself to a healthy treat such as frozen yogurt or pineapple and bell peppers on the grill. After a solid week of running or working out, indulge (moderately).
28. Borrow a dog. An average run is anything but when you've got a fun-loving pooch by your side. Plus, a lot of breeds can go much faster than you, which can push your pace and burn even more calories.
29. Help a charity. Can't seem to get motivated by your own goals? Sign up for a charity race and you'll feel committed to see the process through.
30. Sign up for a race. A race may be your end goal or it might help you reach your goal. Either way, a race sets a deadline and sometimes that's all you need to get motivated. No matter what your fitness level, there's a race out there for you. Start with a 5K.
31. Make peer pressure work for you. One of the best ways to boost your motivation is to have a friend work out with you. And what better to get your training jump-started then to have your buddy sign up for an upcoming race. If your friends keep inviting you to go for run, it's time to take them up on the offer.
32. Join a club. Find a club in your hometown that's geared toward your goal. Can't find a running club? Create your own!
33. Try a new sport. If running sounds scary, then try something different. From softball to soccer leagues, active opportunities are all around you. On these teams, tapping into competitive juices can be a great way to have fun and stay fit in the process.
34. Set up a friendly competition. Start a weight-loss competition at work or with your family. Sometimes the desire to beat your "opponents" can give you the motivation you need.
35. Buy a fitness DVD. Can't make it to the gym? Too self-conscious to work out in public? Buy a training DVD—there are ton of styles and personalities to choose from—to help you squeeze in a workout in the comfort of your own home.
36. Make a plan. Breaking your training plan down into small, manageable chunks can keep you on track and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
37. Get a coach. Coaches aren't just for triathletes and marathoners. They're a perfect way to set you up with a realistic training plan and help keep you focused on your goals.
38. Inspire yourself. Surround yourself with inspirational messages—quotes, pictures, music etc.—for positive reinforcement. Put a quote above your bed or behind your door so the first thing you see in the morning is a powerful message to get moving.
39. Start slow. Build your workout regimen up slowly. You'll reduce your risk of injury and avoid that sluggish feeling that saps your motivation.
40. Watch more TV. It might sound crazy, but sometimes watching shows such as the "Biggest Loser" or "Celebrity Fit Club" can make you want to get your workout juices flowing.
41. Set out your workout clothes the night before. By preparing the night before, you eliminate one more excuse when you get up in the morning. It's a simple, but powerful technique.
42. Hide your keys at the bottom of you gym bag. Things can get a little stressful in the morning. By putting those car keys at the bottom of your gym bag, you'll be reminded about your fitness goals and may be more likely to get moving.
43. Park farther away. How much time have you wasted looking around for a space close to the door? Avoid the stress—and burn a few calories—by parking off the beaten track.
44. Take the stairs. Just a few extra steps a day can really add up—and take off the pounds in the long run. So skip the elevator and use the stairs.
45. Stop smoking. Pick up a new healthy habit instead of hurting your body. When you crave a cigarette, go for a walk or jog instead. Keep your mind off of smoking by adding healthy activities to your life.
46. Keep a jump rope in your bag. If you have a jump rope in your bag, you will always have a workout on hand. When you have five minutes, just jump for a bit. Get your heart rate up and burn calories whether you're on your lunch break, at your kids' game or walking around your neighborhood.
47. Make a bet. Find a friend or co-worker who wants to lose weight. Make a deal that whoever loses the most weight will win a gift certificate to their favorite store. Or, you can donate $1 for every pound you lose to your favorite charity. This can keep you motivated to keep moving.
48. Make it a vacation. Sign up for a destination event. Why not sign up for a race in Hawaii? You'll have the motivation to train and after the race you can relax on the warm sandy beaches. Or, make a trip to Europe. One of the best ways to see a country is through a race. You get to run on local roads that tourists don't get to see.
49. Get dropped off somewhere. You will have to walk/run back home. You might dread the idea at first, but you're working out and burning calories. You might even discover parts of your neighborhood you never knew about.
50. Reward yourself with a nice meal out. Each time you accomplish a milestone toward your goal, reward yourself to a nice dinner. Be careful not to over indulge. But, when you dine out at an upscale restaurant, it's a special feeling. You deserve to treat yourself after all the hard work you put your body through.
51. Put your alarm on the opposite side of the room. When you get up, you will be forced to get out of bed and turn it off. You just tricked yourself to get out of bed without hitting snooze. Now go get ready for the gym and start your day off right.
52. Weigh yourself. Weigh yourself once a week to see how you're doing. If your goal was to lose four pounds and you only lost one, you'll know you need to step it up the next week. Keep track of your food intake and analyze what helped you get through your workouts. When you weigh yourself, make sure you use the same scale. Each scale is a bit off, so use the same machine to get an accurate number.
53. Throw on your favorite music and have a dance party. Dancing is a great full-body workout. You use your legs, core and arms. You won't feel like you're working out because you'll be having so much fun. Many local community centers and gyms offer dance classes, so check out their schedule and see what works for you. If you can't make it to a class, just dance around your home. Turn off the TV, get off the couch, and move.
54. Buy a video game that gets you moving. Many game consoles have fun, interactive games that help to get you in shape. You can dance, Zumba, yoga, kick box and more. The systems even keep track of your progress so you can see how your skills improve over time. You can break a serious sweat!
55. Play with kids. Go ahead and act like a kid with your children or try babysitting. You'll be running around all day. Kids have so much energy that you can channel it by playing tag, kickball or just run around on a jungle gym. You'll burn calories, teach your kids to be active, and tire them—and yourself—out.
56. Get outside and do some gardening. Gardening works out your arms, and you'll secretly be building muscle while enjoying the outdoors. Not only can it be a great workout, it can often be relaxing and beneficial to your mental health.
57. Go to a farmer's market. Once you start shopping locally, you'll begin thinking locally. This can motivate you to make healthy everyday decisions, and walking around the farmer's market can get you moving.
58. Try volunteer work that involves manual labor. Whether you team up with Habitat for Humanity or help kids at a summer camp, a volunteer activity that's outdoors will have you running around all day while giving back to the community at the same time.
59. Know your numbers. See you doctor and make sure you know your blood pressure, cholesterol and overall health statistics. This will be the base of your fitness foundation. You will also be able to see how much your health has improved from one check up to the next.
60. Keep track of how many steps you take in a day. Each day try to take more steps than the prior day. It's a great way to keep track of your steps and keep moving. It's neat to see that in one hour you burned 150 calories. It might push you to keep burning more calories. At the end of the day you can see your total number burned, and analyze what you can do differently the next day.
61. Go camping, hiking or backpacking. Nothing beats the great outdoors. Explore nature and hike. It's a low-impact activity that's fun. You can take your family with you and enjoy bonding time, too.
62. Find a new trail. Exploring new terrain keeps your runs interesting as you round every unfamiliar corner and enjoy the beauty of nature.
63. Hula hoop. Hula hooping is a great way to enjoy a fun and simple workout. Try making yourself hula while you watch TV or every time a commercial comes on.
64. Try pick-up basketball. Combining the social element of basketball with some good cardio and a healthy dose of competition makes it easy to get out there and play.
65. Join a league. Accountability is a fantastic motivator. When you're committed to a team, you're much less likely to skip an activity.
66. Sign up for a gym membership. It all starts with getting through those gym doors. Shop around for a gym with classes and programs that will keep you interested and coming back for more.
67. Buy free weights. Free weights are incredibly versatile and don't take up a lot of space. Keep them somewhere visible so you think about using them every time you pass by.
68. Play in the water. Whether you're in the pool, the lake or the ocean, the water resistance can give you a great cardiovascular exercise. It won't feel like working out as you float in the water.
69. Walk. You had to learn to crawl before you could walk. And you learn to walk before you can run. Walking is a good way to get outside and get moving. It's a great way to start the process where you recognize your body's movements and build up your endurance. Make it a habit and reap the benefits.
70. Have a friend buy your groceries and only buy healthy stuff. Do the same for them. This will help you avoid impulse purchases in the snack aisle.
71. Start reading food labels. Being aware of what you're putting into your body will help you consider the smartest food options.
72. Start by stretching. Staying loose and limber ensures that you'll always be ready for some spontaneous exercise.
73. Buy a goal outfit. Have a pair of jeans/pants that you want to fit into by a certain date. Be realistic. You can always set a new goal outfit after you reach the first one.
74. Read a health/motivational book. Literature has a way of inspiring us to alter our lives in positive ways. Find a good read to get you moving.
75. Follow a blog. Watching others progress and share their success story can motivate you to take a page out of their blog.
76. Find a mentor. You can always make excuses for disappointing yourself, but the fear of disappointing a dedicated mentor is enough to keep you on track to reach your goals.
I hope these have sparked some good ideas for a new routine!
Do any of these in particular jump out to you as your style?
Have a fabulously restful weekend, my friends - and get outside!