Monday, June 5, 2006

20 (Easy) Ways to Get Motivated

By Garrett J. Braunreiter, CSCS, The Energy Coach

How can you find the time and energy to reach your fitness goals? Try these everyday tips for your exercise inspiration.

1. Harness the power of visualization. Wanna see how you'd look 10, 20 or 30 pounds lighter? Take a picture of yourself and have it "morphed" at a photo shop. Then take home copies and hang them everywhere.

2. Keep a stack of your favorite magazines. Promise yourself you can only read them at the gym. If the issues start piling up, you know it's time to schedule a workout.

3. Employ fear. Did you know that not exercising at all is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day?

4. Work out with your dog. If you want your pooch to enjoy a longer, healthier life, he or she needs to get moving, too. Don't worry if your pet is more enthusiastic than you -- you'll get a more challenging workout!

5. Work out with your spouse or partner. Not only does it get both of you healthy and strong, but it can also spice up your romantic life.

6. Erase years from your body. Chronologically you may be 40, but with regular, vigorous exercise and healthy nutrition, people will think you're in your mid-30's.

7. Begin an accomplishments journal. At the end of each day, write down what you've accomplished to move yourself closer toward your fitness or life goals. Do not write down what you haven't accomplished. All that matters is what you are doing; we all need a long-overdue, well-deserved pat on the back on a regular basis.

8. Use the TV. Work out when your favorite show is on. Or, record your favorite show and work out while you watch the tape (but don't fast forward through commercials!). This can help the time fly by.

9. Hire a personal trainer or coach. If you're having extreme difficulty motivating, hire a professional to help you reorganize your life to make taking care of yourself a top priority (which it should be).

10. Split your workouts. Some recent studies are showing that a split workout can burn more calories than one full workout. So if time is an issue (gee, there's a thought!), try getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning for a short 15-minute workout, then steal another 15-20 minutes at lunch or in the evening.

11. Use your daily planner. You have important commitments scheduled into your planner, right? Volunteer work, doctor appointments, children's activities, etc. But where's exercise? It's as important a commitment (if not more so) than your other activities. Quick tip: Mark "EXERCISE" in your planner with a brightly colored marker, so it stands out as a reminder to get your butt in gear.

12. Listen to audio books while you exercise. In particular, self-improvement and motivational books will help you feel twice as productive and highly energized.

13. Reward yourself. It never ceases to amaze me how hard we are on ourselves when we don't accomplish, and yet how hard we are on ourselves when we do accomplish. Whenever you reach a milestone, congratulate yourself with a non-edible treat such as a trip to a day spa, new shoes or clothes.

14. Have kids? Look at their pictures to remind yourself that you want to be around to share in their lives.

15. Try on your favorite jeans. You know, the ones that fit you nicely several years ago? Keep them, then try them on from time to time to hold yourself in check as far as eating right and exercising.

16. Keep a journal. Write down how you feel after exercising -- especially after your great workouts. On the days you just don't feel like exercising, look back on the good workout days for some inspiration.

17. See exercise as a stress-releaser. A simple shift in attitude can do wonders for your stress levels. If you've had a long, hard day at work, exercise is something to look forward to to relieve your stress and revive yourself.

18. Go online. Check out the e-mail, chat or discussion groups on the Internet that deal with fitness, weight loss, diet, exercise, etc.

19. Have young kids? Use the day care at the gym so that there's no excuse about who's going to watch them. Or, arrange for a family member or friend to look after them.

20. Look in the mirror. Sometimes it's all you need to trigger yourself into a leaner, fitter and more energized mode.

This article was provided by Global Health & Fitness (GHF). Go to to visit their site for customized exercise and nutrition programs, hundreds of exercise instructions and video demos, a FREE fitness analysis and much more!

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