Whether you enjoy exercising or not, a common pitfall we all face is keeping it a priority. I constantly interact with people failing to get their daily workout in because they are either too busy, too tired or simply unmotivated. Do these reasons sound familiar to you? Of course they do! Which is why you must read my top 10 Ways to Make Exercising a Priority.
- Make an Appointment: At the beginning of each week, grab a few minutes with your calendar and write down the days and times you will be exercising. Treat your workout sessions the same way you treat your medical appointments. Writing down your appointments not only reinforces them, but let’s everyone who sees the calendar know you are serious about your schedule.
- Tell a Friend: Find someone else who wants to keep exercise a priority. Discuss your goals with a family member or friend and keep each other accountable.
- Set a Goal: What do you want to achieve through your workouts? Defining your goals will ensure a higher success rate; furthermore, giving yourself a time-frame by which to achieve your goals will keep you on the right track.
- Don’t Think About It: I am suggesting this tip for those days you feel “too tired.” I know we can all relate to this one, and “Yes” there are times when it is best to rest. Getting adequate rest is crucial to our overall health, but many times, we are capable of sparing 30 minutes to get out the door for a good sweat session. If you sit and think too long about it, you just might convince yourself otherwise. So before you start having a conversation about your tired body, put on your shoes, step outside, take in a deep breath of fresh air and get moving.
- Keep an Exercise Journal: Studies have shown this simple practice to be a major contributor in a person’s fitness success. You can find a wide variety of fitness journals at your local bookstore or online. Many of the journals offer a place where you can record your daily workouts and track your nutrition.
- Reward Yourself: Rewards are always great incentives especially when you are lacking in motivation. Try picking rewards that support your goals. Consider: workout clothes, music, a massage or an exercise DVD.
- Do it for Charity: No need for explanation. Sign up for a local race and join a team focused on raising funds for a charity. Not only will you keep your workouts a priority as you train for the race, but you will be helping others. Now that is what I call an overload of positive endorphins!
- Create a Personalized Statement: “I Work Out Because…” Tape your statement to your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Sometimes a meaningful reminder is all we need to get moving. One of my favorite statements, “I work out because I want to be a strong and healthy mother for my children.” Now you try it; why do you work out?
- Keep it Spicy: Change your routine every few weeks to keep it interesting and to abstain from hitting a fitness plateau. Some helpful “spicy” tips for the gym: Try different group exercise classes; attempt heavier weights; vary the cardio machines and the duration you are on them. Also, try getting out of the gym and go for a run on the beach; hike your local trails; ride your bike; powerwalk around your neighborhood; or go swimming. The key is to keep your workouts exciting. If you are not enjoying your sweat sessions, you will eventually stop doing them.
- Finally, adhere to this one rule: “Don’t quit!”: No matter what, never stop moving forward in your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Understand that we all have “off” days, and we all get tired and can easily become too busy. But I urge you to fight for your workouts because you are worth it. Exercising is vital to your total well-being and the dozens of benefits are invaluable!
Stay Strong! Stay Fit!
Editor’s Note: Sally McRae is a multi-certified trainer and the owner and creator of Sally McRae Fitness. After losing her mother to cancer, she was inspired to focus her career on training women to live strong and healthy lives. She has trained people around the country and overseas for more than a decade and currently resides in Orange County, CA.