If you think exercising is hard, try maintaining an exercise routine! The first 2 weeks can go by very smoothly. You’re high with endorphin and feel that no one can stand in your way to a sexy body. Then come the 3rd and 4th week, you find yourself losing interest and getting bored with your routine. How do you stay motivated?
This is part 2 of Shape’s 10 Tricks to Stay Motivated to Hit the Gym. As mentioned in part 1, I’m adding my take on to the tricks in Shape’s article. I found them applicable beyond just “hitting the gym” and so I’d like to share my opinion and personal experience on the subject. Here’s the 2nd half:
6. Get a Little Competitive
True, competition can drive you into completing an extra set or rep. Seeing the person beside you bust her booty during a Zumba routine can also hype you into giving your all. But if you’re not a gym goer, have no workout buddy, or mostly just workout alone, then here’s my tip for you to get competitive without being with your competition. Find an office mate who’s also hoping to lose weight and challenge her. Dare her and say that you’ll be able to lose XX weight before she can. You can even have a bet to up the stakes. Bonus points if you can challenge your frienemy [friend+enemy]. Anything to awaken your competitive spirit.
7. Get Help from a Pro
If you don’t have the money and don’t want to invest (like me), make sure you spend time learning and mastering the form of every exercise you’re planning to do before actually doing them. This is so you can prevent any injuries from happening and be able to maximize the full potential of a particular exercise.
For the gym, it might be safer to use machines instead of free weights as the former guides and controls your form.
For those who go to classes, you’re already paying for the classes. You don’t need to have one-on-one sessions with the yogi, Zumba instructor, or dance teacher. If they don’t correct your posture during the session, you can always politely ask them after the session if how you’re doing it was correct. Mind the points they give you and remember the feeling of the correct posture so the next time you encounter the same routine, you will know.
Plus, and this happened to me, asking the teacher tells them you’re paying attention and willing to learn. They will remember you next time you attend their class and will pay more attention to you and your form. That beat’s an expensive one-on-one session!
8. Read Fitness Magazines
I have lots! But remember, understand the articles. These are meant to educate and are not only for leisurely reading. If it helps, place markers on the routines you like and incorporate some of it into your daily routine to spice things up.
For myself, I look for additional stretches for my cool down routine as I find the ones I’d currently following a bit lacking. Sometimes, I incorporate those I learned from practicing yoga. Knowing different versions of the pose or exercise gives you variation and allows you to know which ones you are more comfortable doing.
Before, when I was still going to the gym, I bought a strength training book (it’s the purple one in the picture above) and focused on the ones with machine guides. Reading up on the book really helped because by the time I got to the gym, I was more confident in using the machines. By then, I also knew what to ask the trainers there. This saves you and the trainers a lot of time trying to understand each other.
9. Follow your Routine
This is related to Trick No. 3, keeping it real. If you followed that trick (more like “tip”), chances are, you’ll be able to follow your routine. No questions asked, no complaints, no excuses.
Like the article said, “small, achievable, and realistic goals”. This time, for your routine, keep it simple. There’s no need to have a long routine. 20- to 30- minute routines are feasible (warm-ups and cool downs not included).
Start with basic and easy to remember routines (you can customize your exercises) and work your way up from there. I’m already in my 2nd week of my 30 by 30 Challenge and I’ve changed one exercise since the 1st week and replaced it with 3 exercises. The 3 exercises were mostly for warm-up and cool down and focused on the legs. I found that I needed stretches more to avoid my muscles cramping up.
10. Remember this
Essentially, what I think this last trick means is for you to stay quiet about it. Let your own physical transformation speak for you (so to speak).
Stop talking, start doing.”
With my personality, I’d always want to share want I’m doing with everybody else. It’s an experience worth sharing and a knowledge worth spreading. Plus, announcing it gives me added push and deters me from going back on my word, albeit one-sided.
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Do you have your own tips or tricks to live by? Let me know what you think!