By Garrett J. Braunreiter, CSCS, The Energy Coach
Studies have shown that carrying groceries, doing yardwork, and cleaning your house counts as physical activity. So, while you’re not exercising per se, you’re at least giving your body some physical benefits.
But still you know that this kind of activity isn’t going to guarantee a flatter stomach, greater strength, and a longevity boost. So how do find time and energy reach your fitness goals? Here are every-day tips for your exercise inspiration….
1. Take a picture of yourself and have it “morphed” at a photo shop. Wanna see how you look 10, 20, 30 pounds lighter? Have the picture people edit the picture in the image you like, then take home copies of it and hang them everywhere you can see it. Harness the power of visualization.
2. Keep a stack of your favorite magazines that you promise yourself you can read only at the gym. If the issues start piling up, you know it’s time to schedule a workout.
3. Did you know that NOT exercising AT ALL is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes A DAY? (Fear is a good motivator for some.)
4. Your dog. If you want your pooch to enjoy a longer, healthier life, s/he needs to get moving, too. You’ll find as both of you get fit, s/he is more enthusiastic, and will give you a challenging workout. If not, YOU give him/her a challenging workout.
5. Work out with your spouse/life partner. Not only does it get both of you healthy and strong, but can also spice up your romantic life.
6. Erase YEARS off your body. Chronologically you may be 40, but with regular, vigorous exercise and healthy nutrition, people are going to do a double-take and think you’re in your mid-30’s. Imagine how awesome you’ll feel, when you not only feel younger, but to OTHER people you look younger. Act younger, too.
7. Begin an accomplishments journal. At the end of each day, write down what you’ve accomplished that day to move you closer toward your fitness and/or life goals. DO NOT WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU HAVEN’T ACCOMPLISHED. That doesn’t matter. What 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. Here’s the catch: work out only when your favorite show is on. Or, record your favorite show and work out during that (but don’t fast forward through commercials – unless you have consecutive episodes taped). Can help time to fly by faster.
9. Hire a personal trainer or coach. If you’re having extreme difficulty with motivation, hire a professional to get you to reorganize your life to make taking care of yourself a top priority (which it should be). A good coach or trainer will teach you how to help YOURSELF, without you having to hold someone else’s hand, and help you realize that YOU have the power and ability to do this on your own.
10. Split your workouts. Some recent studies are showing that a split workout can burn more calories than one full workout. So if time’s an issue (gee, there’s a thought) try getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning for a short-burst 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. Where’s EXERCISE??? It’s as important a commitment (if not more) than your other activities. Quick tip: mark “EXERCISE” in your planner with a bright colored marker, so it stands out as a reminder to get your butt in gear.
12. Listen to audio books while you exercise. Self-improvement and motivation books are GREAT here. You’ll feel twice as productive, and highly energized, and the time will fly.
13. Reward yourself. It never ceases to amaze me how hard we are on ourselves when we don’t accomplish, and how hard we are on ourselves when we DO accomplish. Whenever you reach a milestone, have something in mind, like a trip to the day spa, new shoes or clothes (as long as it’s NON-EDIBLE).
14. Have kids? Look at their pictures to remind you that you want to be around to share life with them, with plenty of energy. You don’t want your 10-year old to be throwing you around the house, do you?
15. Want to keep fitting into your favorite jeans? You know, the ones that fit you nicely several years ago? Keep them. Keep trying them on to keep yourself in check to keep eating right and exercising.
16. Keep a journal of how you feel after exercise. Especially the 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. 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 there’s no excuse about who’s going to watch the kids. Or, have a family member(s) or a friend watch them. So there REALLY is no excuse for not working out.
20. Look in the mirror. Sometimes that is all you need to trigger you into the lean, fit, and energized mode.
This article was reprinted with the permission of Global Health & Fitness. Visit our partner site for advanced topics, health club listings, and unlimited member personal fitness consultation.