Image by: AberroCreative
By Robert Spencer
We know about the importance of staying active and working out. However, that alone won’t motivate most of us to do the right thing. Sometimes the calling of your couch (or that bag of potato chips) outweighs our knowledge about obesity and diabetes.
It can be hard to stay motivated to workout, especially these days when restaurants are opening up on every corner, 90% of commercials on TV have to do with food, and when we get together with friends it always involves some kind of meal.
So what are we to do? If you’re finding it hard to get your butt to the gym (or even to put your gym shorts on), try these top motivators for the summer.
#1) Avoid Over-Eating
One of the ways that you can get motivated to work out is to keep a healthy diet. Eating the right things will give you energy instead of sucking the motivation out of you. I’m sure that you’ve gone through that feeling. When you eat food that isn’t nutritious, it makes you feel sluggish and leaves you with the same amount of motivation as a sleeping sloth.
Not only should you watch what you eat but you should also watch how much you eat. Overeating is another way to feel sluggish – think Thanksgiving. Portion control is a big reason why the general public has issues with weight control. So how do you avoid overeating? There are a few tips and tricks that will keep up with serving sizes:
Take a moment before you start eating. It’s difficult to
Try to find out if you’re actually hungry. Sometimes what your body thinks are hunger pains are actually something else. Sometimes it is thirst. Sometimes we’re just bored. Other times we are craving something different. Sometimes it is actually hunger. But if you’re not completely famished and you think you “might” be hungry, try some of those other options first.
Drink a glass of water. Try to fulfill one of those other cravings. Get up and do something if you are bored. If you’re still hungry after, then go ahead and grab a healthy snack or cook up a great meal.
Don’t eat on the run. Try not to eat on the run. When you are distracted (busy trying to get somewhere, etc.) you are more prone to eat more. So when you are eating a meal, make sure that you are making time for it and also do so without distraction. Don’t watch TV while you’re eating. Try not to eat on the run (and if you do, make it as healthy as possible).
#2) Music That Motivates
One of the best motivators when you actually get to the gym is music. I like to have a couple different types of workout playlists, depending on what I am working out that day.
One is my “at home” workout playlist. This one has songs that I like to sing to and those embarrassing songs that I don’t want people to know about. I can belt out the tunes while I’m at home on the Elliptical or play it through the speakers while I’m swimming laps.
One is my “gym” workout playlist. This playlist is set up differently. It has a great song that is guaranteed to get me moving, then a few to keep my heart rate up. After that is are a couple songs that will motivate me to add another five minutes to my workout. My favorite example is “One More Time” by Daft Punk.
I also have a “running” playlist. It has a consistent beat that falls in line with the steps. Music is one of my major motivators. The right songs can get me up and moving. The right beats can keep me motivated during my workout. The right songs can keep me entertained.
#3) Honesty Will Keep Your Goals Realistic
One of the toughest things about getting on a diet is the feeling that you have to explain yourself whenever someone catches you eating healthy – like it’s a bad thing. Just because you opted for the crispy chicken salad instead of the BBQ Grilled Onion Burger (extra lard), doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. Don’t be ashamed of your choices. Just be aloof and nonchalant about it and you’ll be fine.
Be honest about your eating habits. Know where you have trouble. If you’re pretty good at staying healthy when you cook meals but snacks are your downfall, acknowledge that. The key to making these diet choices and sticking with them is to start small and add on after you get comfortable with your last change. When your changes are too drastic, it’s too tempting and easy to fall off the bandwagon.
Now it’s your turn. What are your tips for working out and staying motivated? What about your motivators for eating healthy? Do you have any tips for people who just can’t seem to get started at all? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’re pretty stoked to hear your ideas and questions.