1. Walk to work or class and wear a speedometer.
You just may find your self going for small walks on your lunch breaks just to beat yesterday’s numbers. Make it fun for yourself, set and surpass your goals.
2. Turn up the resistance every time in spin class.
A lot of people are intimidated by the concept of spin class — but really, all you have to do is just try it once. Research the teachers that are available at your gym or your local spin studio and find one that fits your work out aesthetic. There is nothing like singing along to amazing music in the dark while you sweat buckets. Whether it is top 40 hits, trance music or 80s beats, there is someone out there that will get you to turn that dreaded red knob and up the resistance every time.
3. Train for an event like a 5k, half marathon, or even a full marathon.
Dedicating your time to train for a running event can be a full time job if you make it feel like one. Make it enjoyable and realize this is a big deal and you are putting your body through the wringer. Make running routes of places you have never seen before, go and see the sunrise or sunset, go to the beach at high tide, go to the park and take a break for a moment to enjoy the scenery. Take in what is around you while you run and enjoy the outdoors.
4. Do yoga in the park or on a rooftop.
This may not be available in a lot of places but if it is available in your city or town, take full advantage of it. Heck — get on your own roof or go to the park yourself and make it happen. I promise it is the most relaxing way to get a work out in.
5. Run towards food with a friend or significant other.
Ending up at your favorite brunch place or having a salad intermission at the local café can make it feel like you didn’t just run/walk 4 miles to get there and you almost forgot you had to do the same to get back home. Not only did you work out, you ate and got to catch up with a friend.
6. Take progress photos.
The evil progress photo that will never die. Do it. Do it and do not delete any of them from your computer. It may seem like you are not making any progress at all, but if you are putting in the time and the work and you go back and look at those photos, you will be pleasantly surprised. It may seem scary now but you will be so happy that you did it.
7. Make workout playlists.
Find music that will pump you up and make you want to get that work out in. Buy that album you have been dying to hear and listen to it for the first time at the gym in its entirety, maybe even twice. If said album is Beyoncé of any sort, you are already winning.
8. Get creative.
Get roller skates, hula-hoop, pole dance, or play dodge ball or kickball with your friends. Get outdoors or in the pool. Do things you normally wouldn’t do as a workout and you won’t feel like you are working out at all.
9. Try a new class — even if you feel really out of place.
If you are anything like me, and your coordination in any kind of choreographed movement is laughable, go to a turbo-kick class. You might feel discouraged the first few times that you will never get the moves down, but when you do, you will think you are Billy Blanks and it will be amazing.
10. Meet people in group fitness classes.
Getting to know people in group fitness classes can give you something to look forward to. You will scan the room for that familiar face and you won’t feel so alone. It will keep you going back and you can hold each other accountable and meet someone that may have common goals as you. You can share in your successes and your struggles with each other and you will always have a partner in class! It’s a win-win situation.
11. Start a blog and document your journey.
You can end up meeting people from that blog, motivate each other, look forward to what others people are doing to get fit. Blogging may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to stay motivated. You can read about other people’s journeys to a healthier lifestyle and I guarantee you will be inspired. You will look forward to reading about how they workout and you will try many things that they have tried as well.
12. Set mini-goals for yourself and reward yourself when you meet them.
Whether it is lose 1 pound this week or go to the gym 10-12 times this month, make sure you set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Decide on your rewards ahead of time to avoid being frivolous and make sure you follow through. This can make reaching that goal even more exciting for you.
13. Race with the person next to you on the treadmill.
To a lot of people, this can be one of the most annoying things; feeling like the person on the treadmill is having a race with you can be enough for you to throw in the towel. But think of it as motivation and a bit of healthy competition, and motivate each other to keep on going. You are in on this together. I used to find it annoying when I could feel someone on the next treadmill looking at my time or turning up their speed at the time as me but then I began to enjoy it when I felt like we were pushing each to do better.
14. Get a personal trainer.
I know that a personal trainer can be very expensive, and if you can afford one, I’d say go for it. If you can’t, do what I did and get one when you join the gym for one or two sessions and learn as much as you can in those few days. Make sure you read up on the available trainers, and try to get one that shares your interests or work out style — it can be key to you ever returning to the gym again. Knowing that you are working out correctly, safe and building a routine can make it fun for you, you feel like you are actually accomplishing your goals.
15. Weigh yourself or don’t weigh yourself at all.
Seeing the number on the scale go down week-to-week can be an amazing feeling, but for some, it can also be very daunting and become an obsessive habit. This may push you to work out more and get you moving. Or don’t weigh yourself at all. This can be more rewarding than jumping on the scale all the time. You will be equally as motivated and excited when those jeans fit you just right.