January 11, 2012
I survived the wonderful craziness of the holidays, and my favorite Christmas gift (to myself) turned out to be a super-hot new pair of running shoes that I can’t wait to try! Really, there’s nothing like a new pair of flashy sneaks or a cute but serious sports bra to get me in the mood for working out.
Hopefully, your holiday swag included all the workout gear on your wish list, and you also can’t wait to hit the gym or the road! But if it takes more than a new outfit to get you motivated, here are a few of my top tips to help you kiss the couch goodbye and re-energize your body and soul:
• Buddy up! It can be incredibly hard to roll out of bed early to hit the road for a run, or hit the club on the way home from work when you’re feeling stressed and a little hungry. But if you’ve got a trusted workout partner who you absolutely know is going to be waiting for you at the track or gym, it will be much harder to hit the snooze button or skip your spin class.
• Tap some tunes! You may already know that music makes you feel good during a workout, but the magic can start before you even get your sneakers on. Pre-workout tunes with your favorite motivation-stoking lyrics will help you get in a stronger mood to move. And once you’re in motion, music can also help you pump it harder and longer while (ironically!) making your workout feel easier.
• Take a small bite! If the thought of 30 or 40 minutes of exertion is just too exhausting, tell yourself you’ll do just 10 for a starter. Once you actually get into your gear and warm up with an easy workout for 10 minutes, chances are your mood and energy will get such a positive kick that you’ll decide to do 10 or 20 minutes more. So, if you’re just getting back to fitness after holiday feasting (aren’t we all!), give yourself a little grace and ease gently back into things.
• Get outside! Even if the weather’s snowy or chilly, researchers have found that kicking it outside in nature and the fresh air does a better job of reducing stress and actually encourages you to work out more frequently than sweating it indoors. Obviously, it’s not usually practical to weight train outdoors, but when it’s time for your cardio fix why not bundle up and boost your heart rate with a blast of running or power walking?
You already know how fantastic you feel when your fitness comes first, and I hope you’ll channel that wonderful memory to help keep you moving!