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how to love your workoutsSometimes we need a little extra motivation to get us to the gym (or our at-home workout space).  Here are 7 tips to help motivate you and inspire you to tap into those warm-fuzzies that a great workout can bring on!

1. Wear workout clothes that feel good!

Have you ever noticed that when you dress well for work your confidence improves and you feel more motivated to work harder throughout the day?  Same goes for working out!  Particularly if you’re starting on a new workout plan, splurge a little and treat yourself to a new workout outfit.  Ask the saleswoman in the store to help you find workout clothes that flatter your shape and are functional for movement and sweating.  Choose clothes that have flat seams or are seamless to avoid chafing, and choose a wicking fabric (like lycra) rather than cotton.  You’ll feel comfortable, confident and dressed for workout success.

2.  Get in the zone!

Many of us think of exercise as being physically uncomfortable or even painful – so we do whatever we can to distract ourselves from feeling the effort we’re putting forth.  Instead, practice tuning into your muscles or your heart rate while you’re exercising.  If performing a strength move, focus in on the movement of the muscles you’re working. Soon you’ll begin to notice just how good it feels to get stronger – the tingle in the muscle when you’re finished with your reps and the adrenalin it creates in your body.  Whether you’re strength training or doing cardio, tune into your heart rate too – visualize the effort you’re putting forth and the good you’re doing for your body and yourself!

3.  Move to motivating music.

Take the time to make yourself a motivating playlist for your mp3 player!  For your warm up, choose a song that has high-energy but a slightly slower beats-per-minute.  You can then choose songs that have higher beats-per-minute (120 – 160 beats per minute) to keep you energized throughout your workout.  Studies have shown that not only does music help to motivate you, it also distracts you from fatigue and can help you tune into your muscles and heart rate.

4.  Eat for maximum power and keep hydrated!

In our effort to lose weight quickly, many of us women eat too little and this can really hinder weight loss goals.  If your body is not sufficiently fueled, not only will it be harder to get through your exercise routine, you also won’t be able to work out as hard and that means less fat is being burned and less toned muscle is being built.  Be sure to eat plenty of protein, a healthy source of non-refined carbohydrates and especially PLENTY of fruits and vegetables.  These vitamins, minerals and proteins are exactly what you need to push yourself every day and truly see results!  Don’t forget to hydrate – lots of water is the key.  Avoid sugar to keep away from the spike-and-crash that can also zap your energy.

5. Share the fun!

Embarking on a new workout plan with a friend, family member or significant other is an awesome way of getting motivated and supporting each other.  Not only will you be less likely to skip a workout if you know your partner is counting on you, but you’ll find time will fly! Plus, so many of us ladies are busy enough with work, school, family and other activities that it’s a challenge to get our workouts in – much less meet up with girlfriends.  Meet up with a gal pal for a ‘gym date.’  It’s a great way to make time for friends and participate in a healthy activity together (as opposed to, say, cocktails after work).  If you need another excuse, don’t forget that talking while exercising actually increases the intensity of your workout!

6.  Become part of a ‘community.’

One of the reasons many of us decide to join the gym is because a feeling of ‘community’ can make exercise more enjoyable.  Perhaps you like to meet new people.  Maybe you enjoy hearing success stories of others and sharing your own.  Or it could be that the ‘energy’ you feel from all those other bodies working hard in the gym is energizing to you.  Even if you work out at home, there are online communities where you can share experiences with others and benefit from being part of a group.

love your fitness program7.  A program you LOVE

To keep motivated day after day, it’s important to choose an exercise program you love.  It should be fun, motivating, and help you see and feel results!  You should look forward to your workout and it should not feel too long or boring.  If an hour on the treadmill doesn’t sound like a good time – that’s NOT the right type of exercise for you.  Chances are you need a routine that keeps your brain moving as fast as your body.  A circuit workout is a great way to challenge your body and since you change movements every minute you won’t get bored.  Don’t forget to switch it up each day! Different types of exercise, focusing on different parts of the body not only help keep interest levels high, they challenge your body and provide greater results!

By the way, if you’re looking for a great workout that will challenge you and keep things interesting, try Athlean-XX for women.  It’s a lot of fun and works a different part of your body each day for 30 super-effective minutes or less!  You can try it with a friend or your fella (Athlean-X for men is the guys’ version) and join our online community on Facebook to share with other ladies doing the Athlean-XX plan.  The flexible meal plan will also help you be sure that you’re fueling your body with the right foods to make your daily workout as high-powered as possible!