One of my biggest goals for 2016 is to run my first half and full marathon. This is a HUGE goal for someone who hated running just over a year ago. Now that I have been exercising and running more on a daily basis, in addition to eating a plant-based lifestyle, my endurance has improved dramatically. I look forward to my daily run so much! It’s a great way to wake up or wind down!
In addition to running, I also get up each morning and complete an awakening yoga exercise with meditation. This gets my mind and body ready for whatever comes at me each day. I am better rested and generally happier. It also allows me to handle our 18 month old daughter and puppy! 🙂
Staying motivated to workout is a must, but it can be difficult. It’s easy to make up an excuse for not going on a run, or not taking 20 minutes to do yoga, or a warm-up cardio routine. I am guilty of making excuses too! It happens before I even realize it! Recently my excuse was that there was too much ice and snow on the roads and sidewalks that I usually run on. I have a terrible habit of slipping on ice, so I tend to avoid being active outside when it snows. Now obviously, this recent weather has thrown a major wrench in my marathon training schedule. I will have to catch up next week as the weather warms up and melts the mess away.
So back to my thought…how are we supposed to stay motivated to workout??
My first thought on staying motivated is to remember why you started. I know it sounds cliche, but honestly, it’s completely true. Think about that moment you decided to change yourself. My moment came on January 2, 2015 while watching Hungry for Change. Anytime I need an instant motivator for why I’m doing what I’m doing, I remember how miserable I felt physically and mentally. This usually does the trick.
But what happens when you do that and it doesn’t work? Make a list. I love making lists simply because when I accomplish something, I get to cross it out. There is a small bit of satisfaction when you cross something off your to-do list. Make a list of how working out makes you feel physically and mentally. You will find that the positives of working out, even for 20 minutes, will always outweigh the negatives. The negatives are the excuses!
Visualization is a proven technique to reaching your goals. Visualize yourself at the exact moment when you reach your goal. What do you look like? How do you feel? This can be accomplished by looking at pictures of yourself when you were at your happiest. Or you can make a list (!!) of your goals and read them every day. Find your favorite motivational quotes and write them down. Read them everyday! Do not think that simply saying you will accomplish something is all it takes. It requires constant physical and mental dedication. Do this for 28 days. On the 28th day, you will discover that you have made the mental shift you need to fully visualize and meet your goal. If you want to make that physical and mental change, then do something about it. You can’t blame work, family, cleaning the house, or other nonsense for you not reaching your goals. You are the only one responsible for them, so make them happen!
On that note, if you are stuck on where to start your fitness routine, look no further! I will provide you with my daily fitness workout routine. I use it as a daily warm-up workout before a run, as well as a workout when I am stuck indoors. Any workout is better than no workout! Using this as a warm-up before going on a run is a great way to get your body warmed up before entering the cold weather that awaits you! I typically find that after my warm-up I want to be outside in the cold weather.
Daily Warm-Up Fitness Routine: Adjust intensity over time as you improve
- 30 second crunch sit; legs are at a 90 degree angle. Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps of extended leg crunches. Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps (each side) of extended leg kickbacks. Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps (each side) of extended leg kickbacks with arm extension. Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps of squats. Repeat 3 times.
- 30 second plank. Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps side-step plank (each side). Repeat 3 times.
- 10 reps of push-ups. Repeat 3 times.
- Yoga cool down