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Finding a Spark to Start Your Fitness Fire

Published: 9/1/14

Let’s get real. Unless you already have a steady workout routine, getting the motivation to start one is pretty hard. We’ve all been there: ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ – and come tomorrow, no change. If you talk to people who work out regularly, however, you’ll find that working out is an essential part of their daily routine, and they’ll also probably tell you how much they love it and perhaps even that their fitness club is their second home. But where do you find the motivation to stop saying ‘tomorrow,’ and truly start today? Here are some tips for sparking your fitness fire:

Envision the results you want. Close your eyes (or don’t). Now think of what it is you truly want to achieve from working out. Make sure you’re realistic and in tune with your body – and your body only (comparing yourself to others is not the way to go). Do you want to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle, or generally just feel better? Whatever it is you want, write it down somewhere (your mental notebook can work too) and use it to gauge your expectations and foster your motivation.

Leave your workout gear out in plain sight. Leaving your running shoes or yoga mat out around your house (not in a messy way, of course) will serve as a friendly reminder to get to the gym! Another similar tactic is getting dressed and ready for the gym earlier on in the day (obviously this isn’t an option for everyone). Strangely enough, wearing workout clothes will help make you feel active just by wearing them. They’ll also be a huge motivator to get off the couch and onto the elliptical. Simple reminders like these will help you remember your goals and keep you in a healthy lifestyle and routine.

If you can walk, walk. Even just a little bit of movement will help you feel more alive and active. For many of us, grabbing our keys and taking the car is automatic – even if we’re just driving a few blocks away. There’s nothing wrong with driving, and as mentioned, many of us do it, but if you spend most of the day sitting already, why not use those beautiful legs to get you where you need to go? If you get an hour-long lunch at work, try walking 15 minutes (each way) to wherever it is you’re eating your lunch; that still gives you 30 minutes to eat. You’d be surprised how great even just a few minutes of physical activity can make you feel, and not just that, it will actually motivate you to do more later on in the day. And did we mention that your waistline could actually shrink in 12 weeks just by adding a few extra steps to your day? It may take a bit of mental training, but it’ll become second nature soon enough.

Switch up your routine. You don’t have to spend all your time doing cardio to see results. In fact, it’s actually better to change up your workout so that your body doesn’t get complacent. Also, if you’re doing the same routine everyday (and one you don’t truly enjoy), you’ll burn out quickly. One of the most crucial elements of an effective workout is incorporating things you naturally enjoy; if you hate every minute of being on the treadmill, getting yourself to the gym will be just as bad. While you probably won’t enjoy every aspect of working out (they don’t call it hard work for nothing), having different things to look forward to during the week might just be all you need to keep you going. Along the same lines, if you’re someone who thrives on consistency, you can methodically switch up your routine by scheduling different workouts on set days/time of the week.