How many times have you started a new workout routine only to allow yourself to be distracted or even blindsided, so that procrastination sabotages your new physique and overall health? If you’re like most adults, the conservative answer is “more than once!” Well, no more – you owe it to yourself to commit to improving your health, appearance, self-confidence and more. What follows are some tips to help you achieve exactly that!
# 1 – Prioritize Your Workout!
This simply means setting up your schedule for working out so that nothing short of an emergency will sideline you showing up, working out and feeling great (as well as proud of yourself!) Establish regular days of the week and consistent times for your workouts – keeping a set schedule will help you strengthen your commitment to yourself for your workout, and allow you to schedule other activities around your workout, instead of the other way around.
Think about the crucial investment you’re making in yourself – improving your overall health, feeling good about how you look, increasing your energy levels – it’s truly a no-brainer, right? Even if you’re one of those generous people who always put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, decide right here and now that you’re going to be a stickler on this and take the best care possible of yourself. Remember, nobody can do that better than YOU!
Here’s another interesting benefit you’ll notice – the more regularly you work out, the more your body starts actually CRAVING the workouts, due to the release of endorphins (what a great natural rush!) and the increased energy you’re sure to create. Enjoy!
# 2 – Keep Your Workout “Tools” Readily Accessible
So, if you’re someone who really gets your workout jammin’ best with your favorite revved up tunes, obviously you’ll want to keep your favorite mp3 player and ear buds in your gym bag, along with anything else that you use in your workout…maybe workout gloves, a support belt/brace, your workout shoes, fresh socks, a clean towel or two…if you swim, of course your suit and any other necessary swimming gear – you get the picture.
If your workout includes a yoga class here and there, this also means keeping your yoga mat (along with stretch bands and support blocks, if you need/use them) handy. Have your bottle of water or other healthy workout beverage ready to go as well.
Be sure you launder any of your necessary equipment that might need it, and your workout clothes well in advance, so they’re always ready to go when you are. Ample preparation = success! And avoids an ‘escape hatch” of an excuse. No more sabotage! Remember?
# 3 – Inform Your Support Circle of Your Workout Schedule
If you have family at home or good friends you’re in regular communication with, it’s a good idea to make them aware of your normal workout schedule. Those who love you will be happy to be supportive, and less likely to bug you to rearrange your schedule, when you let them know how important working out is to you. Essentially, it’s every bit as critical as attending a business meeting or class, so let them know that.
# 4 – Regularly Visualize Your Body as You Want it to Be!
Using the power of visualization to get into the “feeling essence” of your ideal body is very helpful, and motivating! In other words, spend a few minutes a week (perhaps on the days in between your workouts, but on a daily basis is great, too) imagining how great you’re going to feel and look once you reach your ideal body weight and size. Really get into the emotional aspects of it, too, rather than simply passively conjuring up an image. When you engage as many of your senses as possible, your commitment will become that much stronger!
If there is a time when you were actually AT your ideal weight and size and you have a picture of yourself then, place that picture somewhere prominent, where you’ll see it every day. People have reported that posting this type of picture on their refrigerator or pantry door helps them avoid being tempted to cheat and not eat healthily. Putting it on your desk, on your car visor – wherever it works best for YOU is the place to choose.
# 5 – Only Stock HEALTHY Foods at Home
It’s a long established fact that proper diet COMBINED with physical exercise will create the optimum effects you’re after, as opposed to doing just one or the other. So although this article is primarily focused on working out, a nod to proper nutrition is essential as well.
Keeping only healthy foods in your home is the logical way to avoid temptation, so lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other whole foods are the kinds of things to stock up on. And follow that helpful old adage – “Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!” If you ignore that, you’ll be much more tempted to “backslide” and buy things that are full of empty calories, sugar and chemicals.
In the same vein, cut fast food out of your life! If you do imbibe in fast food now and again, many of the prominent chains now have healthy alternatives to fried, greasy food, such as salads, smoothies and the like. However, if you can avoid those establishments altogether (or pretty much so), again, you’ll avoid temptation.
And chew your food S L O W L Y – chew it thoroughly and take your time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the taste and texture of your food, so don’t gobble it down. Allow ample time to eat each meal mindfully and enjoy it – science has proven that it takes a minimum of 15 minutes for our stomach to send the signal to our brain that says, “I’m full now.” Once you register that message, put down the fork,spoon or food and just move on to another activity, easy peasy. Dish up proper portions to begin with, if you were raised to be a “clean plate kid,” so you avoid that trap of overeating.
# 6 – Stay Hydrated – VERY Crucial to your Success!
When you work out, you lose hydration through perspiration. This is a simple fact, and you need to replenish those fluids, so always keep that bottle of good quality H2O handy. If you want to be as green as possible, then use a regular favorite water container and refill it with good water, rather than buying multiple plastic bottles of the clear stuff.
Making sure you stay hydrated ALL the time is important, too. Recent studies have shown that many times when people feel like they’re experiencing a hunger pang, it’s often their body signaling them that they are dehydrated, not hungry! So try slowly drinking 6 to 8 ounces of good quality water next time that happens, and hopefully, that will help you avoid the urge to visit the nearest vending machine filled with sugary or salty junk!
So, hopefully these six tips will motivate you on your way to better health, having more energy and stamina, and feeling great about the way you look. The ball’s in your court now – go for it, and have FUN!