When I was in college, I and my friends loved to do mountain hiking and rock climbing. We lived in a place where all those things, including boating, were at reach. We´re blessed with a beautiful nature to explore and a great friendship to enjoy as we did adventures. Those were our means of exercise, and it´s when we were younger, with less responsibilities and pressures. When I graduated and started working, things changed. I became preoccupied with work, overworked in fact, that finding time to exercise much more explore the nature, became impossible.
Without exercise and being overworked took its toll on me. I became stressed, irritable, underweight and unhappy. Being a teacher means being overworked. You don´t leave your work at school, you bring it home if you want to perform. If you want to earn more, you juggle after-school tutorials with writing lesson plans and producing worksheets (not to mention religiously checking each student´s workbook) and your day is just spent, nothing´s left for exercise.
I knew that something had to change if I were to improve my spirit and to stay fit. But how to start exercising was the problem. There were always reasons not to exercise, and there was always no time. But I was thankful that I was able to beat those stumbling blocks and started exercising. Below are the tips I used to jumpstart my exercise routines:
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1. Choose Your Workout Buddies
One summer vacation I and my two close friends, who were also my colleagues at work in Thailand, thought of joining a fitness studio and doing yoga. We had the same schedule and we shared the same level of stress. We knew that doing workout together would be good to our health and would also be a great bonding time for us.
You get more motivated to go to the gym and exercise if you have workout buddies because you have something else to look forward other than exercising – chatting and catching up with each other – and it´s just more fun. Also, whenever you feel lazy, somebody´s going to push you to keep going.
After I got married and moved to Germany, I now have a new workout buddy – my husband. After 8 years of working out, he felt lazy and stopped for about 10 months. I pushed him to go back working out as I pushed myself too to pick up my exercise routines. I serve mainly as a motivation for my husband, for if I stop going to the fitness studio, he stops too. So we always have to go together, at least twice a week.
2. Pick a Workout Style that You Enjoy
Exercising is just not all about body building or tedious workout routines, there a lot of fun options which you can choose from. You can opt to do circuit training (cardio and lifting weights) for the strengthening of your core muscles, you can join structured classes (yoga, pilates, zumba, cardio-kickboxing, and spin) which improves your flexibility, stretches all your nerves and muscles, improves your breathing and develops self-discipline, you can try sprinting to improve your speed and increase your metabolic rate which is great for fat loss, or you can go for more carefree and fun activities such as dancing, swimming, bike riding and indoor climbing.
You can also choose to mix your exercise routines. For example, when I started working out my only interest was to do yoga. But while I started doing “power yoga” I couldn´t carry my weight enough to do men´s push up position in preparation for cobra position, thus I had to improve my muscles and strength. This led me to start a little body building. I also enjoy Zumba so I added it to my activities.
You´ll have to choose the activities that you enjoy so that you´re happy and you look forward to doing it.
3. Prioritize your Exercise
You will always have no time to do exercise unless you make time for it. Sometimes, you´ll have to give up other things to make way for it, be it a second job or some hours from your blogging time. You´ll have to put it in your schedule and stick to it. Once it becomes your routine, going to the gym is easier.
4. Reward Yourself
In every endeavor, a reward is a great motivator. It applies to workout too. Reward yourself each week or each month if you complete your workout calendar and everytime you achieve your short term goal. For example, if you lose 3 pounds in a month of training, buy yourself a new pair of sports shoes. If you didn´t miss a training in a week, get a new hairdo or indulge in a luxus dinner. For me, I love to treat myself to a fab Sauna once a week.
Any little treat that you will give yourself as reward for doing workout is a subtle by great motivator to keep your drive.
To our surprise, I and my girlfriends fell in loved to working out. I immediately noticed the change of my mood and the positive effects of exercise on my health and spirit. We enjoyed a month of carefree summer doing exercise. Although we faced the challenge of how to continue the routine once it´s back to school, we were already equipped with enough motivation to keep exercising regardless of a busy schedule.
Have Your Say
So tell me Creative Fashionistas, what are your tips on how to start exercising and keeping the motivation?