Working at a health club for the past two years has provided me with a little extra insight on people’s work out routines. With 2,000+ members at our club, I see just about the same few hundred people every day. The others? I’m sure some are here in the evenings after I leave work or perhaps just come on the weekends. However, there are also quite a few who simply make their “monthly donations” aka their monthly dues without showing up to use the gym. They typically show up around January with their New Year’s resolutions and good intentions. After a few weeks, motivation fizzles a bit as the cold, dark mornings get colder and the thought of curling up next to the fireplace is more appealing then curling free weights. I tend to see these people slither back into the gym around the end of April. “I’ve been busy with work” or “The past couple months just got away from me.” Panic mode sets in as these work-out drop-outs realize that Memorial Day weekend is lurking to make a last ditch effort to lose the winter weight.
There is no magic weight-loss pill… no substitute for hard work, physical activity and a balanced, healthy diet within your calorie-range. However, the most important part of all of this is that you make it a lifestyle, meaning that physical activity and diet are a consistent and harmonious part of each and every week of the year. It’s not too late to change last year’s bad habits of dieting, slacking off, and then playing catch up. Use some of the tips below to help you stay motivated all year ’round:
Schedule in Work-outs
In the beginning of each week, take a look at your calender and jot in work outs that realistically fit into your schedule. I find that fitting in workouts in the mornings help me stay consistent, because by the latter part of the day, other things like a shopping trip or happy hour may stray me away from my commitment. On the flip side, some of my clients who have problems with late-night eating find that an evening workout helps them fight eating out of boredom during the 7-10pm hours. If you get an hour lunch break, consider a forty minute mid-day session with a quick protein shake or bar for lunch. Find out what time of day will work for you, and put it on your calendar. Towards the end of the week, set aside a time for a “make-up” workout, in case life throws you a curve-ball.
Join a class or running group
Including other people into your work out will help hold you accountable. Look into if your gym or community center offers group exercise classes like spinning, Zumba, or Pilates. A lot of areas are beginning running clubs like http://www.westchesterrunningclub.com/. Not only will this help you regularize your weekly schedule for work outs, but it will also make working out a social part of your day. Becoming a “regular” in a class or running club will have others asking you where you were if you decide to skip out on a workout.
Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
Nothing motivates people more than rewards!! Sure, you may say that your fresh-n-fly hot body is the best reward you could ask for…but realistically,in this day and age people like instant gratification. Since we already know that it takes consistency for weight loss, I want you to alter your instant gratification mindset into a short-term/long-term reward mindset. Set yourself one to three weekly short-term goals that will help you on your way to your long-term goal. Good examples of some starter weekly goals could be including four hours of exercise, logging a food journal daily, or packing lunch for work instead of eating out. If you comply to your weekly goals, reward yourself!! The key to good rewards is making them something that will motivate you to continue with your good habits for the next week. For example, if you made it to the gym for four hours, buy yourself a few new songs on i-tunes or a magazine that you can only listen to/read while working out. Maybe you will treat yourself to buying new spices/herbs to encourage more in-home cooking, Long-term goal rewards should be larger, but with the same general concept. Maybe one full month of on-track work outs could mean a new pair of running shoes or buying a wok to make new home-made cuisine.