This week’s Weekly Wednesday Workout is one I’m particularly excited about. You can find this week’s workout at the bottom of the page, or if you click here, but before I get to the workout, I want to talk a little bit about Workout Motivation.
Call me crazy, but I really do love working out.
Now, I know most of you probably read that and are thinking, “Well that’s annoying. Working out is really not all fun and games. It actually sucks sometimes.”
And I completely get that.
I didn’t always used to enjoy working out – in fact, I used to hate it. I did the same 36 minute run everyday for a good seven months once my collegiate soccer career ended. If you do the math, that’s about 210 days (give or take a few) of doing the same run, everyday. This run was a very intense and I absolutely dreaded it each morning because it was hard and because I knew to expect that it was hard. To make matters worse, I didn’t lift weights and I rarely cross-trained. Some days, I would supplement my run with a few minutes of abs, but I’d always get bored real quick and would want nothing more than to get myself out of the gym. My only motivation for working out at the time was to control my weight, and essentially, to try and take control of my insecurities.
I knew I needed to make a change.
Over the course of the past two or so years, I have gradually learned to loosen up my grip a little and find a better balance between working out and being/feeling healthy. My motivation has shifted from this once vain & superficial outlook, only caring about what I looked like and what others thought of me, to one more focused on complete & total health- physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially.
Ever since I started creating my own workouts and allowing myself to be a little more flexible with my routine, I’ve found the joy in getting up early and putting in the hard work. Through my explorations with Yoga, P90X, Crossfit, Cross-Training, and swimming, and even through my explorations with taking a day-off (yes – a day off!), I have grown a greater sense of respect and appreciation for working out and treating my body well.
I’ve done some reflecting over the past few weeks and have thought long and hard about what it is that keeps me motivated to go to the gym day after day. I’ve compiled a list of the reasons I came up with and would like to share them with you all!
Workout Motivation – 8 Simple Ideas on How to Keep With It
- Working out is fun – If I see an exercise with Burpees or Box Jumps (two moves I absolutely dread) I will purposely add in other moves that I enjoy doing – like planks, bicep curls, and Good Mornings – so that I have a fun move to look forward to doing. I also make my workouts very spontaneous, going from the treadmill to the pull-up bar, then back to the elliptical, and so on and so forth. This always keeps things up in the air and helps take my mind off of the clock
- Mood Stabilizer / Stress Reliever - Often times, I go to bed thinking about the million and one little things that stress me out. Getting up and working out first thing in the morning is basically my way to tell myself to start over and let my mind and body reset. It’s crazy how during that hour or so of working out, all of the things that once stressed me out seem to go right out the window, like they never even existed. I love that.
- Personal Empowerment - Going to the gym each day allows me to set goals and then achieve them. The key to this is that I set my OWN goals – I don’t look to meet someone else’s expectations. Looking at a size 0 front-page model and using that as my daily inspiration is not the way I’m going to hit my goals. It’s just not realistic. Instead – I try and focus on the positive things that I get from working out, many of which are included in this list. Once I am done with MY workout for the day, I know that I will feel accomplished, and that is all that I need to care about.
- Community - I belong to the YMCA, which is a very communal fitness center. Going to workout allows me to connect with people of all different ages and backgrounds. I normally go to the gym around 6:30-7am every morning, so I usually hit the crowd of people exercising before work, or the crowd of retirees! (these are my favorite people anyways!) It’s nice because they ask me questions about my workouts, and I get to do the same. I get to hear their interesting stories and I get to stay inspired by older people who are actively choosing to care about their health. It’s awesome.
- Confidence -Working out makes me feel empowered in so many ways, and yes, there is still a sense of vainness here. Working out makes me feel good about the way I look. I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel good when someone tells me I’m in good shape or asks me if I workout with a trainer. The fact of reality is that we are social beings and we care what others think about us – including the way that we look.
- Good Music - Taking a class with a loud stereo system or downloading new music to your iPod is one of the simplest motivators to get into the gym. It could be the words to the song, the beats of the track, or just the sheer volume of music, but it’s no secret that music has the ability to motivate us and get our bodies’ moving. With that being said, the wrong song can just as easily put a lull in our workout. I always make sure to select a playlist with good, upbeat music that I know will keep me movin in the gym!
- I feel Great Afterwards - Just finishing a workout provokes one of the greatest highs imaginable. I leave the gym feeling strong, beautiful, confident and healthy, and I am so NOT willing to ever give that up! That’s all I have to say for that.
- It’s my own Personal Time – And lastly, working out is really just my time for myself. Except, however, if John is in town. Then I just it’s just go crazy and do everything I can to coordinate our schedules so that we can workout together. I secretly think I just want to take him to the gym and show him off In all seriousness though, I think it’s important to set aside time for myself and make it a priority to do things for me that make me happy. While many people make time to take care of others, they don’t often make time to take care of themselves. I think the key to happy relationships is first finding happiness with ourselves, and that means we can’t be neglectful of our own personal time.
Obviously, we all have our own reasons for working out. Many of yours might be different than the ones I listed, and that’s ok! These are just a few motivators to help get you moving or keep you on track with your fitness goals.
Did any of these resonate with you? Is there something missing from this list that really works for you? What is your primary reason for working out?
With Workout Motivator #1 in mind (“Working Out is Fun”), this week’s Weekly Workout is just that. I encourage you to have fun with this treadmill circuit workout and let me know what you think!