Lighten Up: Getting motivated for fitness

Cathleen Kronemer

By Cathleen Kronemer

Here we are, in the middle of the second month of 2011; at this point in time, three things are almost guaranteed to occur:

1. The snow is going to stick around for a good while longer;

2. The kids will start getting eager for Spring Break;

3. 60-70 percent of people who joined a gym or fitness program January 1st are going to quit.

Certainly there is not much we can do to alleviate the first two problems. However, there is much that can be done to make sure Point #3 does not occur!!! Sometimes all we need to do is gather a new perspective on the goals we set, re-evaluate what we have accomplished so far, and find new ways to make the journey fun again! Here are some suggestions for keeping your commitment strong:

Five Quick Tips to Maintain Motivation:

1. Re-format Goals: Rather than trying to increase a bench press by a certain number of plates on the bar, think of the goal in terms of body weight. For example, a 215-lb. man striving to lift “the bar plus two plates on each side,” or 225 lbs., may do better to think of this in terms of lifting “more than his body weight.”

2. Train with a Partner: Knowing that a workout buddy is counting on you to show up makes you less likely to skip out on your commitment to the gym.

3. Come Prepared: Always have workout clothes and a protein shake packed and ready in the car. Even if your workday runs late, there is no longer an excuse to miss the gym.

4. Be Flexible: If you show up at the gym prepared to tackle that advanced kickboxing class, and the instructor doesn’t show up, keep a list of alternate workouts ready. You will be less likely to leave the gym if you know there are other exercises you can do that day.

5. Tune-Up: Load some new tunes on your iPod. Periodically updating your workout music can renew your energy level. Try some variations in beats per minute, rhythms, etc.