Let’s face it – we all have our days when we don’t want to exercise. Even though someone wants to drag us to the gym, we say that we just don’t feel like it, we feel that it’s boring, or we’re afraid to be the only obese people in the gym. For example, we don’t want to exercise simply because we look a lot different from our peers who wear short shorts and fitted tops (for the women) and those who wear no shirt just to show their defined muscles (for the men). We, as those who are plump, wear loose baggy clothing (like an extra-large T-shirt and a husky-size pair of sweatpants) and we feel bad about wearing them just because they seem ugly. Exercise does not have to mean all skimpy tops and Pilates – there are many tips to help you get through the hurdle and help you stay as fit as you can be.
Take Pictures of Yourself Each Month
Especially if you are planning to lose weight, you can snap yourself in full body form each month and post it on a place you can see it when you want to plop yourself down and watch the news. This would help you remind you of how far you came in your weight loss journey.
Make an Exercise Blog or Log
If you want to keep yourself in track, write a log on what you did in terms of exercise each day. It can be as simple as getting your composition book, a writing utensil, and writing down your activity. You can make a blog (I suggest that you set it to private) out of it, too. Oh, and if you’re walking and/or using a pedometer, write down the steps you took each day – one study actually found that those who wear pedometers to track their steps and placed the number of steps in their logs as well as their daily goals were more successful.
Start the Day With Exercise
One of the easiest ways to get exercise out of the way is to just move first thing in the morning. It can range from just cleaning your home at a brisk pace or doing a circuit. Best of all, you burn fat by doing so – a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that those who did an intense workout before eating reduced their body fat than those who start the day with a meal. If you really hate setting time for serious moving and sweating, get some exercise before breakfast. Not only will you lose weight, but you are guaranteeing yourself some exercise motivation.
Make Games out of It
Exercising doesn’t have to be all circuit training and aerobics – it can be fun! Just by playing with your kids or playing the latest exercise video games, you can exercise without feeling as if it’s a workout!
Visit a Theme Park
If you live near one (and as long as you bring or order healthy food – we all know that most of the cuisine there is loaded with fat and other excessive calories), by all means buy a seasonal or annual pass and go from ride to ride. I know it sounds so expensive, but by standing all the time and walking a lot, you can easily burn calories!
Walk More Often
It’s very simple, really – instead of phoning your co-worker’s cubicle, walk up to him or her for a message. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator to go from floor to floor. Park further from the parking lot (weather and time permitting) and walk to your destination. It’s not rocket science, folks.
Sign up For A Charity Race or Walk
If you sign up for something like a 5K for cancer or if you sign up for a marathon, you can motivate yourself to train while supporting your worthy cause. Look for charity events that fit your budget.
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, and it’s similar to acupuncture without the needles. You start out by rubbing your sore spot or tapping on the side of your hand and you say 3 sentences that address the issue at hand and state that you accept yourself despite them. Then, you tap on certain points first with negative phrases and then with positive ones. (You can learn more by buying books or checking out websites on the practice.) Using EFT to help you get motivated for exercise releases all your negative thoughts and keeps the spark going. (For an example video of an EFT script, check out one person’s suggestion.)
Work Out with A Friend
There is nothing as motivating as working out with a buddy – instead of going to the movies, why not shoot some hoops in the park? Playing Marco Polo in your backyard pool with your pals is much better than dining out!
Harvest Your Prized Produce
Growing your own fruits and vegetables are not only the best way to help you eat more of them, but it can be a great workout as well. All you need to do is plow the soil, plant seeds, water them, and pick them at their peaks of ripeness. Oh, and you’ll feel proud of doing so – in fact, a recent study found that people who exercised outdoors for even 5 minutes improved their mood and self-esteem. Make sure you follow the seasons to reap the benefits!
Karen Collins, R.D., “Pedometers: Do they make a difference?” msnbc.com
Maria Cheng, “Skip breakfast before exercise to burn more fat, studies say.” The Associated Press/USA Today
EFTPractice, “Overcome Exercise Resistance.” YouTube
“5 minutes in the green can boost mood.” Reuters/msnbc.com