GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) — Once the beauty of fall ends and the cold weather sets in, going to the gym and staying healthy gets tough. Like most women, I have a hard time staying motivated. It starts innocently enough, ordering takeout on weeknights instead of cooking and skipping my early morning workouts (I mean it’s so gloomy and dark out) and eventually my activity level dwindles becomes almost nonexistent. This year, that lazy routine gets put to rest because these are six techniques I use all year long to stay motivated when winter hits. Try them this year so you don’t have to start all over again in January.
Find a workout buddy
In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to keep your exercise motivation. Commit to exercising a certain amount of days a week with a friend and stick with it! Knowing someone is counting on you gives that little boost of motivation needed. It’s a two-way street if your friend calls saying she’s not sure about going tonight, you give her a pep talk! Exercising for one hour is only about 6 percent of your day, you can do this!
Set yourself up for success! As soon as you get home from the grocery store prep, prep, prep! Cut your veggies and separate into snack size portions, Cut and separate your proteins into individual serving sizes, make homemade dressing, get your kitchen straightened up. That way, after you get home from a long day of work there’s no excuse not to eat healthy.
Join a challenge or set a goal
It’s hard to keep motivated when you forget why you’re dragging your butt to the gym in the first place. What helps me is constantly working towards and setting new goals. Whether it’s personal or through classes, never forget why you’re going. Maybe it’s to stay heart-healthy for your kids or to look awesome at your high school reunion, whatever your reason, let that push you!
Don’t be afraid to get that cocktail on girl’s night out or splurge on some cute workout pants. You’re working hard, you deserve to treat yourself now and then. Another idea for motivation is to have an exercise jar. For every hour of exercise, put $1 in the jar and have an end goal for the money. Maybe a new swimsuit or dinner at that new fancy restaurant in town.
Don’t live by numbers
Instead of obsessing over the number on the scale, focus on a feeling. Do you have more energy? Are you happier? Do you feel more motivated in other aspects of your life?
Do NOT body shame or set unrealistic goals
No two bodies are alike. Don’t compare yourself to an unrealistic photoshopped picture. Wishing to be different or wallowing over cheating on your diet won’t help you move forward, it leaves you stuck and unmotivated. Instead, aim to be healthy (even if it’s one change at a time), work on being happy and the best version you that you can be.