Most of us know all the great reasons to start and stick with a new exercise routine: weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, mood enhancement, stress control, breast cancer prevention. Frankly, I could probably fill a whole page with all the great things getting out and moving can do for you (and me). I can’t argue with any of these things, but aside from weight loss they rarely get me out the door. Once my workout routine gets sidetracked its super hard to get going again. Whether it is a super busy month at work, being felled by the flu, pregnancy, or just burnout when I fall off the exercise wagon I need find extra motivation to get moving again on a regular basis. Now, as I embark on an effort to add an interval training/stair sprinting routine to my workouts I’m going back to the top 6 tips (tricks?) I use to get myself going.
My top tips to start and stick with a new workout:
1. New Equipment
Get some new shoes or workout gear that makes you happy to step out and get moving. I’ve been meaning to start a new interval routine for over a month now. I known for a while I need mix in cardio in my life, but my sad old running gear wasn’t very enticing. So I tried these new Skechers GoRun3 shoes. They are light, have a nice wide toe box and are a part of Skecher’s Awareness line which are a part of Skechers support of the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer. Have a new set of shoes helped put a fresh spin on my interval initiative. Getting the Skechers Performance series was nice because Skechers is joining American Cancer Society in the fight to end breast cancer because the Society is doing the most for people with breast cancer today to end the disease tomorrow.
2. Permission to Quit
This seems counterintuitive but there are some days I need to trick myself into getting out the door. If I can overlook the pain and focus on how great I’ll feel once the workout is over it is not such a problem. However, there are days where I can’t get the pain from the burn out of my head and I feel glued to me seat. To combat this, if I tell myself I’m allowed to quit after 10 minutes if the workout is really as awful as I imagine it might be. Even with that lead up, I can usually get myself out the door and stick with things for the full workout.
Entering a race like the one Skechers is hosting (the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer) is another great way to kickstart a new routine. There is nothing like the threat of a public event to give you the push you need to start a new training program. Less public types of competition work too. A while back, my husband came home from a doctor appointment boasting about his low resting pulse rate. I had been working out regularly and took mine. While my pulse rate was pretty good for someone my age it has been lower. I knew I could move it down. That motivation spurred much more rigorous workouts for several months and resulted in a six beat a minute drop.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all the benefits from a new exercise routine kicked in after just one or two workouts? Its so hard to get started and stay going with a new routine in part because there isn’t much outward evidence of your new routine. Coming up other ways to get external reinforcement helps me get to the magic six to eight week mark when tangible benefits materialize. To reinforce all the good things that are going on in my body and take my mind off of sore muscles I’ll read articles on health and fitness in magazines and on sites like Getting Balance. I have a friend who swears by watching back episodes of Biggest Loser. My neighbor is obsessed with his step tracker. He has been known to do a couple laps around the block at the end of the day to make his daily target.
A reward for good behavior can also be a great motivator. For me, it works best if there is a fixed target like 30 runs. Once met, I will reward myself with something equally specific. I know people who put photos of bikinis and such on their fridge. The bikini ship sailed for me a long time ago, but picking out a nice sweater or pair of shoes that will still look great even if my physique doesn’t miraculously respond to the new workout works. It is nice to pick reward target like a certain number of runs or workouts because it credits the effort rather than results (like a 6 minute mile or five pounds lost) which may not materialize for a while longer.
6. Outward Focus
Making time for yourself to exercise can feel a bit selfish at times. As a parent, I’ve found making time to carve out time for myself to workout ridiculously challenging as compared to my childfree days. I always feel like I could be doing more and spending more high quality time with my kids. However, it is important to remind yourself that staying healthy is also an important part of being a good parent as is modeling healthy behavior. Extending your outward focus even further by signing up for a benefit run like the one Skechers is hosting this October for the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer can give you a great cause to work towards while you train. If there are several days in a row where peeling yourself off the couch isn’t working maybe the knowledge that you are working out in order to make the world a better place will. Check out more ways you can join with Skechers in the fight against breast cancer below.
There are a ton of other ways to motivate to get out there what are your best tips?
More ways you can partner with Skechers Performance Division supporting American Cancer Society:
-Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, and will be donating a percentage of proceeds from the sales of Skechers shoes on-site that day.
-Additionally, Skechers is launching a register round-up program in Skechers Retail stores in which customers can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit American Cancer Society for the entire month of October. If consumers donate $5 or more, they will also receive a 20% off discount for their next visit. This will offer anyone shopping for any item in a Skechers retailer store the opportunity to give back and support the cause.
-Furthermore, Skechers Retail stores are offering a gift with purchase for customers who purchase a pair of limited-edition Awareness shoes. The gift with purchase will be either a breast canvas awareness canvas tote back or a pink water bottle.
Thank you to Skechers for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to try their fantastic shoes in support of the fight to end breast cancer!