Want to get in shape? Keep reading for 5 ways to motivate yourself to work out!
1. Find a workout buddy.
Quick! Grab that friend who’s sitting across from you right now stuffing their face with pizza and run for the hills! (Both for the cardio and to stop the temptation of eating another slice of greasy goodness). In all seriousness, going to the gym with a pal who wants to shape up for the summer makes working out a whole lot easier. Workout buddies help keep each other accountable. They give you a person to share an eye roll with when a gym instructor tells you to do burpies, and strengthen your relationship through sisterly sweat or brotherly body odor.
2. Try different group workout classes.
As part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I vowed to workout at least three times a week. In order to keep myself on track towards my goal of recreating my own version of Jennifer Lawrence’s body, I ventured out to my college’s recreation complex one fateful Monday night. I meant to go to a cycling class but ended up in the wrong studio. By the time I arrived it was too late to leave so I thought, “Tartar sauce,” and did the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class. And lucky for me I did because not only did it lead to me gaining muscles (from five to seven pound weights baby) but it’s also one of my favorite part of Monday.
It’s a good way to start my week, and it motivates me to continue to work out the rest of the week, too. Plus, I get to hear weekly updates on my instructor’s cat. (He’s turning his cat into a candidate for the upcoming 2016 presidential election by putting him on posters backgrounded with the American flag and the slogan, “Let’s make America purr again.”). Whether you mean to or not, try different workout classes and figure out what you enjoy doing. Enjoying your workouts will make it that much easier to do them on a weekly basis.
3. Go outside.
Some people aren’t gym people; they enjoy the rustic, hair-on-your-chest outdoor kind of activities which is perfectly fine. However, the outdoors is a place open to all skill levels. It’s just about figuring out what activity you enjoy doing outside and doing it. Like trying different workout classes, you need to try different outdoor activities which can be as hard or as easy as you want them to be.
For summer, I recommend Frisbee (easy unless you’re one of those Ultimate diehards), swimming (double points for working on your tan and body simultaneously), and tennis (I always like to pretend I’m Serena Williams at Wimbeldon and grunt when I hit the ball). Although, exercise (ha see what I did there?) some caution when going outside for workouts. (This is my formal apology to that red “Eat Beef” license plated car I hit with a Frisbee two weekends ago).
4. Create the ultimate workout playlist.
From getting ready in the morning to doing homework, you have playlists for any and everything you do throughout the day. Why should exercising be any different? Personally, I like running to Young the Giant’s “My Body”, One Direction’s “Drag Me Down”, and Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath” (dually catchy and meaningful towards the end of my workouts). Also, if you go to the gym they usually have some sort of music to inspire you to swallow the pain and earn the gain. As Beyoncé sings in her newest album “Lemonade”, “Keep on runnin’ cuz a winner doesn’t quit on themselves.”
5. Put workouts in your schedule.
Make a target goal of how many times you want to work out (at least two you fiends), and write it down in your planner. This will help you visualize your goal, and inspire enough guilt for you to go because you know you have the time to do it. If you get a workout buddy, they can help with this too because it will be in their own plans for the week. Half the battle of working out is getting into the routine of doing it; if you set aside certain nonnegotiable times where you exercise then it makes it that much easier to assimilate into your life.
With the progression of time, exercise has come to have an ugly connotation. But exercise isn’t some bully you should run away from; it’s the inner voices of your own doubt that must not be trusted. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Working out isn’t about getting a six pack or having the best butt: it’s about setting your own goals, achieving them, and staying healthy throughout the process. The point of exercising is to mold a body you feel confident and comfortable in. Working out is just as much a mental commitment as it is a physical one. Learning to love your body through the hard work, sweat, and determination of working out is a beautifully difficult process. Nothing worth having is given freely, and that includes the ability to see and love yourself in your own skin.