Even with all this lovely spring weather, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated for that daily workout. And it has been my personal experience that the general health benefits of regular exercise (you know – weight management, stress relief, reduced risk of chronic disease, etc.) aren’t always sufficient in getting me out of bed when it’s still dark outside.
Here are a couple of tricks I use to make myself stick to a routine.
Find a goal to chase. I am infinitely more motivated to get my rear in gear by arbitrary goals, such as a looming race (the goals that have kept me the most consistent and ultimately successful are those that scare me a little). Sign up for a late spring marathon, a gnarly obstacle course race or your first triathlon, then ride the training motivation wave all the way through summer.
Phone a friend. This one is the real game-changer, people! In my book, there is no training motivation more powerful than the accountability that comes with meeting a friend for a workout. Plus, the company of someone cool (or anyone at all, for that matter) makes running, walking or working out at obscenely early hours infinitely more fun and interesting. So beg, bribe, and blackmail if you have to! Do whatever it takes to recruit a friend to join you! I suspect you know at least one other person who is on the hunt for a cool workout buddy, and would be thrilled to have your company at the gym or on the trail. And even if they are less than thrilled, chances are they can be won over by the promise of a post-workout latte.
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Ellen Moss of Durham is a runner who writes The Fast and the Fabulous (fastandfab.wordpress.com), a blog that critiques workout apparel.