Even if you’re the most dedicated workout person, it can be hard to get going some days. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep last night. Maybe you are stressed out over work or would simply rather spend the time doing something else…or nothing.
Problem is, every time you skip a workout, you make it easier to ditch the next one. Before you know it, you’ve given up completely and gained 10 pounds.
Avoid this whole vicious cycle by making it fun! If you’ve been grinding away on a treadmill or doing the same old weight circuit, find ways to shake things up. Here are a few ways I try to keep things interesting:
Plan for rewards
Set up a reward system for yourself. Since weight loss can be unpredictable, promise yourself a non-food reward for completing X number of workouts a week, walking 10 minutes at lunchtime or some other controllable action on your part. It sounds silly but it works!
Do your workout in reverse
For example: Reverse your running route for a change of scenery. Or, simply, change the order of your weight workout. It might be the same moves, but it’s actually a completely different workout because your muscles will not be activated the same way.
Try an app
…like Lose It! It tracks your weight and adds a little competitive spirit by connecting you with friends on Facebook and Twitter. The basic program is free. You can set goals like cut out salt, increase fiber or amp up on protein. You can also plan meals in advance. Another good one? Diet Assistant provides meal options, shopping lists for diet plans and access to a forum of other users.
Challenge a friend
Have a friendly competition with a friend to see who can do the most push-ups, crunches or squats within a certain time. Same for cardio: Make it a game to see who lasts longer at a certain pace. Winner buys the post-workout smoothie.
Pick one or all four and get moving!