About six months ago, many of us made New Year’s resolutions to wake up early, lace our sneakers and hit the gym at least a couple of times a week. Now it’s July and that plan didn’t quite work out the way we’d hoped. Why? Because resolutions are tough and sometimes you need help motivating yourself to get there. Here, we unveil some tips to encourage you to exercise, regardless of your fitness level, so you don’t have to feel like you’re “dragging” yourself to the gym ever again.
1. Hang your bikini on the bathroom door.
Bikinis are far too cute to avoid forever (see 16 of our favorite bikins here!) and it’s important to feel good about how you look in one — after all, there's nothing sexier than confidence. Hanging your bikini on a bathroom door will remind you of this regularly, so whether you’re aiming for a more toned physique or simply want to feel mentally prepared for swimsuit season, you can always keep your eye on the prize.
2. Have a lazy day
Have you ever spent an entire day in your PJ’s watching a Law & Order marathon and Facebook-ing for hours? If not, you should give it a try. It’s important to give your body time to rest here and there, and nothing motivates you to work out the next day like reflecting on your slothful Saturday.
3. Watch your favorite show at the gym
Having a killer playlist for a workout is great, but most gyms have TVs nowadays, so take advantage of that. One of the best ways to ensure you’ll stay glued to the treadmill/elliptical/bike for an hour is by catching an episode of your favorite show. Just to be sure, take it off your DVR recording list so you can’t sneak out early — yeah, we know all the tricks.
4. Eat something energizing
One of the biggest complaints people have about the gym is that they are too tired to get there. Firstly, you should be getting a good eight hours of sleep a night, but if that still isn’t enough, try munching on an energizing snack an hour before you’re set to hit the gym. One of our favorites is NuttZo, an organic seed and nut butter with no added sugar. It’s so tasty with an apple and works as the perfect, energizing pick-me-up treat.
5. Get paid to exercise
One of the most inspiring exercising tools we’ve found is the GymPact iPhone app. Basically, you commit to working out “x” amount of days a week, and if you don’t go, you fork over some moolah (your credit card is connected to the account). Those who do make it to the gym—you have to “check in” on your phone using their GPS system— receive a portion of the cash paid by non-exercisers. Talk about motivation!
6. Don’t force it
You might not have time to dedicate a full hour to Zumba, but when you’re thinking of skipping exercise altogether, remind yourself how effective a little bit of movement can be. Take a stroll around the block after dinner, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog, or bike to the grocery store that’s slightly out of your way. Even 15 minutes of light exercise will leave your body happier and healthier than it was before.
Do you have tips on getting motivated for the gym? Tell us in the comments below!