Monday, December 21, 2009

Making Workouts Stick

Well, it's that time of year. The New Year's Resolution time. I have a term for the people who workout in January...The Resolutioners. Maybe you have seen it too. There is a line waiting as soon as the gym opens. The weights are full of sweaty, grunting men with their new Ipods blaring "Boom Boom Pow". The cardio room is elbow to elbow with feisty little women throwing the towels over the treadmill screaming, "I got that one!" The aerobics room is full of people with bright white, shiny shoes and bright tank tops. Yup. Resolutioners. Don't get me wrong, it is a GREAT time to start. The problem is come February. The Resolutioners are no where to be found. I think in order to stick to the idea of working out, you need to identify the reasons that make you want to do it. There are lots of little factors that make women want to work out. Overall health. Social time. A stress relief {this is the main reason I workout}. However, I feel there is a dominating force that drives the machine. WEIGHT LOSS. Maybe you need to lose a lot of weight to spare your life. Maybe you have just been welcomed into the life of college eating {mmmm...I used to eat Schlotsky's every other day}. Maybe you are in an industry that asks you to maintain. Or perhaps, like me and many others, you want to shed the poundage {among other things} that comes with having a baby. While these are all valid reasons, my opinion is that you need to focus on other benefits of working out. I want to identify a few things that will keep you from getting discouraged and giving up all together. To not be just a Resolutioner. Maybe be a Year-Rounder!

1. What is Your Goal and How Are You Planning to Reach It?

Just wanting to lose a few pounds is great. But do you want it to be long term? Exercise ought to first become a habit so you won't always feel like you are battling that scale. If you want to become a runner, how are you going to start? Do you want to run a marathon? Well, you can't just go out and run one tomorrow...or you can, but you will have serious repercussions for a long time!! What is the plan you are going to make to get you where you want to be?

2. Father Time is a Big Meanie.

You need to know this. Be secure in this. That being said, hear me out: We all age. With age, our body drastically changes. Some parts will never be in the same place again. Add a few kids, or a surgery and you really see the effects. Exercise is so good for you. The best thing you can give yourself. But friends, physically, we are not Benjamin Button! Oh to age in reverse! Nope, we are going to get older. Let's work on the beautiful bodies God gave us, do what we can, make things as tight as possible and embrace and enhance what we have. Do not expect to look at a picture of yourself from your sophomore year in college and want to go back to there. Love the you that you are at this age.

3. My Size is NOT Always Your Size {or weight}.

My personal blog got a lot of flack a few months back when I posted a picture of my weight. I was elated after having my second child to be back at a number that was recognizable to me. Lesson learned. People thought I was bragging. Boasting. Proud, I was. I worked incredibly hard and long to get there. Still, I need to stress something to you. My 5"2 frame and size 5.5 shoe are going to need the scale to read something different than your frame. Know your limits, ladies. It is VERY possible and VERY likely that your ideal size is a 6, 8, 10, 12, etc. Heck, maybe it is a 2! Don't try to compare. Know the healthy size you CAN physically and healthfully be.

4. Get Some Motivation from Others.

You need someone. Anyone. A husband. A friend. In my case, a group of friends. A group fitness class you love at your gym. A home workout video. Your kids in a jogging stroller. Something to get you motivated.

5. Time.

Please. Do you think I do not know. It is so hard to find time. So. Hard. Find it, carve it out, mark it on your calendar. 5:00 a.m. So be it. While the kids are napping...let the laundry stay least you burned off the rest of junior's corndog from lunch. Find that time. Maybe 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there. I had a guy tell me the other day he works out two separate and short workouts a day so he can fit it in. We all have the same amount in a day--you just have to find the best for you.

6. Give Yourself Some Grace.

If you miss a workout, don't beat yourself up. Make sure you add it in another day in the week. Don't let one or a few missed workouts take you out of the game completely. Keep on trying to make it a habit! And sort of along the same lines, I BEG not quit because you are sore! I cannot tell you how many times I hear people quit for a whole week because of soreness. You are going to be sore! Make sure it is not injury, and work thru it! Soreness is your friend in the end!

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