No matter how dedicated you are to your healthy, fit
lifestyle, there are times when your motivation wanes. As the days get shorter and the temps drop,
many people find the couch and comfort food beckoning more than salads and
sneakers. So, for the next several posts
I’m going to outline some tactics for staying motivated, starting with this
week’s edict: Keep it Fresh!
Even small changes to your routine can breathe fresh life
into your healthy lifestyle, and as an added bonus, your body sees the
greatest fitness gains when faced with new stimuli. You don’t have to make the changes permanen—just
shaking things up for a few workouts is often enough to get your motivation
back on track. Try one of these recommendations the
next time you hit a slump.
Check out a new fitness DVD. Both Netflix and your local library have loads to
choose from for a no-commitment way to try something new.
Are you a morning worker-outer? If you your
schedule allows, try working out in the evening or at lunch. Evening shift? See
what the early birds are all about. Literally putting your workout in “a
different light” can change your mindset immensely.
Are you such a regular in your fitness class
that nobody else would dare stand in “your spot?” That’s a good sign that you could
benefit from switching up classes. One of the great things about gym
memberships is that you have options and can switch things up whenever you
want. Some memberships even let you check out other gyms in the franchise.
Never underestimate the power of throwing a few
new tunes into your workout playlist. I
love Pandora because I can stream constantly-updated
tunes specific to my interests for free! There are also several podcasts at the
store that provide free music set to specific beats per minute for
various workout intensities.
Audiobooks and podcasts are great accompaniments
for lower-intensity workouts like walks and long runs. (I don’t recommend them
during high intensity workouts, however, because they make it pretty easy to
lose focus and work at too low an intensity.) I discovered during my recent
marathon training cycle that my local library lets me download audiobooks for
free over the Internet, and iTunes is overflowing with quality, free podcasts
(I love Wait,
Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Radiolab,
along with a slew of fitness, nutrition and sport-specific podcasts.)
Get a new gadget! Even if it’s just a new app for your smartphone,
having a new fitness toy or gadget can make you feel like a kid again.
I’m currently messing around with the free MyFitnessPal app for Android, and it’s
definitely got me re-committed to logging my food and workouts. RunKeeper is a popular one for runners and
cyclists, along with DailyMile. Whatever your interests, trust me there is a
gadget out there that will reinvigorate your routine.
Head to the Farmer’s Market to expand your food repertoire.
I like to go at least once every few weeks, find an item I’ve never seen or
prepared, and give it a shot. Eating seasonally is a great way to make sure
your diet never gets stale.
It’s a great idea to check out a few healthy
recipe magazines every season just to get new recipe ideas—even thumbing
through a magazine in the check-out can give you some new ideas. Don’t be
afraid to try something new!
Next time, we’ll be looking at how
you can use goalsetting to keep your mind and body in the game.
Heather Hawkins is a certified personal trainer and fitness
nutrition coach based in San Francisco, CA, who works with clients over the
internet through FitLifeSF
Coaching and blogs at FitLifeSF.com.
Please send your fitness and nutrition questions to Smurf@FitLifeSF.com for use in future