January is here and a lot of resolutions are in full swing. Is yours? If you're having a tough time building up momentum to keep you motivated and working out regularly, here are a few tips that will get your body back in the swing of things - literally!
1) Change Clothes: Let' s face it, workout clothes aren't cheap - but who doesn't feel motivated to get into the gym or out for a run when they're wearing new threads? What's more, most workout gear is build for performance, meaning it moves with your body and wicks away sweat. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg, either. Head straight to the sale rack or jump online to sites like RunningWarehouse.com, REI.com, or even Zappos.com for FREE shipping and not-so-bad pricing.
2) Change Scenery: If you find yourself doing the same ho-hum five-mile loop day-in and day-out, you're bound to get bored. No matter where you live, there is new adventure awaiting you! OK - maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but MapMyRun.com and RunthePlanet.com are two great sites that are guaranteed to provide ample alternative routes - anywhere, anytime!
3) Change Routine: Keeping a regular schedule is great. Our body stays in a rhythm. We see the same faces. We jump on the same treadmill. Things are going well until something changes in your life. Work, relationships, or just a lack of motivation can keep us from walking into the gym at exactly 5:30pm. If you've recently fallen off the wagon of your normal schedule, shift gears and start working out at a different time. Morning workouts might be better (at least for a little while) in the evening. Evening workouts might give you more of a kick when shifted to the mornings.
4) Change Location: Never forget you have options! If your commute to work is long, it might make sense to switch to a gym that's closer to where you work. This should eliminate the excuse you were caught in traffic. If Gym X doesn't offer the group exercise classes that you love, but Gym Y does, switch. This should eliminate the "there are never any classes I can take" excuse. Regardless of what the reason might be, where you workout should be both an enjoyable and accessible experience!
5) Change Purpose: Why are you working out? If you're bored with workouts, but feel obliged to muster through them a few times a week to lose a few pounds or to keep your figure, there is a strong possibility you could burn out. Stop working out and start training. You don't need to train toward a competition necessarily, rather toward some accomplishment. If you've always wanted to master a pose in yoga, but it seemed too far out of reach - it's not true! You can do it. Set a goal, write it down and pursue it - and it will happen. If you are of the persuasion that enjoys a little competition - the options are endless. Here in Chicago, I source my races from either CARA's or Chicago Athlete's website. Jump online to see which races are coming up. All you have to do is commit!
Traci D Mitchell is a Chicago-based health and fitness expert. She specializes in functional fitness and foods that are right for your body type. Traci has been featured on The TODAY Show, WGN, NBC5 and ABC talking about food and fitness. If you'd like to contact Traci, she can be reached at traci [at] tracidmitchell [dot] com.