Sports & Outdoors

Keeping motivated and staying strong

We have all been there: making a promise to yourself to eat healthier and get fit. For a while, whether it be a week or a month, you stand firm on your decision.  You go to the gym or go for a run and rather than eat your weight in French fries you substitute them with a side salad. Great right? But how long does it last?

When I stopped playing sports on a regular basis I set a goal for myself to stay active and maintain my level of fitness.  That lasted for about one month, then I started making excuses: “My knee is acting up,” “One day off won’t kill me,” and “I do not have time to drop what I am doing and go to the gym.”

Sad to say, my goal did not last long and I very quickly went into a state of rapid decline in terms of my fitness level.  Seven-minute mile? That’s a laugh. Pull-ups? Please don’t make me.

That was my mentality after I got out of shape.  However, that mentality changed when I came to college.  I was determined to get into shape and with some helpful tips and a positive attitude I was able to do so.

So, for all you out there wanting to get back to the gym but cannot find the motivation to do so here is some friendly advice.

Tip number one: work out in the morning.  Yes, it is early but it is a great way to start your day.  Also, by going in the morning you have the rest of the day to accomplish other tasks.  You no longer have the excuse of ‘there is not enough time.’

Tip number two: find a work out buddy.  They will keep you motivated and hold you to your promise to go to the gym.  You are more likely to get out of bed in the morning if you know that there is someone waiting for you at the gym.

Tip number three: lay out your workout attire where you can see them.  By doing so, you feel guilty every time you see them neatly folded knowing that you could be wearing them.

The final tip, and most important: stay positive.  If you go in with an  ‘I think I can’ attitude you are going to enjoy your workout and want to make a daily part of your routine and you will no longer look for excuses. Also, it is a great stress relief. You can just sweat away your worries rather than let them sit and weigh you down.

Seven-minute mile? Yes I can.  Pull-ups? Still not quite there but I am working on them and with each day I know that I will improve my strength as well as my fitness level.

It is hard starting out, but believe me, once you get started it will become the favorite part of your day.