The concept of New Year’s resolutions dates back to the Romans, who promised better behavior to the god Janus, a two-headed deity who looked both forward and backward and welcomed the new year. If we scroll through history, I’m sure we’d find some pretty ridiculous resolutions, and we’d also probably see weight loss and exercise somewhere near the top. As you and the Romans probably discovered, keeping resolutions (and losing weight) is hard, especially if you don’t have a plan, and you don’t stick to it. This is exactly the reason we came up with the series of blog posts, the 5 Necessary Steps to Weight Loss Success – if you want to lose weight, you have to take the necessary steps in order to reach your goal!
If you are a frequent gym member, you can probably relate to this scenario: Right after January 1st, the gym is packed with all these new and unfamiliar faces. You’re probably frustrated because the treadmills are full, the bikes are full, every weight machine is being used, and the gym stinks to high heaven. But as the weeks go by, you see those faces disappear, the smell becomes less, and at some point, the gym goes back to its “normal levels.” Why is that? Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, most people started their New Year’s resolutions, and for most, they didn’t stay motivated, didn’t stick to a plan, didn’t lose weight, and thus, they quit going to the gym.
Every year, the same statistics show that less than 50% of Americans stick to their New Year’s resolutions, and only 8% actually succeed! If you can relate, our series of blog posts might be the key to your success. If you’re keeping up with our series, you’ll know that successful weight loss starts with stress management, support, and diet/nutrition. After nutrition, the next step is what most of us dread: exercising. Like I mentioned before, losing weight is a process, which needs steps and usually requires a plan. Simply dieting or simply exercising usually won’t help you reach your goals–it takes a combination of things, and motivation!
Staying Motivated When Exercising
As most of us can relate, when we try to start exercising, we think of all the excuses for not doing it; getting fit starts to seem overwhelming and that makes it feel stressful–before long, we don’t want to do it anymore. We can easily avoid these temptations by staying motivated and taking some time out of our busy schedules to hit up the gym.
So, how can you stay motivated? Here are some suggestions:
- Set Realistic Goals-First-time or new exercisers often set unrealistic goals that are way too difficult and unreasonable. People who set unrealistic and maximal goals, tend to get overwhelmed very quickly. If you’re new to the gym and the exercising ritual, start off small; try exercising 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week.
- Try Workout Supplements– Taking pre-workout supplements, energy boosters, and some super-food powders help you stay motivated, increase your energy, and elevate fat-burning. Appropriate supplements and protein levels after a workout will reduce the painful burn you experience the next day. It can be challenging to stay motivated, especially when you’re really hurting from an intense workout. If you want to help boost your weight loss and feel less burn, try post-workout supplements, protein powders, or protein bars.
- Keep Track of Your Progress- Seeing incremental improvements–increased reps, increased time, or greater frequency of workouts–will definitely improve your motivation to work out. You can easily keep track of your workouts in an excel document, in a journal, through a smart phone app, or on an online workout website. If you’re counting your calories– you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn — and the bigger your calorie deficit!
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others- Every gym probably has those people who strut around, showing off their bodies–words of advice: forget about em’. Don’t let anyone else sway you from your goal.
- Do Something You Enjoy- You don’t have to go to the gym to get a good workout. You’re probably surrounded by opportunities to get more active–find the ones that get you excited about exercising–you’re more likely to keep on doing them if you’re having fun. Try walking the dog(s), shooting hoops with the kids, taking a bike ride with your spouse, or playing hide and seek with the kids.
- Get Support- Mary’s post on Shredding the Pounds with Social Media definitely shows how support can help you remain motivated and keep you on track. If you’re having the same problem with exercising, try working out with a friend, spouse, or another family member. Working out with others definitely keeps you on track and keeps you motivated. If you can’t workout with a friend, look into a trainer (or a walrus).
- Make Exercising Convenient- We all have busy schedules, and if it’s too busy, exercising is usually put on the back burner. If you can’t make it to the gym, try working out at home or going for a jog. If you can find more convenient ways to exercise for 20-30 minutes, do it–at least you’ll be exercising and it’ll keep you motivated!
- Reward Yourself- Instead of turning to food as an impulse or reward, try rewarding yourself in a more healthy and positive manner after you exercise. After you exercise, take time to sit down and relax; read a book or watch a good movie; reflect on what you accomplished. If a monetary value does more for you, buy yourself some new workout clothes or shoes, or a night at the spa!
- And Remember to Stay Positive! Be determined. Have willpower. Make it fun!
Some Final Thoughts on Exercising
Along with a healthy and proper diet, your body burns fat or carbs depending on the intensity of the workout. If you’re new to the whole exercising routine, start off slow. Continually challenging yourself and working your way up to higher intensity and/or higher frequency workouts will definitely help you burn more calories, and make it easier for you. To kick up your program, try interval training; intense workouts burn more calories minute-for-minute than sticking with a slow and steady pace does. If you like working out on a treadmill or elliptical machine, try speeding up the your pace every few minutes or during commercials. If you’re a jogger, try incorporating sprints into your routine.
And If you’re looking for some simple exercises to rev up your fat-burning, here are some good links:
- Burn Fat Fast (Men’s Health Magazine)
- The Simple, No Equipment Workout You Can Do at Home (Oprah.com)
- No Equipment Required Workout (Women’s Health Magazine)
Check Out Our New Year’s Pin-Solution Challenge!
Reading our blog series will definitely help you move closer to your weight loss goals, but we want to help more! Help support your New Year’s resolution by taking part in our New Year’s Pin-Solution Challenge! Fill out the form and pin your favorite Pin-Solution pics for a chance to win a $100 Natural Healthy Concepts shopping spree, as well as a $25 gift certificate for this week. Check out our Pinterest page or visit our blog for complete details. Entry to Week 4 ends Wednesday February 6 at midnight. Make sure to check out some the exercising pins from week 4 of our challenge below!