It’s dreary and cold outside. We’ve spent the past month eating foods a little too rich and heavy, and chances are, its noon and we are still trying to recover from the cocktails we were loving last night. We hear all the time that changing up our workouts is fun and exhilarating and that is totally true when we are working out and feeling good about ourselves! It is when we feel “BLAH” that we all need an extra to push to get us up and moving and out of the holiday hibernation period that comes every November-December! We put together a list of 5 PROVEN ways to trick motivate yourself into working out! Whether you belong to a gym, have a neighborhood you enjoy walking or live in a cramped apartment, these things can get us all up and at ’em!

1. DOUBLE your rewards.

If you are like me, you give yourself a dangling carrot to run toward when you are working out. “If I stop at 2 miles, I don’t get anything, but if I make it 3 miles I am rewarding myself with a manicure!” This works, but this is definitely NOT new advice. Exercise scientists however, have come up with a new motivator. Double it. Research has shown that when a person couples two positive experiences together, the effort during the workout drastically increases. So go get a manicure but also go with a friend you have wanted to catch up with! It will make your workout feel more successful and you’ll relate more positive feelings with your hard work at the gym!

Urban Nirvana spa day

2. Drink a little COFFEE.

Now don’t run to Starbucks for a double mocha frapp. 3 ounces of black coffee can increase your workout effort by 32% according to research at the University of Buffalo. It’s all about the caffeine! Don’t like coffee? Green tea and caffeinated water will have the same effect.

motivate yourself with coffee

3. Create a workout MANTRA for yourself.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! Is there a quote or phrase that uplifts your spirits or gets you motivated? Write it down and put it somewhere you’ll see it and read it throughout the day. A quote that pumps me up is –  “The real workout starts when you want to stop!”

workout motivation

4. Concentrate on the NUMBERS.

Download a fitness app. Invest in a heart rate monitor. Pick up a pedometer. Whatever your workout of choice is, there is a numerical device out there that will track your progress. When you can physically see the work you are doing (versus simply feeling it) you will naturally have more motivation to keep going. SEEING the numbers is a form of instant gratification and since working out produces LONG TERM results, sometimes its hard to stay focused in the moment. Numbers help with that!

best fitness apps(Here are Active.com’s favorite fitness apps of 2013)

 

5. Stick to what you KNOW.

When you don’t feel like working out, commit yourself to an exercise you are already CONFIDENT doing. That way, when you are finished, you will feel GOOD about it! Changing up your workouts is a great thing to do but it’s not always good when you are just getting back into working out. If you enjoy running but aren’t so sure about lifting weights, hold off on the weights until you’re mentally ready to try something new. Instead, run a route you’ve run 100 times. Exercises you know by heart are the best ways to ease back into it.

running on the beach