Don't Wait 'Til January 1 - Get Healthy Now

December 8, 2016

 

“It sure has been a long week…” – Me, on Tuesday.

 

Is it just me or does the classic mid-week slump seem to come earlier in the week this time of year? I blame Daylight Savings Time and slow, diminishing minutes of sun every day.

 

I know I’m not alone; it’s typically hard to stay motivated this time of year – for everything, including workouts. But there’s no reason to let yourself slack, even with all the Friendsgivings, Christmas parties, and shopping distractions starting to hit. In fact, it’s even more crucial to make time for workouts to keep holiday stress under control.

 

More important than that is the impeding New Year’s Resolution madness is just six weeks away. Less than two months until the overcrowding of cardio machines, squat racks, and bikes in the cycling studio. You don’t really want to try to get things going again amidst all that shenanigans, do you?

 

If you’re like me and need a little added kick in the pants this time of year, I have five tips for making sure workouts don’t slide prior to the New Year’s rush – Daylight Savings Time and holidays be damned!

 

Get Fresh

Aside from fewer hours of daylight, workout boredom is a major threat to a workout routine this time of year. Fall race season is over and spring break is a long ways off, plus with the busy holiday season approaching, everything seems to make it easy to put workouts on autopilot or forgo them completely. Now is the perfect time to freshen things up.

 

Many of you know I’m in the midst of a four-week break from running. While Saturday mornings have been the toughest adjustment, I have to say, overall I’m actually enjoying the switch up to my routine. I’ve been lifting more often and with more variety, I’ve tried out new classes, like SpinSanity, and am starting to gain some grace and control on the Stairmaster – emphasis on “some.”

 

So set a new goal. Try a new class. Brave the 5 a.m. crowd vs. your usual 5 p.m. workout time. Just change it up.

 

Buddy Up

 

 

Speaking of SpinSanity class, I likely wouldn’t have tried it without my go-to workout pal, Heidi. And I sure as hell wouldn’t have popped out of bed at 4:50 like a pop-tart without the extra motivation of knowing she was waiting for me, counting on me to show up. We’ve already made a date for our next new class adventure.

 

The Workout Buddy System can’t be hyped enough as one of the best ways to stay motivated. And if you don’t have one at your gym, find one online. Seriously. You may not be able to gut through spin class together but can hold each other accountable to do what you said you would.

 

Schedule It

 

 

A dentist appointment. A meeting with your boss. Hump day happy hour. What do these all have in common? They’re scheduled engagements that you likely don’t decide to skip last-minute. Why should a workout be any different?

 

I’m a huge fan of scheduling workouts early in the week. This is good for accountability, plus it gives you a plan of action.

 

Eat Well

 

Yum, food. I love it. And this time of year there are a lot more opportunities for sweets, treats, and overindulgence in general. That’s why now it’s more important than ever to practice planned eating and moderation.

 

I admit, this one is toughest for me. But I know that when I eat like crap, I feel sluggish and am actually less motivated to work out – you’d think poor eating would make me feel motivated and energized to hit the gym but it’s not the case at all. Keep the focus on food is fuel, with the best stuff going in to produce best results in the gym. And, if you do overdo it, get over it and move on. No burpees required.

 

Mind Control

 

Not like, Jedi mind control here, I’m talking about simple mindfulness and mindset tactics.

 

Remember, just because it feels like 9:00 when you leave work at 5:15 p.m. doesn’t mean it actually is. I know it seems like the middle of the night when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. but it’s not. There are still 24 hours in every day and the same 24 hours exist whether it’s June or November. Use them the same as you would and remind yourself how much better your mood improves when you work out vs. slip into sweats and become the couch commando for an extra hour or two every night.

 

What tips do you have for staying motivated this time of year? Do you tend to ease up or try to work harder in prep for the New Years Resolution madness? Comment below or tweet me @runlikeagirl311

 

Lindsay Paulson is a blogger, runner, self proclaimed "Lifter of Heavy Things", and a wellness advocate. Can you tell she likes food? By day, she is a PR professional. Learn more about her on her site https://runlikeagirl311.wordpress.com or follow her Twitter account that she mentioned above!

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