“The kids need help with homework. I got home from work late. There’s laundry to do and dinner to cook. I can workout tomorrow, right?”
It’s tough to stay motivated when you exercise at home, usually by yourself, and there are so many distractions screaming for your attention. When your workout space is always there it’s easy to put it off for another time. I know! It’s something I struggle with more often than I’d like to admit!
The trick to staying motivated is not to bully or con yourself into it. Get creative and find what truly motivates you.
6 tips to Maintain Your Home Fitness Motivation and Stay On Track
- Change things up. A workout routine doesn’t have to be “routine”. Doing the same thing every time you workout can burst your motivation bubble quickly. Not to mention, stall your fitness goals. Trade workout DVD’s with a friend or stream live classes. You can find hundreds of free workout videos on-line. Shuffle the order of your strength exercises or do a new one for each muscle group. Try some plyometrics or bodyweight exercises. Altering or completely changing your routine every 4-6 weeks can keep you looking forward to your workouts.
- In plain sight. Put your exercise equipment or workout clothes where you can see them and easily get to them. If you have to dig your dumbbells out from under your bed, how often will you really do it? Designate an out of the way (so you don’t trip over it) but easily visible spot to keep your workout gear. Set your workout clothes out the night before and they will serve as a reminder to get sweaty. And it’s one less thing to think about. The more automatic you can make your routine, the easier it will be to stick with it.
- Create a “Vision” or Goal board. It can be an “in your face” reminder of why you’re exercising. And having it out there for the world to see will motivate you to get off the couch. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as writing your goal on a sheet of paper and hanging it on the fridge. Pictures and motivational quotes help too. Your Vision Board should be a work in progress. Evolving and changing just like your fitness routine. Having clearly-stated and public goals can increase your fitness success.
- Create or join a challenge. Create informal challenges with friends and family. There’s nothing like a little smack talk from your big brother to keep you moving! Something like “Who Can Run the Most Miles in a Month” can be fun among friends. Be sure to create a fun reward for the winner. There are also many websites, like DailyBurn, that provide online “social” fitness where you can participate in challenges with others all over the world. You can join already existing challenges and make some new friends in the process or create a challenge of you own and invite people to join you.
- Register for a race. If running isn’t your thing, then this probably won’t work for you but there are lots of other fitness-type events that could peak your interest! Do an on-line search for fitness events in your area. Knowing you have a race in a month will motivate you to get on the treadmill or the neighborhood trail. Registering with a friend is even better because someone else will be counting on you to show up.
- Remember why you exercise in the first place. Exercise makes you feel good, reduces stress and disease risk, sets a good example for your kids and it keeps you active and healthy in order to keep up with life. After you finish a great workout, write down how you feel and add it to your Vision Board. When you’re feeling content to veg on the couch instead of workout, read that note. It will remind you what it feels like to get off the couch and kick butt.