With the first month of 2016 coming to an end, I thought I’d share some of my favourite tips for staying motivated for fitness. It can be easy to fall off the fitness bandwagon and I always find it’s tough staying on track during these darker, colder winter months. I’ll be honest, this past week I’ve been seriously lacking fitness motivation. Don’t be hard on yourself though, it’s okay to have time off. Sometimes, that little break can give you the energy needed to jump back onto the health and fitness bandwagon. It can take time and lot of trial-and-error to find what works for you, but stick with it and I’m sure you’ll get there. Here are the ways I motivate myself to work out on the days where I’m lacking ‘oomph‘.
Pretty new gym clothes – This probably sounds both materialistic and shallow but whatever. If I’m wearing something that looks good then I’m going to feel good about myself. I’m a sucker for buying pretty sportswear and trainers. Seriously, I own way more trainers than high heels. Buying new sportswear immediately makes me want to hit up the gym so I can show off my new gym clothes. Usually I’m a Nike girl but that can be an expensive habit, so it’s often reserved for when I’m having a serious “Treat yo’self” moment. You can find super cute workout gear on the cheap and cheerful these days. When Boohoo sent me this galaxy panel crop top and leggings it was the intergalactic kick up the booty that I needed to hit the gym. I was so impressed with the quality of it and not to mention the galaxy pattern which had me feeling so bad-ass.You can find even more amazing and affordable gymwear in the BoohooFIT range. I seriously recommend you check it out if you’re looking for some fun gywear that won’t break the bank. As well as having a new gym kit to show off, it’s really helpful to prep your gym bag the night before you work out. That way, you’re ready to dash out the door and go to the gym with no excuses.
Take progress pictures – Seriously, get off the scales and in front of the mirror. Your reflection will tell you a lot more about your fitness journey than the scales will. Of course, keeping an eye on the number of the scale will be helpful. But don’t let it define you. Taking progress pictures can help you keep track of how you’re doing and will motivate you to stay on track. I try to take progress pictures once a week. I take full-length front, side and back shots. I take these pictures standing in front of the same mirror, at the same time of day, wearing similar underwear. By comparing your weekly photographs, you’re able to get a better idea of your current progress on your fitness journey. As well as taking my own progress pictures, I love trawling through the #bbgcommunity hashtag on Instagram. It’s so inspiring to see other women on their fitness path, especially because they all empower one another. Remember though, constantly comparing yourself to others can sometimes be detrimental- work hard on you and be proud of your own results, no matter what stage of your fitness journey you’re in.
Home workouts – Whilst I would love to be in the gym every day, it isn’t always an option. Especially on those colder mornings when all you want to do is burrow deeper into your duvet. For the days when the gym is out of the question, I turn to home workouts. Apps like Popsugar Active and Nike Training Club are great for home workout ideas and motivating you to get that heart rate racing. These apps include workout plans that you can do at home that range from being 5 – 45 minutes long. Basically with so many workouts at your disposal, there’s no excuse not to get hot and sweaty. There are so many exercises that you can try at home including squats, planks, burpees, push-ups, dips, mountain climbers and lunges…just to name a few! You can also up the intensity of add variety by using free weights or resistance bands. I have a pull-up bar that fits in my doorway, which is perfect for squeezing in a few extra exercises each night.
Find your gym soundtrack – Create a playlist full of your favourite songs to get you moving in the gym. I’m not going to tell you what to listen to, what works for one person may not work for the other. Plus, my gym soundtrack is constantly changing. One week it could be Bon Iver and the next it’ll be Neck Deep or Kanye West. I’m not even joking at how varied my gym music can be. From acoustic to pop punk to rap, they’re all on completely different ends of the spectrum. Right now, I’m powering my workouts with my ‘gangsta rap’ playlist for HIIT training and weights or chatty podcasts for my LISS training and cardio days. If you don’t fancy creating your own playlist, you can find tons of playlists on Spotify and it even has the ability to match the music to your running tempo, which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Eat good stuff – I don’t believe in diets. I simply believe in making smart food choices and being healthy. Just eat the right things and eat a sufficient amount of calories for your body and goals. It’s as simple as that. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great for helping you to figure out your daily macros and calorie allowance based on your weight, current fitness level and goals. Also, stop beating yourself up for eating that cake. I’m a girl who loves her cake and I’m a firm believer in treating yourself. You don’t have to eat clean every single day.You just have to find the right balance. Aim for 70/30 (that’s 70% healthy and 30% treat/unhealthy) and you’ll be on the right track. There’s also so many healthy alternatives available. I, for one, hate salad so trust me when I say eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring!
Make time – Finally, stop making excuses. Just stop. You do have enough time to exercise, even if it’s a 15 minute jog round the block or a 30 minute home workout. Heck, maybe it’s just doing some squats or walking lunges in the kitchen whilst you’re waiting for your food to cook. Or maybe it’s doing ab exercises whilst you watch Netflix, or calf raises as you brush your teeth. No matter how small it is, just do something. This past week I’ve felt too ill to get in the gym, which is immensely frustrating. So instead I’ve been doing 15-30 minute workouts before bed. After all, something is better than nothing and as they say the only workout you regret, is the one you never did.
I hope you find some inspiration for your own fitness journey in this post and I would love to hear your tips for staying motivated to work out!
N.B. The outfit featured in this post was gifted by Boohoo. However, all words and opinions remain that of my own. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email 🙂