By: Everyday Athlete, Katie Huntley
Training, working out and achieving fitness goals feels amazing: not only does it make you stronger physically, but it also releases endorphins, flushes toxins from your body and helps keep you healthy. But when life gets tough and my busy lifestyle gets in the way of my energy levels, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated. Below are some tips that I follow to keep myself motivated, moving and sweating, even when I don’t want to.
1. Listen to your body.
Whether we like to accept it or not, some days our bodies just need to rest. Really get in tune with your body to know if you need to rest. Adequate down time helps both to prevent injury and gives you time to rejuvenate and re-energize for next time. Sleep is crucial to our goals and lack of it raises cortisol levels and hampers proper recovery.
2. Mix it up on exceptionally tough days to suit how you feel.
It’s okay if you were supposed to run 16 miles, cycle through two cities or lift in the weight room. Sometimes, as athletes, we get stuck in a regimented rut and it causes boredom and a less-than-excited attitude. Challenge yourself by trying something new that day. Your mindset is most important and if you do something new and challenging, you could improve or even find something different that may be beneficial to your training.
3. Engage in something competitive.
Nothing gets me motivated like a little competition. Try subbing in on a softball league or jumping into a group class at the gym. I joined a local running group that’s not only free, but meets at a local track with bleachers and all. We race for fun, improve on our goals, plus I made some friends out of it, too!
4. Write down your goals and commit.
Have a few goals in mind whenever you start training for something. Have some small, achievable goals and also some bigger, more long-term goals. Jot them down in a notebook or keep them as a reminder on your phone. Seeing them over and over again will keep them top-of-mind and can give you a little extra boost even on tough days.
5. Eat clean.
Food is your fuel. Of course, I splurge a little more often than I’d like to admit, but eating healthful, nutrient-rich foods will give your body the power it needs to keep your energy levels up.
And last but very not least, my favorite secret…
Nothing can keep me from dancing a little bit in my seat when I hear my favorite song! When you’re feeling sluggish and tired, put on your favorite playlist or artist. It will have you feeling better in no time and ready to move. Associate some of your favorite songs with reaching goals by listening to them on days when your training is exceptional. When you hear it again, it will get you feeling motivated and ready to repeat that day.