I don’t know about you, but my family likes to EAT over the holidays. I’m talking about red wine, antipasti, lasagna, cannolis and much more for three days straight (yes, we even do something on the 26th). When January 1st hits, I am more than ready to tone down the heavy eating and enjoy some healthy food. That’s why I made the first week of the 30-Day Healthy Living Challenge all about cooking and provided you with over 50 healthy and easy breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner recipes.
But even though I definitely overindulged during the holidays, I consistently kept up my exercise routine. I ran 5 miles on Christmas morning and continued running, doing yoga and even went skiing the week between Christmas and New Years. Exercising doesn’t give you free license to eat whatever you want, but it sure does make you feel good. This week, I’m encouraging you to exercise in any capacity. Whether it’s taking a snowy walk, hitting an exercise class or practicing yoga, find an exercise routine that you enjoy and makes you feel good.
Having said that, I realize that it’s winter and it’s much more enticing to bundle up in a warm sweater and sweat than to put on your exercise gear and get in a workout. That’s why I’ve come up with 5 tips to keep you motivated for exercise this winter.
- Make a plan and set a goal. These two things go hand in hand. I can’t tell you the amount of times that someone tells me they have a goal, but they don’t have a plan to achieve that goal. For instance, let’s say your goal is to do 100 pushups but you can only do 5 right now. How are you going to get from 5 to 100? How many times a week will you practice your push-ups? Do you know the correct push-up form so that you avoid injury? Instead of focusing on the goal, focus on the plan to achieve your goal. Maybe you start with 5 push-ups per day and add 5 push-ups to the set each week until you reach 100. Be realistic and start small.
- Put on your workout clothes right away. If you workout after work like I do, change into your workout clothes before you leave work or as soon as you get home. Do NOT put on comfy clothes and expect to hit the gym an hour later. Or if you workout in the morning, put on your workout clothes as soon as you wake up. It’s a simple change, but I promise it works wonders.
- Indulge in an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Having a 1pm cup of coffee or tea gives provides an extra jolt for an afternoon workout. Caffeine has been shown to boost athletic performance (read: the truth about coffee and your health), so grab your coworkers and take an afternoon coffee break.
- Listen to something interesting while working out. With all the technology available now, you are no longer limited to listening to only music during your workout. Download your favorite podcast, an awesome audiobook or a new album, and don’t let yourself listen to it until you start exercising. You will look forward to exercise, instead of dreading it.
- Workout at home. Two days ago, we got about 3-5 inches of snow in NYC. I couldn’t run outside for fear of falling, and I didn’t want to go to the crowded gym, so I did an online yoga video. The web is full of free and paid workout-at-home videos. Here are a few of my favorites: