With all the different types of exercise out there it can be difficult to pick one and stay with it. The last thing that you want to do is start something, not be able to stick with it and then find yourself back on the couch. Instead, I want you to ask yourself the same four questions that I ask myself before starting a new exercise routine. This will help ensure that you are still going strong this time next year!
Do I enjoy it?
This question may seem silly at first because, let’s be honest, exercise is hard! However, there is a big difference between finding exercise difficult and finding it absolutely miserable. Let me use myself as an example. I used to be a treadmill runner…or perhaps I should say I used to go through phases of being a treadmill runner! I would do it because it was convenient, I felt like it was good for me and I thought that I should. Each time I ran on the treadmill it was a huge mental battle and ultimately my excuses got the best of me and I would skip the workout. I REALLY despised it! So instead I started doing things that I actually enjoyed, such as hiking, practicing yoga and occasionally running outside. Yes, some days it is harder to get motivated than other days (I’ll talk about that next!), but it never feels like torture, and I always feel 100 percent better when I’m done!
Do I have a support system?
For those days when you are tired or just aren’t in the mood to exercise, it’s important to have a support system to help get you over the hump. This support system can take many forms. Perhaps it’s a good friend who will meet you at the gym or at Zumba class, a co-worker who wants to walk at lunch or maybe the trainer at a group class who will notice when you aren’t there. Regardless of what your support system looks like, it’s important that you find one because we all need a little help from time to time.
Do I have a backup plan?
Ideal plans are great…but then life has a way of getting in the way! For this reason, it’s really important to have a backup plan. It will keep you on track, feeling confident and proud that you are following through. Like your support system, this can take many forms. If you travel, your backup plan may be tennis shoes that you can use at the hotel gym or walking the terminal during your layover (here’s the catch – you can’t just pack them, you also have to use them!). If you are a busy mom or dad, your backup plan may be walking up and down the bleachers during your children’s soccer practice. Or if there is a huge rainstorm that keeps you inside, your backup plan may be a DVD that you pop in and use in the comfort of your own home. Again, what your backup plan looks like isn’t as important as you having one in place.
Am I fueling myself correctly?
Oftentimes the difference between feeling strong and excited during your workout and staring at the clock waiting for the pain to end is the way you are eating the rest of the day. That means if you are running on fast food (or worse, no food at all) you can expect to feel sluggish and frustrated. Instead, make sure to get a balanced snack in prior to your workout. It should have a good source of carbohydrates for short-term energy as well as some protein to get you through the end of your workout and help repair your muscles. Try my Salada Green Tea Metabolism Smoothie about 45 minutes before your next workout. It combines the invigorating Salada Green Tea Metabolism with fresh fruits, vegetables and protein to create your perfect pre-workout fuel!
And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.
Article first appeared on unbottleyourtea.com/tara.