If you want stick with your workout, experts suggest that you treat it like a non negotiable appointment. Great in theory, but some days that's just not enough. This is how I motivate when life (work, kids, 4 hours of sleep) threatens to derail my routine:
1) Make a Date
Set up a standing date with a friend whose fitness level matches yours - your mutual motivation lulls will cancel each other out. Research shows that having a dedicated workout partner makes you more likely to stick with an exercise program.
2) Have a Snack
When you run low on fuel, the extra energy demands of exercise lead your body to decide, "She's overdoing it - we need to conserve some fuel by slowing down her metabolism." That's the last thing you want, so have a protein-and-complex-carbohydrate snack, like such as a hard-boiled egg and a slice of whole wheat toast, 2 hours before you plan to work out.
3) Lace Up Your Sneakers
Think baby steps: If you truly don't feel like you can get out the door, just put on your workout clothes. If that feels good, slip on some sneakers. Even if you stay in the house, the clothes will increase your range of motion, so you'll probably put more energy into your chores.
4) Eat More Iron-Rich Foods
As a mineral that helps convert food to energy, iron is essential to keeping energy levels high. But dieting, avoiding meat, and having heavy menstrual periods can put you at risk for low iron. Iron supplements are sometimes risky, so make sure your diet includes 18 mg of iron every day - choose lean meats or legumes, leafy greens, and whole grains. Don't forget citrus fruit and other juice with vitamin C, which improves iron absorption from plant foods.
5) Fuel Up Early
Eating the bulk of your calories in the early part of the day will give you the energy you need to make it through daytime workouts. Many women on weight loss plans find it easier to eat less during the day and more at night - exactly the opposite plan for optimal energy and weight loss.
6) Borrow a Dog or a Toddler
Trust me on this: As the mother of twins, I know there's nothing like chasing after a toddler to keep you running without even realizing it. Ditto for a dog - just seek out an energetic puppy, or one big enough to require a bigger space than your living room for ample exercise.
7) Try Intervals
Interval-style exercise - (such as Spinning classes ), for example - raises your metabolism both during and after the exercise. Steady activity - say, 30 minutes on a treadmill - burns about 6 to 8 calories per minute. A brief, 30- to 60-second burst of intense interval activity burns about 10 calories per minute and stimulates your muscles to burn 20 to 30% more calories within the same workout.
8) Return to the 1950s
Open the garage door manually, switch the TV channels on the TV without the remote, and wash your car (and dishes) by hand. Hang your wash laundry outside instead of throwing it into the dryer. It's estimated that in the past 25 years, laborsaving devices have decreased the number of calories we burn by 800 per day - that's 1.5 pounds per week.
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