Well, one thing is for sure…you guys really like chatting all things fitness and food!! I was thrilled you liked my Five Elements to Fitness post earlier this month, but more than anything, I love the conversation it started. (Be sure to read the comments here for so much more insight and helpful tips!)
Taking care of ourselves and our bodies is obviously a goal for many of us, and I’m so excited to dig a little deeper in to these topics. Some of the most asked questions were in regards to working out…how do I stay motivated, how often do I work out, do I work out while fasting? All great questions!!
Today let’s chat about motivation…
I think the biggest thing with staying motivated is to determine your ‘why.’ Why do you want to work out? Is it to lose weight? Tone muscle? Relieve stress? Gain confidence? Regardless of what it is, it has to be for you.
Then, find your meaning. Aside from stronger arms and smaller pant size, regular exercise leads to more energy, better body confidence, and improved overall health. When you associate positive impact with exercise, it takes the dread out of it, and becomes something you want to do for yourself.
Then determine (honestly!) the kind of exerciser you are. Are you self-motivated or do you need accountably? Will you push yourself to keep going or do you back off when it gets hard? Do you like to workout alone or with others? At home or away from the house? Finding a workout you can stick to is the best kind!
I always worked out to keep my weight in check, but the older I get, it becomes more about my mental and physical health. I’d much rather feel strong and emotionally balanced than strive for ‘skinny.’
My meaning for exercise has changed, too. We lost my dad a year ago, and watching his body fail him changed my perspective of my own body so much. He would have given anything to be able to hike, run, ski, swim…anything! I realized then that I had a strong, capable body and didn’t want to take that for granted.
Once my perspective changed, I was able to appreciate my body for all it’s given me, and does for me everyday. The human body is an awe-inspiring machine, and I’m always amazed by how much it can do. I’m learning that my mind gives up way before my body.
10 Workout Tips for Staying Motivated
So motivation for me has a lot to do with changing my mindset! But here are a few more tangible ways I stay motivated to workout, and give each workout my best.
- Put it to Paper | Schedule your workouts for a week at a time. Every Sunday, Mr. SP and I sit down with out calendars and book our classes
- Find Accountability | Whether that means signing up for a class you can’t cancel, or setting a time with a friend, make it harder for yourself to back out.
- Never Miss a Monday | Studies show exercising on Mondays sets a more positive tone for the week, and making better food and fitness choices.
- Find a Friend | Working out with a friend or spouse makes exercise more fun!
- Make Workouts Mindful | As much as exercise feels physical, much of it is actually mental. Visualizing the body you want is powerful when working out. When I feel like stopping, I picture how I want my body to look, and it’s power to keep going. I literally visualize the individual muscles growing longer and stronger. Cheesy? Yes! Does it work? Absolutely!
- Drop the Shame | Food and fitness aren’t all or nothing. Every workout and healthy meal choice is a victory, so don’t be derailed by negative self-talk. That donut is worth every delicious bite, so enjoy it! But balance it with a walk around the block.
- Practice Self Care | Give yourself permission to take days off and rest. Exercise should feel good!
- Focus on Non-Scale Victories | Notice the new definition of your bicep, the looser waistband of your favorite jeans, and decreased stress. Focus on those to appreciate how far you’ve come.
- Set Attainable Goals | Jumping into an intense routine or workout can be intimidating or lead to disappointment. I think of exercise in 1-minute increments. I may not be able to run 5 miles, or even a mile, but I can run for 30-seconds or 1-minute. Those 1-minutes add up and every single exercise is a victory!
- Appreciate Your Body | Our bodies are like snowflakes…no two are alike. Avoid comparing your body to others and look for what’s great about your own shape. That list will grow the more you focus on making healthier choices for yourself!
Designed specifically for running, these Fast and Free cropped leggings are made with Nulux fabric, that’s quick-drying, sweat-wicking, and offers comfortable coverage and compression. I prefer leggings over shorts, and almost-always choose a cropped style. I love that these aren’t tight around the calf, and move with me as I run.
The tank is crazy soft and lightweight, and made with a genius anti-stink fabric! #forreal! My sports bra is specific support for A-C cups, and moves comfortably with me for everything from sprints to yoga.
Fit Tip: Sizing is similar to clothes, so I’m wearing a 2 in the leggings. I always size up one in workout tops, I’m wearing a 4 in the tank and sports bra.
I love how smart and intuitive Lululemon’s pieces are, too. Storage systems, drawcords, ventilation and reflectivity are built in to every piece. The clothes are streamlined and close to the body, reducing the amount of fabric that can become a distraction (or discomfort!) while running.
Sugarplum Fit Tip: A good way to ensure the right size leggings…there should be no gathering or wrinkles in the crotch when walking/running. You want a smooth, even fit to prevent chafing or rubbing. Which likely means you need to size smaller than you think!
I always pull my hair back, and these scrunchies are great for not leaving a crease. The hat is lightweight, dries quickly, and perfect for shielding your eyes and face on an outdoor run. It also wicks the sweat away from your head, making it easier to revive your hair after a workout!
On days we don’t do classes, Mr. Sugarplum and I try to get out for a quick jog, or at least a walk with the dogs. We’re fortunate to live on a greenbelt, so we have lots of wide open space to escape. We’re also pretty competitive, so we push each other to work a little harder.
The Strava app is a great way to track your runs and connect with a community of runners, too. You can even find local routes to explore!
He loves the soft, lightweight material of lululemon’s running shirts and shorts. This jacket is perfect for a light layer, or throwing on after workouts.
Exercise is not a punishment (even though it feels like it sometimes!), but a privilege we have because of capable, healthy bodies. Changing your mindset and listening to your body can make all the difference in the world to your perspective and motivation.
What motivates you to workout? What’s your meaning behind it? Is lululemon part of your workout wardrobe? If so, which pieces are your faves?
*Photos by the darling and patient Audrie Dollins. This post is created in collaboration with lululemon and ShopStyle, but all product selects, and passion for body confidence is my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*