Written by Janneke Sobeck, Director of Live Well Winona
Let me introduce you to my two year old Wheaten Terrier, Jamey. Jamey loves the outdoors, and loves running. When he was just a 7 pound puppy, people would jog by us as we walked on the bike path and Jamey would get excited and antsy, straining against the leash to run.
What is Jamey’s motivation to run? It’s the pure joy of the movement and the love of being outdoors. For us humans, though, sometimes the motivation to get moving isn’t so easy. We’re tired, or sore, or don’t have the time, or dozens of other reasons and excuses. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to getting motivated! When you find yourself in a workout slump, I challenge you to remember your big WHY. Why do you want to exercise? Maybe it’s because of a fitness level you’re striving for, a weight loss goal, a race you are training for, or for personal health reasons.
While the overarching WHY is important, some days it might not be enough to get you out the door and moving. So here are some other ways to get motivated:
- Follow a training plan or get a coach. When I am working toward something concrete and specific I find that my mentality switches from just “working out” to “training”, which makes it easier to get moving.
- Track your progress. Looking back at an exercise log or workout spreadsheet will remind you that you CAN do it and you are a STRONG and able person. So don’t let yourself slack today and be forced to leave that spot blank on your log.
- Make sure you earn your next recovery day! Work hard today so you can truly enjoy your rest day.
- Music helps immensely. I have a sweet playlist with some of my favorite songs that is reserved exclusively for running, which makes it a treat to work out and listen to. Word of caution – never run with headphones in isolated areas. Make sure you can always hear and be aware of your surroundings.
- Find yourself a partner-in-crime to help hold you accountable. This might be a running buddy, a group of people, a running club, or your furry friend like Jamey. The trick is to make sure it’s someone you actually look forward to spending time with 🙂
- Change your running route or your routine. Try cross-training to exercise different muscles, or explore a new trail or path. Make sure you always know where you are going – a good tool for this is Map My Ride.
- Smile when you run! This may sound odd, but it tells your brain that you are happy, which in turns makes your body feel good.
- Sometimes I just have to remind myself that I’m doing this for the FOOD! Now, don’t use this as an excuse to binge on CRAP. Running burns a lot of calories, so make sure you are replenishing with good nutrition and hydration. Treat your body right and it will respond the way you want it to.
Ready to run?! Lace up your sneakers and walk out the door.