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  1. There are many things that could cause your workout routine to lose it's excitement. Luckily, there are just as many ways bring your motivation levels back up! You shouldn't be avoiding the mere thought of breaking a sweat... but if you are: Here are some of the best ways that you can get yourself back in the groove! Switch It Up! If your current workout routine seems as though it's not working anymore, or you've lost the initial excitement of working out. You'll need to switch it up and find a new routine! Start by compiling a list of exercises or activities that you DO enjoy. Which muscle groups do they the focus on? Are you getting enough cardio with them? Be sure that you are targeting all of your muscle groups, and alternating between them each day that you workout. You'll want to give each group some time to rest while you work the other muscles. Find the Right Intensity You'll know you're over-training if you start feeling tired all of the time, are having trouble sleeping, or feel sore most of the week. If that happens, you'll want to reduce the intensity of your routines. At some point, when you have gained strength and endurance, you may find your current workout routine is too easy (sometimes this will show itself as boredom). You're body is ready for more, and you should intensify your workout routine. Add Variety There are many ways to add variety to your workouts. Try a unique exercise that you've never tried before, get a new piece of equipment or workout dvds. Maybe there's a hiking trail nearby that you've never been down. Go and check it out! Always try to keep yourself 'in the game' with workout routines that you can tolerate. Find Support Moral support can be just the ticket you need to keep on keeping on with your workout routine. Find a family member or friend to workout with you. Join an online support group, like our Boot Camp Buddies, that you can check in with. Having others that are working out with you, makes you accountable for any missed workouts. Don't leave them hanging at the gym alone! If you find a good partner, they won't leave you hanging either.
  2. Boy oh boy, the excuses! You know what I mean - 'too tired', 'body aches', 'not enough time'. Sometimes we trick our mind and body into premeditated defeat by accepting these excuses ourselves. It really is, 'all in the head' most of the time - and easily overcome, some of the time. Here's some easy to follow advise to help you stop the excuses. First, Stop the Excuses C'mon, let's shoot shoot down each of those three right now! Let's see, if you're tired, and you start to workout - are you going to fall asleep on the floor doing a set of jumping jacks? No sir, exercise will actually boost your energy levels. You should probably avoid a heavy workout just before bedtime as you will find it harder to fall asleep. Secondly, 'body aches' - well, if your body is hurtin' then you should be workin'.. out. Sorry, that was a terrible attempt to add some humor to this article. It's true though - most cases of muscle and joint pain are caused by sedimentary and inactive lifestyles. The excuses about time are easily countered. Even if you worked out for 60 minutes, you'd still have 1,380 minutes left in the day to do as you please. Of course maybe being healthy just isn't your thing. Maybe you'd just rather be tired and grumpy all the time, have heart disease, get out of breath while you get the mail, and possibly even prematurely 'erhem', croak. Then, Start Working Out When is a good time for you? Might as well be right here, right now. Seriously. Go ahead - while your sitting in your chair, put your feet next to each other and squeeze your legs together at the knees tightly. Hold it for 10 seconds, remember to breath, and release. Did ya feel that? Yea, my adductors are weak too! Better not overexert yourself yet. Before starting a workout you need to know what your body can handle. People come from all walks of life, so I am not going to assume the physical condition of anyone reading this. You probably know best what your body feels like, and your physical limitations. Your doctor can give you additional insight when starting a workout regime, but probably won't be there to spot you. Once You've Started Following a few basic guidelines will help keep you on track. Take it Easy!. As a general and safe rule: If it hurts excruciatingly, don't do it. When you're just starting to workout, you don't want to incur physical injury by trying to jump into P90X, Tae Bo or some other intense workout regime. If you rush yourself to see immediate results, or try to shed pounds like a husky sheds hair in the summer. You're only going to get discouraged. If you're just getting started working out, plan on spending the first month only doing stretches and light exercises. Make Small Goals You know, ones that won't take 5 years to accomplish. Maybe to be able to touch your toes, or to do a set number of pushups. Eventually you can amp it up and try to walk a mile, two even. When you do, time how long it takes you and try to do it faster the next time. Keep giving yourself some drive by always try to 'one-up' your best time, or highest number of sets. You'll be surprised how accomplished you feel beating yourself. Small Changes to Daily Patterns Start with trying to fit workout activities into your normal preexisting routines. Maybe there's a TV show that you watch religiously M-F at 6PM. Start working out during the commercials. Is there anywhere you go a couple times a week or more that you could walk or bike to? Try it!. Once you've started to workout, you may not ever go back to 'just sitting around'. Why would you want to!? It feels so good being active and in shape. Consistency is key, and don't forget, to forget about the excuses.
  3. Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored with their routine. Waning motivation, cutting short and not having your old enthusiasm are signs of a stale exercise regimen. But that doesn't mean you can't re-energize your routine. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has worked out the following 10 tips for staying motivated to stay active. Vary your routine or change your scenery! A new variation on your favorite activity -- cardio kickboxing instead of Step aerobics; power yoga instead of working on machines -- may be enough to reinvigorate a stale routine. If you've always exercised indoors, move your workout outside for a welcome change of scenery. Try something entirely new! Make it something you never dreamed you'd do. If you've always stuck to solitary pursuits, sign up for a team sport. Or tackle something you've shied away from... maybe even rock climbing! Find a workout buddy! Exercise companions add a social element to any routine. Ask a friend to be your workout partner -- you won't skip a workout if someone is waiting for you. Set a new goal! Working out to stay in shape is fine, but setting a goal -- such as finishing a 10k race or completing a rough water swim -- will give your daily workouts more meaning. Treat yourself to a workout gadget or accessory! Heart-rate monitors, aquatic toys and other exercise gadgets can make your workouts more fun and challenging. Keep an exercise log to track your progress! Unsure if your making progress toward your goals? Then start a workout log. It allows you to keep track of your goals, monitor your progress and adjust your routines as necessary. Don't berate yourself if you miss a workout! Life is full of obstacles. Unexpected appointments, illness and setbacks are bound to happen sooner or later. Don't let a few missed workouts turn into a month of unfulfilled resolutions. Reward yourself! Reaching a fitness goal or milestone is a great excuse to treat yourself to something new. A massage, an evening out, or some other "indulgence" may be the key to staying motivated. Focus on how good exercise makes you look and feel! You know that incredibly satisfied and healthy feeling you get immediately after a workout? Remember it! And use it to motivate yourself the next time you're thinking about blowing off that next workout! If all else fails... Take a break from exercise! Sometimes a lack of motivation is your body's way of telling you to take a break. If anything hurts, or if your energy is running low, take a break for a few days before resuming your workouts. A little "R&R" may be just what your body needs to renew your motivation. Article prescribed by: The American Council on Exercise The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world.
  4. When shopping for health clubs it's important to look at a number of factors when choosing one that is right for you. Things to consider: Location For your fitness program to be a success, exercising has to be convenient or it won't become a realistic lifestyle change. The closer and easier it is to get to (and park your car), the better. Of course, you don't want to join a health club that doesn't suit you just because it's close to your home or office, but if you're joining a health club that isn't convenient to get to, you're a lot more likely to find an excuse to stop going. Try Before You Buy Sales staff are very good at selling the many benefits of their health club, but you need to spend some time trying the equipment and "feeling" the atmosphere. Ask for a day pass or trial membership--health clubs have nothing to loose and everything to gain by this. Be sure to try out the club at the time that you would normally workout--you'll get a better feel for how crowded it is. Notice if there is much of a wait for equipment, how helpful the staff is, and if the equipment is well maintained. You may even ask a few members what they like about the club. Make Sure They Have What You Want Make a list of the things that are important to you, such as personal training, childcare, aerobics classes, etc., and make sure the health club has what you need. If classes help to motivate you and the health club doesn't offer the classes you need, sticking with your exercise program won't be realistic. Try the class and make sure it is enjoyable, challenging and educational. Just the same, if you have children, make sure the health club has childcare or it will be tough to make it to the club. Member Profile Find out what the members are like; see if the atmosphere is comfortable. If you're a beginner, some clubs may be intimidating. Select a club where you feel comfortable and welcome. Staff Make sure there is always someone available to answer your questions, to show you a new exercise, or how to use a piece of equipment. Are they friendly, helpful and knowledgeable? Costs and Contracts Find out exactly what the membership fee includes; personal training, classes, pool, towel service, lockers, childcare, etc. Are there extra costs for additional services? This should play a big part in your decision to join a certain health club. Some health clubs have a one-time initiation fee and require purchasing a minimum of three months up front. Depending on your budget, you may want to find a club that allows you to go on a month-to-month basis. In addition, find out if the health club debits the funds directly out of your Visa or checking account. This can make it easier to pay membership fees but make sure that it's easy to cancel if you decide you don't like the club. Be sure you read the contract before you sign so you're not "locked" into paying even if you move out of town or change health clubs. Also, have a clear idea of what you can afford to pay and stick to your budget no matter what sales incentives are offered. And don't be afraid to bargain. If they're asking $49 a month and all you can afford is $39, offer $39 (if they've met previous criteria) and let them know you're prepared to join then and there. Need help choosing a health club that will best suit your needs? The health clubs in the Global Health & Fitness (GHF) directory offer outstanding services: a large selection of high-quality equipment, health and fitness knowledge, and other attractive amenities such as steam room/sauna, Jacuzzi, massage therapy, and more. However, health clubs vary greatly, not only in services and equipment available but also in pricing structure. Many join a health club with great intentions and then windup unhappy and dissatisfied. Starting a health and fitness program is hard enough--don't make it more difficult by joining a health club that doesn't meet your needs. Article prescribed by: Global Health and Fitness
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