How do I stay motivated to exercise? This is probably the question that is asked the most. And there are many suggestions that have been presented; keeping a journal, varying your routine, having a workout partner. But to be honest, not one of these things will prevent you from having days where you absolutely do not want to exercise. And probably more often than not, the days you don’t feel like exercising will outnumber the days you do. T
he truth of the matter is that the motivation to exercise comes from you. Ultimately it is you who decides whether you will or won’t exercise on any given day. There is not a general suggestion that miraculously inspires you to exercise every day that you should. It is a deliberate decision that you make. And many days you will probably find a list of reasons to justify not exercising.
Exercise does take time and energy. And for most of us, time and energy are precious and rare commodities. Each day, you have to find time to accomplish many important chores. And you may feel that exercise just isn’t important enough to fit in to your already busy schedule. But if you have set a definite goal for yourself, like weight loss, the only way to succeed is by making exercise a priority. After all, isn’t your goal as important as any other item on your to do list? And shouldn’t your health and happiness be a priority?
Do you know what the biggest mistake is that women make with their exercise program? It isn’t the number of exercises they include in the program or the amount of sets and repetitions completed. Believe it or not, it is the intensity level of the workout. Perhaps women are concerned about injury or just think it isn’t safe to ‘push it’. Whatever the reason, most women tend to work below their capability.
This mistake can prevent you from attaining your goals. Some people may exercise to maintain their current fitness level. But most people exercise to lose weight or to change their body shape. In order to accomplish that, you must work your body beyond normal physical activity levels. If you are exercising at a ‘comfortable’ pace, then you may not be working hard enough to realize your goals.
Everyone has heard the expression “No pain, no gain.” In this case, it’s true. This doesn’t mean you are supposed to injure yourself. But the exercises you perform should be difficult to execute. They should require immense effort. Otherwise, the time you are dedicating to exercise is wasted.
If you are uncertain if the intensity level you are working at is sufficient, test yourself. Increase the time or speed on your cardio exercise. Increase the amount of weight you utilize when executing your toning exercises. Increase the number of crunches or other abdominal exercises you perform in a set. Even if you cannot sustain the intensity level for a time equivalent to your current program, the increase will benefit you substantially more than maintaining your current level of intensity.
As you are probably more than slightly aware, Christmas is coming. And inevitably, you may come across one or more individuals on your gift list that are difficult. Either they already have everything or perhaps they may just be selective. These are usually the perfect candidates for gift cards. But the gift cards seem very impersonal and unfortunately reveal the exact amount of money you spent.
So what other options do you have for these fastidious persons on your list? What about the gift of relaxation, or how about the gift of fitness, maybe even a second chance at a healthy quality of life? Interested? Here is a list of unique gift ideas that could ease your holiday shopping.
· Give a gift certificate for a massage. Many health and fitness clubs offer them at reasonable prices. Some spas offer massage services too.
· Purchase sessions with a personal trainer. You can choose the number of sessions you wish to gift. Every session is a learning experience and will provide anyone, from beginner to advanced, with new insight into their fitness program. The YMCA offers training sessions.
· Purchase a session of acupuncture. Maybe someone you know has been dying to try it but is a little uncertain.
· Put together a kit to help someone you love quit smoking. Purchase the patch or the gum. Print off some useful tips online. Or purchase a session with an expert.
· Buy ice skating lessons for someone who always wanted to try it.
· A one month membership to an indoor pool could provide someone with an alternative exercise.
You already know that you must develop an effective cardiovascular exercise program to cut the subcutaneous fat in your abdominal region if you want to display your abdominal muscles. And at this point, you have already implemented that plan. (If you haven’t, you can begin at any time.) Now you need an intense abdominal exercise program to build up you abdominal muscles. You can’t show off muscles you don’t have, right?
1. Begin with decline bench sit ups. Perform three sets of 20 reps. Do not rush through the sit ups. Perform them slow and pay attention to your form!
2. Next you will move on to leg raises on a decline bench. Perform three sets of 20 reps again. If you cannot complete the full 20 reps, try doing 10 or 15 reps. But remember, you want to challenge your abdominal muscles. So perform as many as you are able without sacrificing form.
3. Now, perform crunches lying on the floor holding a ten pound medicine ball between your feet. Your legs should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Perform two sets of twenty.
4. The next exercise should be done on the floor also. Sitting on the floor, lean back until your torso is at a 45 degree angle. Hold a 10lb weight in your hands. Twist your body all the way to the right while lowering the weight all the way to the floor on your right side. Repeat the movement on your left side. Perform this exercise for as many reps as you are able to accomplish in a two minute time frame.
5. And finally, finish with dumbbell side bends. Hold a 10lb weight in each hand. Lower the weight on your right side as far down towards the knee as you are able. Repeat the action on your left side. Perform as many of the side bends as you are able.
Do these abdominal exercises every other day. Your abdominal muscles will develop and become stronger. Soon you will be able to show off a well defined six pack!
Finding the motivation to exercise on a regular basis is difficult. It becomes even more difficult when you feel as though exercise will not give you the results you want. You exercise to lose weight and to enhance your body. If the effort you have to exert to exercise will not help you achieve your goal, your ambition plummets. And if you suffer from a poor body image or low self esteem, your motivation evaporates. So instead of exercising and striving to attain your objective, you give up.