Workout Wednesday: Staying motivated…

by Khushboo on November 6, 2013

Hello…or given that I’m writing this in the morning Good morning sounds more apt!  I recently came across this article on International Breakfasts & was amazed by the amount of variety across the world.  Some which especially stood out include:

  • Japan: Miso soup & rice (or rice porridge) with a side of cooked fish and some pickled vegetables…and of course green tea
  • Spain: Churros dipped in hot chocolate
  • Venezuela: Soft corn flatbread stuffed with meat, beans or cheese

As delicious as they sound, they don’t hold a candle to my not-so-new-yet-I-can’t-stop-eating favorite: Plain yogurt mixed with homemade applesauce, raw oats, peanut butter & almonds.  I tend to work out around noon, so this bowl fuels me perfectly without leaving me weighed down.

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Speaking of working out, I wanted to blog about something that I think we all struggle with every so often: Exercise Motivation.  I definitely consider myself a fitness enthusiast, yet staying in bed occasionally sounds so much more appealing than huffin’ & puffin’ about.  On days when I know my body needs some R & R, I’ll skip the workout.  Most of the time, however, it’s more a case of laziness…which means it’s time to put on my big girl panties and suck it up.  Some of my go-to tips to stay motivated & keep workouts regular include:

  • Make them non-negotiable: I schedule my workouts into my calendar the same way I do meetings & appointments.  As I would only cancel the latter if something pressing came along (injury included), I try to use the same approach with my workouts.  And I won’t lie, ticking it off post-workout feels pretty great too!
  • Rely on Social media: Publicly announcing my goals holds me accountable, and makes me more likely to see them through.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…whatever platform you use, make it count for your fitness levels too!

facebook workout

  •  Play the ’15 Minute Game’:  I tell myself that if I’m still not feeling the workout after 15 minutes, I can call it a day & go home.  That has probably happened all of 3 times.
  • Switch it up: Between creating a new playlist, changing up my workout, or altering my goals, adding in a little spice does wonders for revving up my workout excitement.
  • Revisit your favorite workout mantra: Mine is You’re only one workout away from a good mood.  The thought of endorphins works like a charm!

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  • Reward yourself, after a specific workout, after completing X amount of workouts or once you’ve achieved a certain goal. My friend and his girlfriend have a “Reward System” to keep each other motivated.  At the end of every quarter, whomever works out less has to buy the other person dinner of up to £100.
  •  Change your mindset: Exercise is not a punishment and I don’t have to workout. I get to workout and if anything, I am doing a service to myself and my body in more ways that I can imagine.

I know we all have a few tricks up our sleeves, so please do share some of yours.

How do you stay motivated for your workouts? 

What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucie@FitSwissChick November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I love that! I have a few tricks to keep me motivated and they work – I rarely skip a workout except my body really tells me to do so.
Since I workout first thing in the morning, it can be hard, I have to get up at 5am. But the thought of a day that started with a workout and where I don’t have to think about it anymore is so nice – especially when I can just go home after work to chill on the couch.
This morning I had an apple protein smoothie with oats in it – so good!

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm

That used to be one of my favorite things about morning workouts- once it’s done, I can soak up the endorphins all day long 😀

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Ksenija @ With An Open Mind November 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

That are some great recommendations! I love to do my workouts early morning. But some mornings it feels like the bed is the best place to be for the next hours. So I use a few tricks to get me out of bed: giving myself 15 more minutes to sleep, but after that I need to jump right out and get ready in a few minutes. Having my workout clothes either ready in the bag (gym) or by the side of my bed. A cup of coffee and a piece of toast with peanut butter before heading out for a run. Making a new workout playlist the day before, there is nothing more motivating than the right music.

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Laying out my clothes the night before is a biggie for me on the days I am planning a morning workout- that little step makes such a difference!

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Parita @ myinnershakti November 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Love the one about changing your mindset…so true. I think for me it’s about changing things up every week. I get bored doing the same thing (i.e. running, elliptical, etc.) so I make an effort to alternate workouts to keep things fresh. 🙂

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

New scenery helps too, especially when I’m running outdoors 🙂

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vuppala gopinath November 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Nice ideas u gave. I feel every day good after I do my walk and exercise in open calm mornings. I do it alone.

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Thanks Vuppala…sounds like you start your day on the right note 🙂

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Love these tips, Khushboo! Especially the one about switching up your mindset. Getting into the habit of sitting around for too long definitely makes you forget how good it feels to be active, and we often take for granted the fact that being healthy and capable enough to exercise is a luxury that some people don’t have 😕 You’re absolutely right that exercise should never been seen of as punishment, but as something that contributes to our happiness and well-being.

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

It’s a shame that the word “exercise” tends to give off a negative connotation- it is indeed a luxury 🙂

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Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com November 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Ooh – I love the sound of your yogurt/applesauce/PB bowl – churros and chocolate sound delightful, but if I ate that everyday, I don’t think I would be feeling so delightful after sometime! LURRRVE your workout mantra lady – my mood after a workout is ALWAYS my motivator – that’s why I try to sneak in a quickie workout in the morning so I can smile thru the day 🙂
I ate oats with honey, cinnamon, salt, almond milk, dark chocolate and PB 🙂 this has been my breakfast almost everyday for the past 2 weeks – I need to switch it up….but I seem to crave this every morn lately!

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Oooh your breakfast sounds fabulous- can I come over ;)!

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Lisa November 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Great tips! I love the one about changing your mindset. That works so well with staying motivated as well as so many other things, like being happy and positive in general. I truly believe our mind is a powerful powerful thing. And rewarding yourself never hurts either…especially when it includes Starbucks coffee after a workout;)

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Oh I totally agree- our attitude is such a determinant to our overall happiness 🙂

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Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health November 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm

i love the thought of endorphins as well and I always change up my routine to keep me motivated.

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Variety is the spice of life…err I mean workouts ;)!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Some great tips in here, lady! I definitely follow the one about making them non-negotiable. I treat my workouts like a meeting or appointment – I don’t miss them unless I absolutely have to. I love your point about changing your mindset as well; I don’t work out because I HAVE to, I workout out because I GET to.

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Thanks Sam…sounds like we are on the same wavelength 🙂

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Alexis @ Hummusapien November 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Social media is definitely a HUGE motivating factor for me. Nothin’ like perusing Instagram and finding a super fit chick to get my booty in the weight room!

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Khushboo November 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Hahah amen…instagram for the win 😉

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Neha Thadani November 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I love the feeling you get after you’ve gone through that satisfying workout! If you’re muscles are throbbing and you’re feeling the difference, you’ve done a good workout! Added to that, small but constant changes in oneself really keeps you motivated!

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

For sure- seeing myself progress is enough motivation to keep going :)!

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Meg November 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

These are great tips on staying motivated! I love to run outdoors but I try to go to the gym at least a couple of times a week just for variety. I just ordered the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred DVD. That will bring in more variety to my workout and I hope that I will not get bored.
I start my day with a cup of chai (with lots of ginger). My breakfast is similar to yours. I eat some cottage cheese with almonds, walnuts, blueberries and strawberries.

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

I’ve never tried the JM DVDs but I’ve only heard rave reviews about ’em :)!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl November 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I love the 15 minute game idea! That hardest part is always getting there…it’s never that bad once you start!

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

Agreed- the hardest step is the one out the door!

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven November 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Those breakfasts sound…interesting. Though I could get down with a churro and hocho!

hmmmm motivation. I have a problem with motivating my body to rest. But reminding myself of how much it SUCKS to be injured has been motivation to slow down. But I don’t seem to have a problem the other way around. Next time you’re feeling unmotivated to hit the gym email me and I’ll send you some 🙂

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

You better believe I will be taking you up on the offer for some email motivation 🙂

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) November 7, 2013 at 12:47 am

First of all – I have to say I’ve missed your posts and that I love your new site layout! (I’ve been away for far too long, I know).

Secondly – great post as always. Up until recently gym and workout motivation was non-existent in my life, but I finally stopped making excuses and joined back up again 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus. What motivates me is endorphins like you said, and just knowing the overall state of general well being working out puts me in. It feel more confident, self-assured and mentally/physically happy – it really does make everything better!

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

Great to see you ‘back’ Nada and thank you for the comment about my site layout :)! Your workout pics on Instagram always inspire me…especially as you are almost always done before I’ve started mine despite the time difference. Exercise is one of the most underused forms of medicine which is a shame because its effects are SO powerful!

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P November 7, 2013 at 2:18 am

I’ve got to be honest and say staying motivated to exercise is pretty tough, but nothing beats that refreshing feeling you get after running on a day when you “thought” you didn’t feel like going for a run at all!

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

That’s the best…and makes up for all the shitty runs :)!

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Nikhita November 7, 2013 at 4:03 am

Your breakfast sounds yummy! I just recently bought some almond butter and i add that to my overnight oats with raisins, SO GOOD.

Thankfully I love working out, so it’s not too hard to motivate myself – usually I finish it off in the morning, except on Thursdays when I work out after class all day, so I motivate myself by bringing my clothes with me, aka no excuses! Or laying them out the day before. If I don’t want to work out, I also try to vary my routine, weights instead of the planned cardio, or elliptical instead of treadmill always helps.

AND THE BEST WAY TO MOTIVATE – sign up for a class that will charge you if you don’t show – you always will 😉

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

SO jealous about your almond butter stash- wish they sold it in Bombay! Nothing like a financial motivator ;)!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld November 7, 2013 at 4:22 am

Great tips, Khushboo! I do the 15 minute rule too (sometimes 10…oops) but that has only happened a handful of times, thankfully.

So interesting about the breakfasts overseas- I can relate to the Japan one- my palates didn’t mind a very salty start each day!

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

Haha I can handle eggs in the morning but fish is being a bit too ambitious ;)!

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Gayatri November 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

Totally needed this Khusbhoo. I’ve lost my workout mojo and after that fall at the race last week all I wanna do is sit on the couch and eat brownies.

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Khushboo November 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

Waiiit a sec- what race did you run?? You are on such a roll!!

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Jan @ Sprouts n Squats November 8, 2013 at 5:08 am

I use the 15 minute game too and it is the best for getting me out there and making me do it. I always find after the 15 minutes I want to keep going, sometimes it is just the thought of working out but once you are there doing it, it really isn’t so bad.

That oats/apple sauce combo sounds delicious I may have to try it out for myself!

😀

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Khushboo November 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

It’s too delicious for words- please do try it!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

I tell myself that 2nd place isn’t doing the workout. I WILL do it. Hard work beat talent when talent doesn’t work. Boom!

Which leads me to my breakfast. Chicken and oatmeal. I could do without this competition requirement. Sigh.

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Khushboo November 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

LOVE that mindset- definitely going to remember that next time laziness kicks in! As for chicken & oatmeal for breakfast? Clearly breakfast of champions ;)!

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Meghan@Clean Eats Fast Feets November 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

I love exercise posts, especially because I’ve finally gotten back to the gym, and it feels wonderful.
I think mixing things up, whether it be exercise or good, is hugely important, although your yogurt bowl looks good enough to eat daily.
My breakfast this am was a #publicbanan eaten in the car followed by some unsalted peanuts.

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Khushboo November 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

Bananas & nuts…oooh too much TWSS restraint ;)!

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Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli November 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I’m with you on the whole social media accountability thing…or even just texting my friend with a picture of myself at the gym. Somehow letting someone (or everyone) know that I’m working out makes me feel more energized! I like what you said about giving yourself 15 minutes. I have maybe left the gym twice after not feeling a workout, but I have to admit I felt a tinge of guilt about it for a little while after. I don’t know, I guess I just feel like I’ve wasted my time going all the way there only to drive back home. But on the otherhand, if you’re not feeling a workout and only going through the motions, what’s the positive of that…it’s just reinforcing it as punishable behavior. Wow, thanks for the free therapy session, Khusboo! I never thought about that rationale until just now! Lol

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