25 Genius Ways Fitness Trainers Stay Motivated to Exercise
Secrets to staying motivated
Take a new class
Mulgrew says group fitness is more than just a workout, but an opportunity to see what other instructors are doing and get new ideas. "We're still consumers of group fitness."
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Treat yourself every day
This smart eating strategy is the reason many authorities say trendy or restrictive diets simply don't work. You end up craving the self-banned food even more, increasing your odds of binge eating or falling off the wagon completely.
Pump up the jams
Music can be an incredibly powerful mood booster. In fact, research has shown that listening to happy or sad music can actually directly alter the way you perceive the worldpowerful stuff!
Los Angeles-based personal trainer Astrid Swan harnesses the power of music to get her ready to take on the world. "No matter what the situation isan early wake-up call, sprints on the treadmill, or just having a life moment, music brings me back to me," says Swan. Need a quick jolt? She says to turn up the dial "on the volume and on your workout." One song that always works for this fitness pro: "Stronger" by Britney Spears.
Give yourself a pep talk
For Swan it's simply "Let's go! I've got this." "If I'm going into a meeting, or totally dying during a workout session, I'll say it [to myself]," she says. "I say it to my clients, too! 'You've got this. You just have to believe'."
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Plan a post-workout meal
Connect with friends
Bulvanoksi says she enjoys staying connected to and touching base with her favorite clients. "I love inviting my friends to join me in class, too," she says. "The more people I have to look forward to see, the more I feel motivated to be at the top of my game."
Practice being mindful
"For many people in my class, the 45 minutes they spend with me is the only time during their day that they have to themselves," Iannone says. "I tell them to give that to themselves and focus on the task at hand. Where your mind goes, your energy goes with it."
Surround yourself with positive people
It's nice to surround yourself with friends who have similar interests, but Mulgrew says it's just as important to be with people who are doing things you want to be doing. If you see other people living healthfully, those actions could become habits for you, too. "If you have someone helping you to stay consistent, it's a game-changer," says Mulgrew.
Listen to your body
Other times though, your body might be warning you to stop. "There's nothing wrong with taking a break, and there's nothing less motivating than an injury," says Mulgrew. "If my body feels too fatigued or I feel discomfort in my muscles or joints, I back off. Staying safe and healthy allows for longevity, and that's really what it's all about."
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Get in those steps for the day
Studies have shown that exercising outdoors (or in this case, taking the scenic route to class) offers bonus benefits like improved mood and, weather permitting, an extra dose of vitamin D.
Think about what you can accomplish right now
During her high-intensity classes, Bulvanoski asks clients to set goals for themselves that they aim to complete during the hour-long class, and she sets one for herself, too. "Tangible things to achieve are always a stronger motivator to be at your best," she says.
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The mirror helps show Bulvanoski just how hard she's working. "Seeing my muscles work is a huge motivator," she says. "The more fun and fitted I can get my workout clothes, the more I can clearly see the goals I'm trying to achieveand look good [while] doing it!"
Drink more matcha
The spotlight on matcha has grown brighter recently, and for good reason. Because you are drinking the whole tea leaves (instead of only steeping them) matcha drinks are a more potent source of nutrients than traditional teas. Matcha is rich in antioxidants that may protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.
Scroll through your news feed
Remember the point is not to compare yourself to others (everyone's health journey and physique is different). Instead think about what or who inspires you to get moving and believe in yourself, and then follow instructors, trainers, or studios on social media for some fitspiration. It's not a bad idea to follow your favorite magazines either (cough, @healthmagazine).
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Think about how you'll feel after
Exercise has long been shown to have lasting mental health benefits well after you complete a workout. Activity (even just a walk around the block) is said to reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve self-esteem. Those awesome psychological effects should be motivation enough to get you up and out.
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It's this gratitude that keeps Iannone moving forward each day. "I think about people who can't move, and it puts everything in perspective for me."
Set the mood
Although the beat gets her moving in the morning, lyrics help maintain her drive. In one one of Iannone's favorite songs, "The Fire" by The Roots, she loves the lyrics "I am the definition of tragedy turned triumph," which she says remind her of overcoming adversity and not giving up.
Go shopping dress the part
More than just retail therapy, stepping into fun new workout wear could be just the boost of self-love you need in order to stick to a weight loss goal or rigorous training schedule. And new research suggests that dressing for an activity can actually boost your performance of a task. So hopefully if you dress like a tennis pro, you'll play like one, too.
Take a breather
Schedule rest days just as you would workouts to avoid overuse injuries and ample time for muscle repair. And remember, a good rest mentally and physically prepares you to bring your A game to the next workout.
Change your mind
The fitness philosophy by which she lives and teaches encompasses this theory: "Change your mindset to change your life!" you'll often hear her screaming to a packed spin studio. "You have to approach fitness and life from a strong, positive, persistent place. Be brave in all that you do."
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Swan says she eats every three hours, which means she prepares for her day and any possible delays the night before. She chops fresh fruit and veggies, and grabs to-go almond butter, Greek yogurt, and raw nuts to put in a cooler she takes in the car.
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Set attainable goals
The key thing for her to remember and what she tells clients is that consistency and longevity are more important than a looming right-now goal. "My goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, and to be an active human," she says. "Resting for a day or going for a walk, in the long run, doesn't matter. There's so much room for breaks."
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Grab a pen
You might know that food journaling, or recording your food intake throughout the day can help you lose weight. But did you know regularly jotting down your feelings could have positive effects on your mind as well? Journaling has been shown to help manage anxiety, reduce stress, and prioritize your feelings by acting as a healthy outlet to express emotions.
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Mix things up to avoid the same old routine or you'll quickly become bored and unmotivated. "If I start to get bored, I know something needs to be adjusted," says Iannone. "I take it back to the books, the images, and the music because that's what works best for me."
Do what you love
Think about some of your favorite hobbies or activities. Even if you don't turn that passion into a career like Iannone, it's important to maintain your connection to what makes the best healthy, happy version of you.