#FitnessFriday: Tips on Staying Motivated and Consistent in the Gym

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/22/2013 | 09:45 AM EST

Drop the excuses and get to working out

Beginning a workout regimen is one thing, but staying consistent is another story. One of the hardest things to do when embarking a life of fitness is keeping it up.

For most, working out isn’t exactly second nature, therefore, one could come up with many excuses not to hit the gym; like being tired, having too much work to do or even having responsibilities to tend to at home. However, if being healthy and staying fit is truly something you want, you have to be willing to make a commitment to working out as often you as you can. Nothing worth gaining doesn’t comes easy. For your benefit, here are some simple tips on how to stay motivated and consistent in the gym.

Set Realistic Goals - Sometimes when you set too lofty of a goal, you end up crashing and burning. In order to stay consistent you have to understand that getting the results you want takes time. Set realistic and attainable goals for you to execute, both long term and short term. Setting long term goals, however, reminds you that achieving your fitness goals is a process and requires daily commitment. Write down your goals, whether it be to lose a certain amount of weight or gain muscle mass in target areas. Writing things down can make your goals feel more real and allow you to take them more seriously.

Dress the Part - Looking the part may be just the secret ingredient to a consistent and committed gym routine. Get a fancy headband or buy yourself the top-of-the-line pair of running shoes that will give you a boost in excitement to workout. It’ll at least get you through the door.

Make it Pleasurable - One of the worst things you can do is make going to the gym feel like a chore. Find something that you enjoy, whether it be running on the treadmill or doing squats. When you incorporate things that you actually like, it takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed. You’ll also have something to look forward to.

Take Time Off - Everyone needs a break, even you. A great way to motivate you to going to the gym is actually taking a break every now and then - just don’t go too long. Choose a hump day like Wednesday to rest and take your mind off the gym, but be sure to go back the next day. One of the most common mistakes you can make is taking a break and never returning. The longer you go without going to the gym, the harder it is to return. Consider using your off day to do an alternative fitness like yoga.

Emulate  - When all else fails, torture yourself. Get a photo of someone who has the body you aspire to emulate. Whether it be Beyoncé or LL Cool J, or simply a picture of a friend from Facebook, keep a picture to remind yourself of the body you attain for. Looking at it daily will be a great way to motivate you to getting out that bed and into the gym.

Reward Yourself - There’s no better motivation than rewarding yourself. When you meet your fitness goals and have been consistent with your workout regimen, reward yourself with a new gym outfit or your favorite treat (reasonable of course).

(Photo: Radius Images / Getty Images)

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