We all know that exercise is the number one thing to help us stay healthy – not to mention improve sleep, sex life and overall mood. But most of us are too busy with family and work to get to the gym on a regular basis. Have no fear. There are ways to help you get the motivation and exercise you need even when your body is telling you to crawl into bed or lounge on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Below are some tips from Prevention.com to help you get in the mood to work that body when it's the last thing you feel like doing.
Try to find time to take a class such as Zumba, Pilates or Yoga. You can do this at the gym or in the comfort of your own home with DVD's that will allow you to do it whenever you have the time. The beauty of these classes is that once you are done you are done. You do it, sweat and then voila, done.
If you set up a time to workout with a friend you are less likely to back out. Research shows that having a dedicated workout partner will mean you are more likely to stick with your exercise program. Whether it's a walk, run or exercise class, you are bound to feel guilt if you leave your friend waiting for you.
Make sure your diet includes 18 mg of iron every day since iron is essential to keeping energy levels high. Choose lean meats or legumes, leafy greens and whole grains to help you get energy levels up. And don't forget citrus fruit and other juice with vitamin C, which improves iron absorption from plant foods.
Dehydration can drag your energy down. Research shows that even when you drink eight glasses of water a day, 45 minutes of exercise can put you into a dehydrated state. To prevent exercise fatigue, take a sip of water every 15 to 20 minutes while you work out.
Try linking happiness to exercise. This simply means making your workout fun. Join a dance class, try inline skating or set up cool obstacle courses with a friend or your children. Instead of thinking of your workout as work, think of it as calories pleasantly sweating out of your body.
Don't give yourself a treat when you reach a big goal – like losing 20 pounds. Instead, set a goal to work out three times a week and when you achieve it, give yourself a reward. Instead of the reward being food, make it something fun like a day out at the spa or a date night with your spouse – an indulgence you wouldn't ordinarily give yourself.
If you have a dog you know it has to be walked a few times a day. Try turning these walks into small runs for you and your pooch to enjoy. Since you have to be out with the dog anyway you might as well turn it into some calorie-dropping fun for yourself. If you don't have a dog but you have a baby or toddler try taking him or her out with you instead. Invest in a jogging stroller or go for a bike ride. It will be a chance for you and your child to bond as well as a time to get in your workout.
One of the best forms of exercise is interval-style workouts such as a spinning class. This exercise will raise your metabolism both during and after the exercise. Thirty minutes on a treadmill will burn about six to eight calories per minute. A brief, 30 to 60-second burst of intense interval activity burns about 10 calories per minute and will stimulate your muscles to burn 20 to 30 per cent more calories within the same workout.
Who doesn't love music? Try digging out your iPod and your favourite tunes for your next workout. It will not only distract you from fatigue, it will encourage coordination and relax your muscles to encourage blood flow. If music isn't your thing, try a book on tape. If you can find something pleasurable to listen to it will help keep you motivated and will keep you wanting to get out and work your body.