This blog post was sponsored by Blue Goji but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. #GetUpAndGojiPlay
Your friend just posted pictures of herself completing yet another marathon and you can’t help but thinking she’s nuts.
Why in the world would anyone want to spend more than four consecutive hours running?
There are lots of things I’d rather spend four hours doing in a day, and running is certainly not one of them.
Plus, there’s all the hours of running she did before the actual marathon! She’s gotta be nuts, or else she’s an alien, right?
Chances are she’s just one of those crazy people who actually enjoy running, enjoy working out, enjoy being at the gym for hours every week, enjoys taking supplements and eating healthy, and enjoys pushing themselves physically.
But, you are not like your 5-time marathon-running friend, are you?
Whenever you work out or exercise you always think about when you can make it stop and when you can treat yourself to something not-so healthy.
Yet, some part of you really does wants to work out, to lose weight, and to improve your health and fitness, which is why you decided to get up and get moving in the first place. But, overcoming those mental hurdles is tough. Often you are left wondering how to start working out and keep that momentum going, maybe not so you can also run marathons someday, but at least so you can reap the benefits that come from regular exercise.
If you need help on how to start working out and not hate doing so, the following tools can help!
How to Start Working Out and Not (Completely) Hate It
1. Get the Right Workout Clothes and Shoes
This is definitely the easiest tool on the list, and maybe the most fun for those who like to shop.
If you want to exercise, you have to be comfortable doing so. You don’t want to experience chaffing anywhere, boobs jostling around everywhere, or knees getting injured because you’re wearing a pair of running shoes you found in the back of your closet that are from high school.
Hit up a store like Academy, Dick’s, Nike, Sports Authority, Finish Line, or hit up an online site like Amazon for running shoes and athletic apparel and shop for high quality pants, breathable tops, supportive sports bras, and the right running shoe for you.
If you don’t know what type of running shoe is good for you, I highly suggest visiting a running shoe store and doing an in-store fitting. Most (if not all) offer it for free. I did it before I bought my last pair of running shoes (which were Saucony‘s) and am glad I did.
If you really love exercise clothes, check out Fabletics which sends you personalized outfits each month hand-selected just for you and your workouts. Right now you can get 50% off your first look.
If you are pregnant, check out Mumberry maternity exercise clothes.
2. Get Something to Take Your Mind Off Your Body
It is very common to see people working out at the gym with headphones in. You know why? Because it distracts them from themselves and all those nasty thoughts about how much they hate what they are doing, and wanting it to stop.
Goji Play 2.0
I recently started using the Goji Play 2.0 while doing my cardio exercise because it makes my 30 minute workout feel like 5!
The Goji Play is a super fun innovative way to motivate yourself (and distract yourself). It fuses exercise with video games and transforms your cardio machines into fun game-playing equipment fit for all fitness levels. Even though I’m not much of a gamer, several games are addicting to play while working out and help the time pass quickly.
Yesterday I went to the gym and didn’t use it and my 20 minutes on the elliptical felt like 40! UGH. Listening to music and staring at the dumb TV shows my gym plays were not doing it for me. I was pretty much only thinking about when I would be done.
The Goji Play totally works for me for this reason. Big time. I recommend it, especially because right now you can get $10 off and Free Shipping on any Goji Play 2.0 with code KATELYNF10. You can read more about my experiences using it here.
Music is helpful for many people, especially if you rock out to your favorite tunes, which are upbeat and happy (speaking from experience, those are the only ones that really help me when I’m trying to workout. Slow ballads kinda suck when working out). Come up with a hot playlist for yourself, fine tune a Pandora Playlist, or check out the songs on these lists:
- 50 Workout Songs to Keep You Going
- PopSugar’s Workout Music Lists (for all different workouts and music genres)
- SparkPeople’s Top 100 Running Songs of All Time
The nice thing about music is that you can listen to them during your entire workout, not just on the cardio machines.
Movies and Shows
Some gyms have things called Cardio Cinemas and they really are awesome! You watch a video on a big screen, in a darkened room, as you workout on a cardio machine. It’s way better than just watching a show on one of a gym’s TV’s because there aren’t any commercials. Commercials kill your exercise mojo. And sometimes of day (like early morning) the TV shows are not very enthralling.
If, however, you do not go to a gym with a Cardio Cinema, you can stream a video on your phone or tablet via a subscription to Netflix (One Month Free Trial), Hulu+ (One Week Free Trial), Amazon Prime Video (30-Day Free Trial), iTunes, or our recent favorite VidAngel.
VidAngel let’s you stream digital movies with filters and for only $1. You buy the digital version of a movie (and they have a great selection, several that Netflix doesn’t including new releases), stream it through their filtering system, and then sell it back when you’re done watching and you’ll only be out $1 for SD or $2 for HD.
You can see our full review of it here but my husband has loved watching a movie from VidAngel at the gym (sometimes finishing the movie we started watching the night before that he fell asleep during).
3. Get Competetive – Start Tracking
It’s amazing what a little competition can do to get your pushing through all that negative self-talk about exercising. When you challenge yourself or have something you are working toward, especially against other people, it can really help you keep moving.
There are some very popular fitness trackers out there like a FitBit, Jawbone, Garmin, Nike Fuelband, and Mio. I bet you have several friends that own at least one of those brands of trackers. If you get a similar one, you can become friends and challenge each other to get so many steps, or burn so many calories, or whatever. You can also motivate yourself to hit a certain number of steps everyday.
If you want to save on a fitness tracker, Groupon has some great deals on them (sometimes new, sometimes refurbished).
4. Get a Buddy
Having someone join you on walks, going to the gym, taking an exercise class, spotting you on weights, or even to check-in with on your goals is a pretty incredible tool. Sharing your journey with someone, having someone to talk to while getting some exercise in, and getting some encouragement when you want to quit, is priceless.
A great buddy is God. Don’t underestimate the power of praying for strength, for a changed attitude, for positive thoughts, for motivation! We’ve been promised that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
5. Make it Less Formal
If you really hate cardio machines and weights, then don’t do them. Do something less formal like joining an exercise class or a sports team, going swimming, taking a dance class, or setting up a regular outing with friends to go hiking.
If you want to start working out sometimes it’s a matter of working out in the way that is less formal, yet still gets your heart rate up and burns some calories. No one said you have to run in order to get a workout in.
6. Get the Right Fuel
If you want to start working out, you have to be smart about fueling your body properly. I learned this the hard way one day when I got super lightheaded and weak at the gym one day. I hadn’t eaten a great breakfast before going to the gym, and it affected my ability to actually work out!
Check out this list of suggested food and drinks to take before and after exercising so that your body is properly fueled and hydrated. It will help you move for longer and recover faster.
These six tools will allow you to know how to start working out without hating it. You may never understand your marathoner friend, never get those crazy phantom (unicorn?) runner highs, and still may want to eat that piece of cake after working out, but hey, at least you will work out and do something good for yourself, and hopefully more regularly because it won’t be so bad anymore.
Need more FITspiration? Follow my Exercise board on Pinterest and check these out: