Thursday, October 1, 2009

Get Fit: Exercise Tips To Keep You Motivated

Do you feel like you never have time to work out?

Do you really plan to go to the gym but your day is spent going from the office to home and perhaps taking care of your children, finishing up some work or having a glass of wine and reconnecting with friends, your husband or even yourself?

I get it.

This post will hopefully encourage you to get back into a fitness routine that is fun, empowering and most of all keep you motivated all winter long.

I ask you to think about your priorities and the benefits of working out. And I’m not just talking about going to the gym. I know it isn’t for everyone. But I’m also talking about finding a fitness activity that works for you, that you have fun doing and making it a part of your daily life. I’m talking about putting on a pair of sneakers and running to the reservoir and back, climbing three flights of stairs, practicing yoga, joining a friend for a walk in the city. There are so many resources out there that are good for you and can be a fun way to be with friends or maybe even meeting new ones.

Every decision we make is based on a choice, a pro and a con, and I ask you to identify what are the benefits to you for going to the gym and keeping a workout routine.

For me, working out is a great stress relief and the time I take to dedicate for just me. I know that I always feel so much better after I leave the gym then when I went in. All the stress and anxiety I carried around with me throughout the day (and that can be as damaging to my health as smoking a pack of cigarettes) is gone. There are also other benefits we all know about like getting back into shape, feeling stronger and fighting the long-term health risks like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Now that you see all the benefits, the second question I have for you is to think about what will motivate you to stay committed to your new game plan, what do you want to achieve and what do you envision yourself looking like.

For me, I love being able to wear clothes I feel comfortable in. Looking fabulous in clothes and loving the body I’m living in is an amazing feeling. Also, when I workout consistently, I’m more in-tune with my body and myself and I end up eating better, having more energy to do other things I love and overall feeling great.

What helps me stay motivated and able to wake up at 5:30 am is a strong network of friends that encourage me. My friend Kevin kept my dukes up during my karate Jen days, my friend Janice makes sure I sign up for a bike every Monday morning and of course the amazing instructors at Equinox. I also have joined Equinox and a New York Cycling Club and have gone on great rides and have met lots of fabulous people along the way. It creates a great community of people that encourage me, motivate me and push me to keep going.

Another motivating factor to help you get started and always works for me is setting goals. They can be short or long-term goals, just as long as they are attainable. It helps me to look at working out in chucks of time and I am rewarded at the end with my achievements. Last year was my wedding, this year was the triathlon. It’s always great to reach that next level. It’s so empowering.

The third question you need to ask yourself is prioritizing when in your day you are going to carve you time for yourself. Start keeping a time diary like a food diary to figure out when you have time during the day/night. If it means going to bed earlier, then just do it. Make a commitment to try it two days a week. That’s what got me started. If you work in an office, go during lunch. I promise you that if you make these changes for 30 straight days, it will become a habit.

Start thinking of your workout as a little vacation for yourself everyday. It takes all of your days worries and puts them “back there” for just a bit.

Now, no more excuses to stay on the sidelines because you want this to work, right? That's the first step. Congrats! I’m so excited you’ll be joining me in the fun!


  1. "Karate Jen" = next hot superhero.

  2. Really good article, thank you for sharing, I will always look at the future, too talented.