Quantum Quantum Massage Works - South Minneapolis
Athlete's Corner

Stay Motivated

Staying healthy is a process rather than a fixed state. Remaining injury free, and able to train for your event, day in and day out, requires attention to the basic components of good health. "Good" habits tip the scales toward better living, and "bad" habits add up and lean toward disease. Our actions have cascading effects. If we have the habit of eating a balanced diet, free from processed foods, we're likely to have more energy to exercise. Then we feel good about ourselves, and have the strength to pass up second helpings of bon bons and ice cream.

On our way to optimal health and peak performances, what can we do to boost motivation when ice cream sounds more appealing than aerobic exercise?

Let your progress push you
Scales are not the only measure of success. How do you feel? If you walked five minutes longer than yesterday, or walked five days in a row, that's progress. If your splits were slow, but you had one great interval, seek to repeat it next time. Look back and feel good. Good enough to do it again.

Set goals
Whether you're shooting to finish the Twin Cities Marathon in under 3 hours, or you're simply striving for good health in your old age, setting goals can be the surest way to keep yourself on track. Goal setting is more than just hanging a carrot in front of a donkey; it's an ongoing process of conscious self-evaluation. Ask yourself, "How is my human machine? Is it in good repair?  What fuel am I putting in it? What does the odometer read? The speedometer?" Ask yourself "what are the limits of my life?" Strike the delicate balance between wild dreams and practical goals for your life here on Earth, and go, go, go! Test your limits.  

Be willing to try new things
If you're tired of oranges, eat an apple.  If you're tired of swimming, try archery for a change.  Then, when you're back in the pool on Monday, imagine your body is an arrow, flying through the water.  Use your imagination.

Be willing to try again
Usually, I don't have a problem getting myself excited to exercise.  I have, however, on more than one occasion, gotten myself completely dressed up to go out for a run, albeit in a run in the middle of a Midwestern winter, have made it as far as the door, and looked out into the snow and thought, "No way. I'm taking a nap."  Don't let one day's flippant disregard for discipline be the beginning of an unplanned hibernation.  You want to try again the next day.  You crave the challenge. The great Vince Lombardi once said, "It doesn't matter if you fall down.  It matters if you get back up."

Know thyself (and thine family)
If you're playful, trick yourself. Say, "Buddy, I'll let you eat a cookie if you run 8 miles today," or "I'll treat myself to a manicure if I play raquetball twice this week and go to my Yoga class on Sunday." However, if you're stern, set concrete goals and whip yourself into shape. Sometimes there is nothing funny about dragging your ass to the gym.

Take note if you use the same reason over and over for skipping sessions. If it would be inconvenient to drive home to get your gym clothes after work, and too cold to go back out into the night, leave a packed bag in your car. Or ride your bike to work, and skip the gym for a day.

If you just can't get outside because need to take care of your children, turn a play session into a workout. Do a few situps and pushups while you play with the firetruck on the floor with your infant. Your sweet colicky child is a 14 lb. Weight. Support your back and hold the weight close to your core, and do 10-20 squats. If your kid is a little older, go for an easy walk around the neighborhood and add some lunges and leaps. Be creative and keep moving!

Reward everyone around you
First, remind yourself that when you stick to your training plan, or make good on promises to yourself, you're happier, more confident, and more able to share your good mood with the friends and family who have helped you along the way. When you win, everyone wins.

Reward thyself
Plan a reward for finishing your task. Sketch out the details of the treat before you begin, and then forget about it until you've finished your long workout, or finished in the top ten with half a smile. Make the reward equal to the effort, but remember, if a reward turns into revelry, and you end up making a glutton of yourself, just wipe the pie off your face, and...

Be willing to try again. And again, and again.

If you have questions, hire a coach
When you want to make a wise decision about something you know little about, you ask for advice from a mentor. Or, you hire a consultant.

If you want to teach your arm to throw a curveball, ask a baseball coach. Joan Price says, "One hour of a fitness professional's time is affordable, and he or she can set you up with a personalized program you can do on your own." 

Not everyone needs or wants a personal trainer, but even if you do have a coach, you can't pay for desire. Ultimately, the fire that keeps you off the couch comes from within!  

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