Monday, May 19, 2014

Guest Post - 5 Fitness Motivation Tips from A Pace of Balance

It's my last Monday in the Philippines! I won't lie, I'm counting down the days until I can start my European vacation. I love traveling for work but it's always super busy and fairly stressful. Although I did enjoy getting to spend a little time at this gorgeous pool on Saturday since I only had one meeting.


I had a 6 AM flight and full day driving around in vans, trikes, and even jeepneys today, so I'm grateful to have another great guest post for you.

Michele is a mother, runner, triathlete and Navy Veteran.  She also likes to dabble in Cross Fit and yoga.  She writes for her own blog, A Pace of Balance, which I discovered recently and really enjoy reading. I especially loved her funny and spot on recent 5 Reasons to Attend a Filipino Party post since I'm in the Philippines.

Today, Michele is sharing 5 tips to help keep up your fitness motivation.
"I am a runner at heart, but being active in general is just a way of life for me. People say I have a true passion for fitness and on some level, I think I do. But sometimes I think I just get bored easily and have figured out ways to keep myself motivated and interested. There are definitely days when I just don't feel like getting out there even when I know I will feel better if I do. Here are 5 tips I've found help me stay out of those slumps:  
1) Races. I sign up for 2 or 3 races a year to help keep me looking forward. When I have something to train for, it keeps me focused and I basically have something hanging over my head if I don't! Like most of us, I find it really hard to work out during the winter months. I like to have a race lined up for the early spring so I'm forced to get my butt out the door even when it's cold. Races are a great way to keep your focus forward and to keep yourself accountable.

The Baltimore & Annapolis Half Marathon 2014
2) Shift focus often.  I try and vary my races so I'm not focusing on one thing all the time. If I sign up for a 5k, then I can focus more on strength training and sprints. Then I'll shift focus and sign up for a tri to concentrate on swimming and biking. Since I only sign up for a couple of races a year, I have time in between to focus on something entirely different like yoga. It's important to get a lot of variety or I get complacent. I usually rotate between strength training, endurance and flexibility. While I try and incorporate all three into my fitness regimen, I take a few weeks to really focus on one at a time. By shifting focus, you are still allowing yourself to improve without burning out.
3)Get social. My workouts are usually my alone time and give me a chance to reset. However, I can't workout alone all the time. I'd eventually get bored and probably stop challenging myself. I have workout buddies that push me and others that I work out leisurely with. Getting social during my workouts both lightens things up and provides some healthy competition. I'm also part of a local running club. I have organized a couple of track workouts which I have found to be both fun and rewarding. Sometimes the best way to keep yourself motivated is to motivate other people.

4)Go out of your comfort zone. I think it's important to continuously challenge ourselves when it comes to fitness. I'm not saying we should always be trying to get faster. But I do think we have to step outside our comfort zones in order to grow as a person. When it comes to fitness, this might mean facing a fear like signing up for a race.  If you are an avid runner who is always on the go, maybe take up some meditation. By looking outside our comfort zones, we find can motivate ourselves to improve an aspect of ourselves that is lacking.

Read a guest post by Monica of the Yogi Movement about How to Quiet the Mind
5)Take time outs and enjoy. In order to stay motivated, it's important to take breaks and not burn ourselves out. I go in cycles; I will train pretty hard for awhile, then take a couple of weeks to do some lighter workouts. Down time is actually a good thing. We need to give our bodies a chance to rest and reset. Taking time out also gives us a chance to enjoy! Yes, the term is "work"out and it is sometimes hard, but we need to make time for the fun times too. If we keep things fun, then we develop that positive attitude towards fitness. To me, that's the whole key to staying motivated - cultivating a positive relationship with fitness and ultimately our bodies. 
Fun with a friend during the Cherry Pit 10 Miler 2014
What about you? Do you do any of the above to stay motivated? What works best for you? 
Thanks Amanda for letting me guest post today! I'm so glad we have "met" in the blogging world!"
Thanks so much, Michele! I especially love the reminder to step outside of your comfort zone and face your fears! I'm glad to know you online too :)

Make sure to visit Michele's blog and check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin.

15 comments:

  1. <3 this as for me....right now...literally TODAY...life exists outside the ZONE OF COMFY.

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  2. I love to get out of my comfort zone and try new classes and activities. If I keep doing the same thing all the time, I stop seeing results. The social aspect is key for me as well. I love running and biking with friends.

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    1. Yes, that's another good point. Variety also helps prevent plateaus!

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  3. I definitely need to schedule races to stay motivated. I ran NYC Marathon in Nov. and took the whole winter off running because I just wasn't motivated since I had no upcoming races! I did go to the gym to lift and stuff, just didn't run. Though truth be told it was nice to have a little break ;)

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    1. Patty, You deserve a break after a marathon! It's great that you still lifted and did other activities. I'm sure your body benefited from the cross training. Thanks for reading!

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  4. Scheduling races is a great way for me to stay motivated and keep myself going. Doing things like participating in runchat every sunday also keeps me motivated and inspired to keep going.

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    1. Caroline, I think motivation is the main reason I sign up for races! I still haven't participated in runchat, Sunday nights are always crazy. Maybe I will have to check it out. Thanks for reading!

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  5. I also like races. They give you a goal, something to focus on instead of aimlessly running every day just for the sake of it. I like listening to music while I run, so social is not an option. Taking time to enjoy the experience is part of staying motivated, I like to watch movies while doing a bit of spinning in my room. Sometimes I start off running, but stop and walk for an hour instead, just enjoying the scenery. It was a very entertaining piece, thank you for sharing it!

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    1. I love having goals too! Glad you liked Michele's post!

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  6. I'm there with you when it comes to races. It's helps keep me focused and motivates me to maintain my running. Varying things up a bit is a great tip, because as you said it can be a bit overwhelming to do the same thing over and over again. Thanks for all the running tips!
    ~Bre

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    1. I love variety too! Glad you liked the post :)

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  7. Yay, glad to see you featuring Michelle's blog! She is great!

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    1. I know, right?! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. To stay fit and active we should first stay motivated. Otherwise we are divert from our goal; most probably fitness is very essential and due to lack of proper motivation power we are facing problems; so we need to follow some of the ingredients provided here in this above article regarding fitness and motivation. Thanks for such a wonderful article with fruitful instructions.
    Motivation Tips

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