I know a few people [shakes fist] who are so into their exercise routine that they do it without even thinking. I’ve never been one of those people — not even close — so, when I started running and taking classes a couple years ago, I had to come up with little rewards to keep myself motivated. Here are six strategies I use, and I’d love to hear how you psych yourself up for workouts…
Remember How Good You Feel After.
I’m officially an Anxious Person, but every time I stretch my legs outside, I feel so much better. New York Magazine wrote about “the mind-clearing magic of running,” and runner Monte Davis said, “It’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clear-headedness that follow a long run.” If that’s not a good motivator, I don’t know what is.
Wear Cute, Comfy Clothes.
I started off running in old maternity leggings, so now it feels extra amazing to wear actual activewear that fits well. I’ve tried a bunch of different brands, but Outdoor Voices is my absolute favorite. They’re SUCH high quality, they last forever, the colors are great, and the long-sleeved tees actually feel silky.
Listen to a Killer Playlist (or Podcast).
Having exercise music that saturates my brain so it can’t spin in 1,000 directions and pumps up adrenaline is a must. A few songs I love: Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass, The Police’s Every Little Thing She Does is Magic and Stevie Wonder’s For Once in My Life. (What are your go-to workout songs? Please share!) My friend Sharon listens to podcasts and audiobooks on long walks — she’ll even go an extra mile or two if there’s a cliffhanger.
Go on an Adventure.
I love taking bike rides through new-to-me neighborhoods or going on long walks when traveling. Exploring takes your mind off the actual huffing and puffing, and it’s fun to check out new parks (and scout restaurants for later). In Brooklyn, Dumbo, the Promenade and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are all beautiful spots to explore.
Borrow a Dog.
I’m not a dog person (I know, heart of stone, etc.). But my friend regularly borrows her neighbor’s golden retriever. They jog around town, chat with passersby, cuddle on a bench — how cute is that? She says it’s the highlight of her week. Meanwhile, her neighbor stays cozy inside. Win-win.
Invite a Buddy on a Walk-and-Talk.
Walking with a friend is one of life’s simple pleasures. Instead of asking someone to meet for drinks or dinner, I’ll see if he or she is up for a stroll around the neighborhood — which feels brisk, invigorating and just as enjoyable. (And you can always stop into Sephora after.)