The Daily Beet

02 Apr The Power of Momentum

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workout-motivation

I hate ruts. I had managed to get myself in a rut when it came to working out last month. Things were just so busy, and I used that as an excuse to not workout as much as I had been. I’d justify this with the thought, I’d workout the next day, put in more time.

Granted, March was a very crazy month. It got to that point that no matter how much work I put in, I was still going to be behind. And so I felt guilty for even thinking I should take “time off” to go and workout.

10 days ago I decided I’d do something different. I would get up, put my workout clothes on and my sneakers first thing. Now, this didn’t always mean I’d hit the gym right away, but I was always ready to go. I  decided one day that I was just going to go to the gym for 5 minutes, that was it. So I set out to do just that. Got to the gym, put on my headphones, and started my workout. 45 minutes later, I realized I had done 40 minutes more than I intended. This has gone on everyday since. And once I hit that momentum, it just got easier.

Here are a few things that I implemented to help me get a good workout in every day: 

1. I put my workout clothes and sneakers on first thing.

2. I have a momentum calendar. I bought a dry-erase calendar to hang up, and each day I mark an X when I complete a workout.

3. I do not check work stuff while I’m working out – I was finding that doing so made me slow down or stop.

4. I  have a rule that I don’t watch shows unless I”m on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. House of Cards has made me walk for almost 2 hours a few times now :)

5. I only tell myself I’m going to workout for 5 minutes, everything else is a nice bonus. (note, I have not had a day that I worked out less than 40 minutes, but I try to give myself a very realistic goal instead of a lofty one)

6. I do things that I am capable of. I am not aiming for an “A+” when it comes to working out. I am aiming for maybe a B, C+. I am not an athlete, and I don’t plan on being one anytime soon. My goal is simply to move.

7. I bought new sneakers. It’s no fun working out in sneakers that are not supportive. I kept putting it off, and finally decided that if my feet were not happy, I wouldn’t be happy either.

8. I drink water. Before/During and after my workouts.

9. I  joined a pick-up basket ball team with women in the building I live. This has been a lot of fun, and gets me moving, without thinking that it is “work” it’s also got me a little bit more social (I’m super introverted).

10. I don’t beat myself up if I have a bad day. There are some days where 2.5 mph is about as good as it gets on the treadmill, and I don’t feel at all like moving. I remind myself that the key is in momentum.

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Natala Constantine
  • Heather

    I’m completely in love with Natala, just sayin’.

    • SuztheVegan

      Aren’t we all? Natala needs a book, and her own site, and her own events!

      • Jill

        Eh-hem, also think Natala’s about due for a book of her own.

  • Diane

    These are great tips! You are my plant-strong hero!

  • Ruth

    Loved this real and honest look at working out. Just move.

  • Meg

    I would beg to differ Natala – you ARE an athlete. You just don’t identify yourself that way yet. Nike used to have a slogan that said “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” Just look behind you at everyone who never bothered to get off the couch! And I’m totally with you on your “House of Cards” comment :-)