When you step out of your office cubicle at 5 p.m., the last thing on your mind is working out. In fact, changing into your workout clothes and hitting the gym is at the bottom of your to do list. When walking out of the office various items and responsibilities are usually swimming through our minds like what’s for dinner, the kids, the laundry and what is on the tube tonight.
Most of us are motivated to get up off the couch and exercise because we are concerned with our physique. Did you know that a good workout will also enhance your mental fitness, especially during those long winter months?
Here are six great ideas suggested by Sarah Buelterman from Examiner.com to stay motivated and up the physical activity, even when a relaxing night cuddled up on the sofa with a hot drink seems to be calling your name:
1. Put on Your Gym Clothes Right After Work. Lacing up your gym shoes and changing into the workout gear as soon as you get home will keep you from getting too comfy on the couch. Also, it doesn’t hurt to buy fashionable exercise clothes. No one wants to put a cute outfit to waste.
2. Set Aside a Pre-Workout Snack.There’s nothing worse than stepping through your front door feeling ravenous and doing major damage in the kitchen. If I fill up too much, I feel lethargic and would much rather take a nap than go for a run on a full stomach. Setting aside a light snack will curb hunger and fuel the body enough to crank out an intense cardio or strength training session.
3. Take Advantage of Online Resources.The Internet is full of cardio and strength training workouts, and better yet, most don’t involve any equipment. Print out a workout routine and hang it on your garage door, or stick it on your refrigerator to remind yourself that you have a structured exercise regimen waiting to be tackled.
4. Eat a Good Lunch. A balanced lunch is the perfect way to stay energized and focused into the early evening hours. If you’re hitting the gym immediately after work, self.comsuggests this nutrient-packed meal: One cup of whole-wheat penne with 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, tomato sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan, broccoli and sliced zucchini.
Why? “The protein in the chicken will keep energy humming and allow your muscles to store much-needed glycogen from the pasta to fuel your cardio efforts,” Carrie Wiatt, a private nutritionist in Los Angeles, told Self. “Slow-burning carbs leave you feeling full, while veggies add vitamins and fiber.”
5. Make it a Date. Scheduling a run or gym session with your favorite exercise buddy will turn any grueling workout into a social activity and keep you obligated.
6. Remember That Post-Workout High. When all else fails, think of how great you feel after any run or strength training session. The endorphins released during physical activity are nothing to scoff at, as exercise helps fight depression, can reduce anxiety and enhances self-esteem.