By: Rashida Ashley
Raise your hands if the thought of going for a run, doing a few push-ups, or going to the gym has crossed your mind. Keep your hands raised if that thought came from watching someone’s workout content on Tik Tok. Hands held high if you only got as far as putting on your cute workout outfit and grabbing a snack. Welcome to the workout preliminaries, this is the starting point of the game where we get ourselves hyped up to work out.
There’s a lot of things that come with working out. You have to find a comfortable space to work out in, you’re going to sweat and it’s not going to be pretty, and if you go too hard it’ll be a bit difficult to move for a few days, especially if it’s been a while. If you’re anything like me, you lean a little bit more to the fantasy of working out. The ambition is there but the motivation needs some fine-tuning.
There are a few ways to trick yourself into being motivated to work out, some of which I’ve personally experienced and have worked for me. If you find that something else works for you, have fun and go for that and experiment with different things.
Make Your Playlist
While there are many playlists out there to choose from like Spotify or Soundcloud, you can also tap into your inner creativity by making your own playlist to plan your workout routine to. If your warm-up is about five minutes of doing stretches you could pick two to three mellow songs to help set the tone to get your body warmed up; this, followed by a few songs that kick up the tempo will help motivate you to kick up the speed if you enjoy doing workouts that involve rapid movement. Since this month is African American Music Appreciation Month, one suggestion is to make a playlist that celebrates your favorite artists.
Eat Foods That Are Good for You
I’ve found that poor food choices have greatly impacted my energy levels, whereas I was unable to perform my workout routine well or for a long time. My diet used to consist of a lot of fried foods and sugars since I had a huge, sweet tooth. I had to become disciplined with my eating, but in such a way that made me not hate eating. My intense sweets cravings called for the purchase of many fruits – fresh, frozen, or dried. As I continued to incorporate eating fruit in place of something sweet, I found myself craving fruit instead of a honeybun.
Choose an Activity You Want to Do
For the longest time, I kept myself stuck by doing the same boring routine every day. Although the treadmill was effective for me, I hated staring at the wall during my workouts. I noticed that I wasn’t getting the same joy I had when I first started working out. I later realized I had to change things up. After a few days of wondering about something new to do, I remembered I loved to dance. I began to attend a few dance workshops and not only had an effective workout but enjoyed my time and met some awesome people. For you, it could be different. Why not try a form of martial arts that you’ve been interested in since you were a kid, or hiking, or another activity? The choices are endless.
Pick a Goal
When I first started working out, my goal was to run a mile under fifteen minutes. To do so, I knew I needed to slowly increase my speed when I ran on the treadmill. I started by speed walking and after a few days I felt I had gotten used to the speed, so I increased it. Before I knew it, I went from alternating running and walking for fifteen minutes to running a whole mile under my goal time without stopping. I remember the day I realized I was able to do it; that day meant the world to me.
What’s your goal? What’s something you want to be able to do? A split, cartwheel, handstand, bridge yoga pose? Pick something you’ve always wanted to try and build a workout routine around it.
As with any form of fitness/exercise, please remember to consult your physician prior to starting any physical workout program.