Everyone has a hack or two to share when it comes to health and fitness. I've gathered some together that may be helpful. When you're trying to get into or maintain an exercise habit, it's nice having a few helpful tips to keep in mind to keep you moving on a regular basis.
1. Use cool gadgets - Invest in an iPod and fill it with your favorite playlists. Heart rate monitors, running GPS, cool fitness apps available on an iPhone or other smart phone can be fun and motivating.
2. Wake up and exercise - This is a great piece of advice from gymjunkies.com in which you roll out of bed and start with 30-second drills. It's a great way to get the day started off on the right foot.
3. Join a fit club - Most of these are free and can be anything from sports to simply walking. Check out bulletin boards in your library, local coffee shops, or search online for fit clubs in your area.
4. From geek to freak - This is one of the most popular fitness hacks I've come across by Tim Ferriss in which he gained 34 lbs. of muscle in 4 weeks. Also check out his article on how to lose 20 lbs. of fat in 30 days.
5. Reward system - Motivation is key when it comes to being consistent with exercise and nutrition. Set up some type of reward system for yourself. This can include your favorite treats, buying new fitness clothes, etc.
6. Take before pics and progress pics - This can be extremely motivating as you see where you are and focus on where you want to be in terms of weight loss, adding muscle, and getting fit altogether. Take progress pictures along your fitness journey about once a month.
7. Accountability is essential - Reporting or logging your workouts can do wonders in terms of consistency and motivation. Be accountable to someone (friend, family member, trainer) and/or log your workouts into a journal or calendar. Since I use Beachbody products like P90X, I schedule and log each of my workouts into their free workout calendar.
8. Create a challenge - You can be really creative here. Maybe you want to be able to do 10 pull-ups or run your first 5k. The challenge can be big or small, so long as it's something you truly want to do and know that you can achieve. Keep it fun and reward yourself along the way.
9. Prioritize - Schedule your workouts for the week and don't let other activities distract you. Let your friends know that you can't hang out until you get your workout in. When others see that fitness is a priority for you, they will begin to respect that and it will become a habit much faster.
10. Ditch the car - If you can bike to work, give it a try for a few days to see if it is something you could do more often. When I used to commute by train, some people brought their bicycles on board and I thought, what a great way to save money and exercise daily.