Swimsuit season will be here before you know it, so working out to be in shape is on the mind of many.  Also, working out to just feel good, to be healthy, to move and do right by your body, is often on my mind, as it is probably on yours.  Yet, working out can be such a CHORE! 

Do you have a hard time motivating yourself to work out?!  I have identified a few easy ways to get over the mental barrier of moving.  This is how I get my daily movement in, and it’s been working pretty well for me so far. 

1)  Take a CLASS!  If you have taken an exercise class before (either yoga, pilates, aerobics or group strength training, among many others), I am sure you will agree with me (feel free to chime in here!) that classes are DYNAMIC.  Classes are INVIGORATING.  Classes are FAR LESS BORING THAN WORKING OUT ON YOUR OWN.  And – yes, it’s true – classes are FUN! 

While the idea of taking a group class might be a bit daunting at first (“I’m so uncoordinated!”, “Will everyone be looking at me?”), they are truly an excellent motivator for getting your body moving.  All you have to do is find your class, schedule the time in your calendar, get dressed and show up.  Once you’re there, the (mental) work is done for you!  The beauty of taking a class is that there is an instructor available to guide your movement with the appropriate varieties and repetitions, and, more importantly, to KEEP you moving!  The instructor will keep count.  The instructor will keep time.  And she will not let her students stop until class is over! 

Furthermore, the class is self-policing:  other class members along with the instructor are keeping you honest – making sure you keep up with everyone else and don’t just quit.  They are holding you accountable to be productive during the hour that you spend in class.  It’s the perfect economical alternative to personal training and, in my opinion, is even better than that.  As an added bonus, you can make friends and workout buddies! 

So, how do you join a class?  Find a YMCA.  Or check out the offerings at your local gyms – most offer free classes (with membership) of varying kinds several times a day. 

2)  WALK!  You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again.  Walking more, taking stairs instead of the elevator, and just moving (errands, shopping) are a perfect way to clandestinely slip in your workout, without really letting your mind know about it!  So take your dog for long, brisk walk (it’s good for him, too!).  Walk to and from work if it’s within 2 miles from where you live (for city dwellers).  Walk to your grocery store and lug home your groceries – don’t have them delivered!  And when you walk, walk with PURPOSE!  Don’t stroll – MOVE!  Make the most of the distance you need to travel by moving quickly and getting your heart rate up. 

3)  CLEAN!  Spend time cleaning, lifting, moving, whatever!  Instead of hiring a housekeeper, do it yourself.  Vacuuming, sweeping, washing, bending over and standing up – these are all exercises in disguise.  You will feel doubly productive because you are cleaning your space, too. 

Do you have other ideas or tips to share?  If so, please do – comment away!  I hope you find these helpful.