Chris Powell knows motivation. After all, as the trainer on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and the DVD Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition-The Workout, it's his job to motivate each contestant to stick to a healthy eating and workout regime. Since even we sometimes have trouble getting out of bed in the morning to work out (yes, it's true!), who better to ask than Powell about how to keep yourself motivated to work out and lead a healthy lifestyle? Here are his top tips on staying motivated and sticking to your workout routine:
1. Make a promise to yourself that you can keep. "A lot of people will make promises to themselves they can't keep," Powell says. "They'll say, 'I'll do 45 minutes of cardio today,' and then they don't. When you shrink it down to something that's more manageable for you, say 10 or 15 minutes of cardio, you gain integrity and momentum, and you'll be more encouraged to keep going."
2. Confess! I promise, it's not as scary as it sounds! If you're anything like us, when you skip a workout you find yourself feeling immensely guilty for it. Powell says that when that happens, the best thing you can do is tell someone. "No man is an island," he says. "If you have a person you can go to, just tell them, 'Hey, I skipped a workout and this is how I'm feeling, and it's been really bothering me.'" You don't have to talk about it all day, but getting it off your chest means you don't have to feel guilty about it, which can help you to clear your head and get back in the fitness mindset.
3. Get right back on the wagon. "Because of what I do for a living, I'm in the position where I can't skip workouts," Powell says. "But if I ever do find myself skipping one, the next day I just start over again." This is partly why Powell stresses the importance of manageable goals. "If you commit to something small, like working out every day for 10 minutes, you'll find after a month goes by that you can't imagine not working out and you won't want to skip your workout," he says.
4. Surround yourself with a good support group. If you find that your friends and family aren't supporting you in your healthy goals, or you feel you're not getting the support you need, try looking online for a group where you can find that support. Or try joining a walking or running club in your area. Clubs like these enable you to meet likeminded people and make friends.
5. Assess your goals. Life happens to everybody, and sometimes that means you may lose sight of your health or weight-loss goals. If you find yourself frustrated or feeling bad, try to remember why you're doing what you're doing—maybe you're trying to run your first marathon, or maybe you want to be healthy enough to run around with your kids. "My first approach with contestants on the show when life gets in the way is to tell them to try and remember why they're on the show in the first place," Powell says.