Young man and woman lifting weights. Isolated on whiteAre you using every excuse in the book not to work out these days? It happens.   However, as painful as a hard post-workout may feel or as much as you may dread your upcoming workout, here’s the payoff: your body will turn from mush to muscular and mighty! Tone your quads, glutes and biceps with conviction. Become committed to your weekly core workouts.  Take an extra high intensity cardio class just to push yourself to its limit—and you’ll reap the benefits. Here’s how to stay motivated along the way.

Bring a Friend Along For Support and Encouragement

Consider a good workout to be like a loyal friend: when you devote a small portion of each day to movement, stretching and exercise, it won’t let you down. Lunges reward you with toned legs, and crunches give you the gift of an amazing core. If you find yourself loathing a workout these days, pull your friend in for support. Get her to race with you an upcoming 10k, or tell your buddy you need him to spot you after work. Why not get ripped together, and reap the million health benefits that come along with it?

Commit to an Early Morning Workout (and Get It Over With!)

Are you dreading tomorrow’s lower body workout? Or, perhaps you are feeling too tired to take your spin or Pilates class. One of the easiest ways to fight that dreaded feeling to exercise is by knocking it out first thing in the morning! Not only will you get your exercise in, you’ll boost your mood and energy level for the rest of the day…making you twice as awesome as usual!

Become a Proactive List Maker

Nothing ever stays the same in life, and that includes your momentum to work out. Even if you’re an avid exerciser that enjoys moving your body and pushing yourself past all limits, your workout can become stagnant from time to time. When it comes to your body, changing up how you work out, the frequency in which you work out and the intensity in which you push yourself has to change.

So, how do you do that?

Teen Girl Paying Bills and Making a To Do ListBy making a list of everything positive that exercise brings into your life. Take out a pen, a piece of paper and your ‘thinking cap’! How does exercise improve your energy level, mood, productivity, confidence, sleeping patterns, and sex life? Jot down everything you can, and tape it up to your bathroom mirror for a daily reminder.