For some reason, a couple of my friends are suddenly jumping into the fitness wagon. I recognize their excitement. The thought of starting a new workout regimen is too exhilarating until you begin your first few sessions and realize that the lean and flab-free body image you have in your head isn't enough motivation to make you want to continue. So here are some tips, based on my humble little experience, to help you stay motivated to power through your work-out 

Find the fun in fitness.
Enjoyment is a natural motivator. If you like an activity, you'll make time to do it again and again. Exercisers who are psyched rather than reluctant about a new routine spend 63% more time moving, research from Brown University shows. It's common sense. We keep on doing what feels pleasant.

Take baby steps.
There are some mornings when I can't get excited to work out, so I coax myself, promising that, if I bail along the way, it's okay. Putting on my gear, I think, 'Just grab your bag.' Then, 'Hop in the car.' Then, 'Run for ten minutes.' At that point, if I'm not in the mood, I go home. But you know what? That rarely happens.

Experiment and mix it up.
Try everything that comes your way. You can't immediately pass on a routine with a 'Well, that doesn't sound like fun.' I tried a gym membership during my college years and found myself flushing my money down the toilet every month; I tried running in the morning at 5:30am and found myself oversleeping; I tried DVD workouts and ended up selling them at garage sales. Until one day I stumbled upon the gift of yoga and since then, I've been working my schedule around my practice. But I never stopped there. I try to mix it up with a little bit of something new and different every once in awhile. I know I bore easily so I try to put a bit of dynamics into my regimen. Last year, I tried mat pilates and resistance training but so far, 
Barre3 became my personal favorite and I've been doing it for a time now. Just this month, I enrolled in the worldwide phenomenon Latin-inspired fitness dance Zumba. Next quarter, I'm planning to try Plana Forma, another variation of pilates and dance to spice things up. I've also been regularly playing badminton and running twice a week to make sure I won't fall back to my old sluggish lifestyle.

Go to your happy place.
To have a fun session, I know I can't stay at home even if I have full version videos of my favorite workouts. Even if it takes me about an hour to get to my yoga studio everyday, I go. Being in the fresh air and sunshine and being with people who share the same goal as mine keep me inspired and focused.

Fuel Your Engine.
I always think of exercise as my energy. Rather than something that exhausts and depletes me, I think of it as an ignition button. It helps me wake up early, power through a day, and juggle a job and a life. It's a cause-and-effect scenario—to do the things I love, I have to work out.

Publicize to commit.
The night before the day I'll do a workout I knew would be tough to finish, I tell friends or family about it. Saying it out loud and proclaiming that I'll do a certain task makes me commit more to it, not turning back from my own words. I even tweet about it sometimes!

Look forward.
I love giving myself new challenges. Sometimes I'll do a seven-day challenge, or I'll give myself a quota on how much hours I should spend working out in a week. This ensures that I don't risk staying in a plateau.

Partner up.
To be a workout champ, don't just sweat solo; surround yourself with a team of strong friends who will help you put out more minutes and reps. Research backs this idea: When people worked out with a virtual video-game partner who was always programmed to be fitter, they stuck it out 24% longer than if they were alone, a study from Michigan State University indicates. "The challenge brings out a competitive side, even if you don't have that streak," says study author Deborah Feltz, Ph.D., chairwoman of the department of kinesiology at MSU. "To keep the pace and to measure up, you push beyond what you'd normally do by yourself." Don't have a pal available to egg you on? Find a similar boost by joining a group fitness class. No one wants to be seen as the weak one, so people will try to match the intensity of the strongest member of the class.

Take the front row.
I stay in front of group classes because I feel like everybody behind me is looking forward, and it pushes me to do my best.

Dedicate it.
After every class, I dedicate the energy I produced and gathered to an inspirational person in my life. Offering your efforts to someone makes the discomfort easier to bear and the burn worth the pain. 

Find the mind and body connection.
I always use mind tricks to perform my best. Repeat a pump-up phrase like "Let's go!" Confidence-building cues like this help people improve their performance during workouts. What doesn't work for me are competitive commands like "Win!" which are dependent on someone else's performance, and negative phrases such as "Too slow," which makes me doubt my abilities. Instead, use positive pep talks to focus on what you want to do. To get through another rep, tell yourself, "I'm strong!" Whenever I need to finish my last set of reps and hold on to the burn I say, "You can do a few more, Dior!" 

Own It.
Trying to meet someone else's expectations is just not sustainable. Register for a marathon just to one-up your superathletic colleague and you may never cross the finish line. Try to lose weight to please your guy and the scale could tip the wrong way. Homing in solely on better-body goals, like slimming your thighs, is a no-no, too. According to Jeremy Adams, a sport and performance psychologist and director of Eclectic Consulting in Melbourne, gymgoers who fixate on the physical payoff can lose their motivation in a couple of months, he explains, because it can take awhile to see the results they want. If you focus on why exercise is a positive aspect of your life, you'll be less stressed and more energized—and those sources of immediate, constant and meaningful inspiration will keep you hooked on breaking a sweat.

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