By Mayra Urrutia
Special to NFP
Health and fitness are essential in everyone's daily routine. However, many individuals have trouble sticking to such lifestyle choices.
According to Static Brain, 67 percent of individuals who have a gym membership do not go. Moreover, there are 50,000,000 Americans who consume fast food on a daily basis. It is a lot easier to give into the temptation of a burger over a salad or stay in on a rainy day rather than hitting the gym for an hour.
I know it's hard. ... I've been trying to lose weight since my freshman year of high school. I am currently entering my senior year of college.
However, after so many years of struggling, I have found certain things help keep me motivated and continue striving even when it gets tough.
Mental Motivation: This is cliché, I know! It's the truth, though. Our minds tend to give up much quicker than our bodies. This is why we do not push our bodies to their fullest potential. Instead of letting your mind tell you to quit, train your mind to tell you that you can keep going!
Some ways you can do this are by beginning your workout with a goal in mind. Going into your workout with a certain mindset helps set the tone for how your workout will turn out. It mentally prepares your body for success in the gym, outside or even at home.
Another way you can do this is by finding a motivational quote that moves you. This helps fill your mind with positivity and increases your chances of having a successful overall workout. One of my favorites is, "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." That was said by one of baseball's greatest: Babe Ruth.
Downloading apps is also a great way to stay motivated, because certain apps can keep you focused and challenge your mind and body. Or just distract you from workout pain. Apps also are great because they can track your progress while pushing your body to its fullest potential, as well.
For example, using the Hulu app to watch "Grey's Anatomy" will help keep your focused during your run. Some of my favorites apps offered for both iPhone and Androids are Couch to 5k, Nike Training, YouTube, Netflix and Hulu.
Try to create a workout playlist that contains upbeat and mellow tunes. This will help keep your body pumping at different speeds during different exercises. Upbeat tunes, such as "One Dance" by Drake ft. Wizkid and Kyla, help your body work harder during cardio workouts. This song has an upbeat yet Caribbean vibe to it. (How can someone not dance to this song?)
Mellow songs are great for stretching and weight training. Songs such as "Planes" by J. Cole help relax your body while giving it enough of a push to stretch those muscles or lift those weights.
This week's grocery haul from ALDI's. This is a favorite place to shop - especially if you're on a budget!
Use your money wisely: Instead of eating out, use your money wisely and prepare your food at home. The common myth is that eating healthy is expensive. But you can eat healthy on a budget - I promise!
In a study done by the Daily Mail, "The average American spends $1,200 every year on fast food," which is equivalent to $100 a month. Instead of spending $100 a month on fast food, spend it on groceries. You can prepare your weekly meals in the comfort of your home and know exactly what you are putting into your body.
Meal prep sounds like a lot of work, but it is very beneficial for your body. It also helps your pocketbook, because you are no longer spending $5 or $10 on junk food on a daily basis. You can easily make a healthier burger in the comfort of your own home, rather than picking one up from, say, Wendy's. I know Wendy's "4 for $4" sounds good, but it's not ideal for your body.
Check out your local supermarkets for deals on ground chicken or turkey, add some of your favorite seasonings, grill it up, put it on a whole wheat bun and, voila, you have a healthier burger!
Cute workout clothing: Having workout clothing you feel good in helps keep you motivated at the gym. I would include a workout bottle and some socks, because these things are vital, too. Your sports bra, pants and sneakers shouldn't only be the cute things ... it should be everything!
I absolutely love water bottles with sayings because they keep me motivated during my workout.
Save some money and buy yourself some new workout gear that makes you feel good about yourself.
Also, splurge on a pair of workout sneakers. These are essential for your workouts, because they help support your feet and body. A good pair can also will increase the duration of your workout.
Some places that sell cute yet affordable clothing include Walmart, Target, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
Keilyn trying to work out.
Support system: Having a support system keeps you motivated to get your workout on - especially on days when you don't feel motivated to go to the gym. Now, you're not only letting yourself down, but your gym partner, as well.
Having a gym partner also makes working out a lot more fun, and you won't feel as shy or nervous to workout in front of others. It is also always nice to have a form of support from others.