Earn It Back, by Bob Amic, C.F.T., I.S.S.A

The kids are heading back to school and you’ve been off your workout routine these past several weeks. Maybe you’ve been hustling to get them ready for the new school year. Or maybe you’re still recovering from an indulgent vacation of relaxation, eating, drinking and soaking up the sun (this would be my excuse if I was going to make one). But whatever your reason to get back into the swing of things again, being motivated can be difficult, especially with today’s busy lifestyles. Trust me, it takes a lot of motivation to drag yourself out of bed at 5 a.m.to go to the gym before heading off to a day of work, or to come home from work ready to hop on the treadmill, take a group class or hit the weights. If you’re struggling with the “end of summer” motivation, here are a few tips to help get you back on track and regain your fitness lifestyle:

Do something you enjoy. If you hate running because you find it boring or hurts your knees, don’t do it. There’s nothing less motivating than dreading your workout. Make sure your fitness routine is something you enjoy and doesn’t cause unnecessary pain. With the exercise equipment and fitness classes available at Body Systems, you’ll be certain to find what you like.

Keep it convenient. Body Systems is in a perfect location; you have no excuses. The parking lot has been greatly enhanced, so parking is not an excuse. We have a great variety of equipment and classes, so “you don’t have what I need” is not an excuse. And with 24/7 operations, there is no “can’t get there when you’re open” excuse.

Take your time. If you’ve been off of your fitness routine for a short while or are just beginning a new or more intense workout, don’t go full blast right away. Besides possibly injuring yourself, it won’t be any fun. There’s no shame in going slowly as long as you’re moving.

Hire a trainer. You may think it’s expensive to hire a personal trainer, but it’s a great way to get and stay motivated. First, you won’t want to miss training sessions because you’re paying good money for them. Second, you’ll want to impress your trainer so he or she thinks you’re the hardest working person in the gym. Third, it’s pretty fun – and even a bit flattering, even if you’re paying them – to have another person investing in your fitness goals and designing personal workout plans just for you!

Avoid the out-of-sight, out-of-mind conundrum. Make sure your Body Systems key tag is on your main set of keys where you’ll see it every time you start your car or unlock your front door. Keep your workout clothes where you see them every day. Place your shoes near your bedroom door and hang your workout clothes on the door handle or a railing in the bathroom or in a spot where you can’t avoid seeing them. Although I drive my “neat-freak” wife crazy, my workout bag sits at the front door and my supplements are always within reach. Double that when Stephen is home from school.

Speaking of workout clothes, invest in some gear that makes you feel good about yourself and comfortable. Buy workout clothes that you’ll actually want to wear. I personally love the Under Armor Wounded Warrior Project shirts. They fit me well, they look great and I’m supporting a spectacular cause in the process

Grab a friend or two. Friends hold you accountable. It’s an especially good idea to pick a competitive friend because you won’t want to look lame to the other person. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have the good fortune to work out with a great group of guys every morning. We hold each other accountable. We notice when someone’s missing. We even compare our attendance records every few months and verbally chastise the one’s whose attendance is lacking. And we accept no excuses while making some friendly competition.

Keep track of your progress. In today’s world of technology, there are abundant tools to help you track important details about your exercise routine. Monitoring your progress is also a great way to set visual short and long-term goals. I recently bought a “Fitbit” activity tracker that I wear on my wrist every day. It tracks my steps, miles, sleep patterns and much more. And I can get immediate feedback of my daily progress on my smart phone or laptop.

So get yourself into to a fantastic fitness program. Set goals and, when you accomplish them, earn something that you’ve been deserve –Better health and better fitness.