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Getting back in the swing of things

It happens to everyone, a good workout routine gets kicked to the wayside after a prolonged cold or bad bout with a seasonal flu bug. Then the holidays swing in at full speed and make it that much harder to get back into your once perfected workout routine. You focus your New Years Resolution around getting back into gear.

Week after week pass and you find yourself still struggling to get back on track. You wonder what's wrong with you. You tell yourself that you never feel better than when your regularly working out and eating healthy, but still the motivation is barely enough to get you on the treadmill for more than a half hour.

Don't worry you're not alone. It happens to everyone at one point or another and for many people it's an annual occurrence this time of year. 

As Metro Detroiters we face shorter days and sub-freezing weather. Leaving work after the sun sets is hardly a motivator to hit the gym on the way home and outdoor jogging is much more enjoyable when it's warm enough to feel your toes through your thermal socks. 

Despite the reason you haven't gotten back in the swing of things, you know you want to and you know you don't want to wait for spring to kick it into high gear. Motivate with these tried and true tactics:

1. Playlist Update: Look around the next time you're at the gym. How many people have ear buds in? Music amps us up to do that extra set or speed up for that last half-mile. Updating your workout mix will get you excited about hopping on the treadmill the next time you're at the gym. Great workout songs cross many genres. A few good ones are Strict Machine by Goldfrapp, Stronger by Kanye West and Loose Yourself by Eminem. 

2. Switch to an a.m. Routine: Studies have shown that people who work out in the morning are more likely to stick to their workout routines despite other lifestyle changes. You'll have to start waking up earlier and it will still take motivation to get out of a warm bed and into a cold car but the surge of energy you'll feel throughout the day will get you hooked in no time.

3. Get Inspired: Read about or watch one of your favorite athletes in action. Ever feel like shooting hoops after watching a basketball game or hitting the courts after seeing Agassi highlights. Fictional movies can motivate too. Think back to things that have inspired your workouts in the past and revisit them.

4. Set Small Goals: Set easily attainable goals. List all your goals and chart your progress. It might look like baby steps on paper but before you know it you'll be ready for a mini-triathlon. 

5. Find Strength in Numbers: Talk to your friends. Chances are a few of them are in a similar rut. Set times to meet and workout together or make-up a friendly competition involving a set period of time and weekly weigh-ins or charted aerobic growth. Winner gets treated to sushi. 

Remember, nothing feels better than being healthy and fit. This New Year resolve to get motivated before bikini season and find a routine that fits your lifestyle. What inspires you to get back in shape after the holidays? Please share your successful motivation stories in the comment section. 

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