Get Moving: Motivation Monday

Article posted in: Fitness
Motivation Monday

If you made the mistake of weighing yourself on Motivation Monday, don’t be too hard on yourself. In February 2014, Karger Journal published a study that shows people weigh the most in the beginning of the week. Plus, because weight can fluctuate four pounds in a single day, there’s no reason to get worked up about small fluctuations.

However, if the scale has been creeping higher and you did have a particularly indulgent weekend, you need some good old-fashioned exercise today, tomorrow and the next day. How do you set yourself up for success to start your week with Motivation Monday?

  • Set realistic goals. Instead of telling yourself you’ll go to the gym five days a week for an hour each day, shoot for five, 30-minute workouts either at the gym or in your neighborhood.
  • The most consistent exercisers rely on reminders (an alarm clock, activity tracker, or place) that kick off an automatic reaction and make exercise a routine, everyday event. Try out easy-to-use South Beach Tracker App to stay consistent with your weight loss goals and daily activity.
  • Get a buddy. Whether you’re exercising together or you’re just having someone holding you accountable, having another person to “answer” to will keep you motivated and dedicated to your cause.
  • Finally, don’t overthink exercise—especially on Motivation Monday. Some of the most basic moves are the most effective.

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Whether you’re home, in a hotel room or a studio at the gym, these six Motivation Monday exercises will elevate your heart rate and work multiple muscles simultaneously:

1. Jumping Jacks:

Stand up straight with your feet together and abs engaged. Jump your feet out to the sides and bring your arms up over your head simultaneously. Jump again, lowering your hands and bringing your feet together. As you jump, distribute your weight throughout your feet (eventually landing on the heels) to reduce the impact on your ankles, hips and knees. Keep your knees relaxed, never locked. Repeat 12 times.

2. Lunges:

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg and squat down until both the right and left legs are bent 90 degrees. (Your right knee should not extend out over your right toe and your left knee should not touch the floor.) Return to standing, keeping your weight in your heels as you push back. Step out with your left leg, squat, and return to standing. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

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3. Shoulder Press:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in hand. Engage your abs. Bend your elbows and put your hands up. Extend your arms until they’re straight up in the air and then return them to your starting position. Keep your shoulders back and chest up throughout the exercise. Complete 8-10 reps.

4. Bent Over Rows:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in hand (and palms facing each other). Bend your knees slightly and push your hips back (as though you were doing a squat). Engage your abs and lift your chest. Pull the weights up to chest level and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly release your hands back down. Complete 8-10 reps.

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5. High Knees:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs engaged. Start marching, bringing your knees up high in the air. Pick up the pace so you’re hopping on each foot and “march” for 45 seconds. Pumping the arms increases your heart rate and also helps you maintain your balance.

6. Spidermans:

Lie onto your belly and push yourself up into a plank position on your elbows. Engage your abs. Bend your right knee out and push it up towards your right elbow and then back down. Pretend you’re crawling up a steep wall—like Spiderman! Repeat on the left side. Try to keep your body straight and parallel to the floor throughout the exercise.

Complete three sets of all moves with a two-minute rest between each set.