Inspire yourself to exercise with these 8 tips


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We all know how tough it can be to lose weight. Just looking at the treadmill can make us feel exhausted.

Well fear not, because we want to give you a little inspiration. It's time to put down the remote, get off the couch and get yourself to the gym. Whether you're just looking to lose a few pounds or drop a few clothing sizes, here are eight ways to inspire yourself.


1. Keep track of your calories 

Depending on your gender, height, weight and current activity level, you'll need to stay under the amount of recommended calories per day. For instance, if you're a mid-20s male office worker who is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, you need to eat 1,800 to 2,000 calories. Once you sit down and actually count out how many calories are in what you eat, you might be shocked at how much you're ingesting compared with how little you're burning. 


2. Research obesity-related statistics

Obesity has skyrocketed over the past century. In 1915, the obesity rates were about 3.5%. Today, a massive 18% of deaths in people aged 40 and up are related to obesity, according to a study by researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Columbia University.


3. Watch documentaries

If reading about obesity-related statistics doesn't do anything for you, watch a documentary, like "Super Size Me." In this documentary, Morgan Spurlock decided to eat McDonald's for 30 days. The result? He gained almost 25 pounds, increased his body mass by 13%, and experienced mood swings and sexual dysfunction. He then ate a strict vegan diet for 14 months to lose the weight. 


4. Go to a basketball game

Basketball is full of fit, inspiring athletes. These guys are running back and forth for the better part of a few hours. In the process, they're burning a ton of calories. So go ahead and get inspired: Grab some tickets to watch the Brooklyn Nets, and enjoy the game surrounded by thousands of fans.


5. Compare pictures of yourself

Go through your own personal picture archive and find a picture of yourself at your thinnest, then one at your, well, not so thinnest. Think about what you were doing at that time in your life. As you exercise, you may not feel like you're making much progress, so take a picture of your progress every week, then compare it with a picture of you at your heaviest. You might be surprised with what you see.


6. Get a workout buddy

Do you have a friend who loves to workout or wants to lose weight? Ask him or her to join you in your workout adventures. By having a friend to join you, you'll feel motivated and also be held accountable. It works the other way, too — if your workout buddy has had a long day or feels fatigued, re-motivate them and get them moving again. 


7. Reward yourself

The reward system works, and you should make use of it. Start small — allow yourself a sweet treat at the end of the first week. Gradually increase the rewards as you continue to exercise. The more you exercise, the better the reward should be. If you've got a friend exercising with you, you can set up a joint reward system. A great top-tier reward: some new workout gear. 


8. Sign up for a marathon

When you commit to running in a marathon, you're making a promise both to the organization and to yourself. But don't jump in the deep end by signing up for a full marathon at first. Look for a short race and practice several times each week. By the time the marathon comes around, you'll be able to run it with no problem.


Hailey Robinson is a recent graduate with a degree in journalism. Now that she isn't face first in books, she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.