Some days, working out is a breeze. You wake up ready to hit the gym, pool or track, no questions asked. But most days, you'd rather read, sleep in, do anything other than exercise. Sound familiar? It did to these women, too-until they came up with creative solutions to their workout woes. Read on to steal their secrets.
"I do a points-system exercise program with two neighbors. We earn one point for 20 minutes of exercise, 100 crunches, hardcore housecleaning or losing a pound; we lose one point for each alcoholic drink. We add up the points at the end of the week and the winner gets a kids-free date night with her husband. It's been a great way to bond with my neighbors, and I've really firmed up!"
-Holly Bellomo, Denver, Colo.
"On Sundays, I don't get to read the newspaper unless I am on the stationary bike. And the only way I allow myself to watch my favorite TV show, America's Next Top Model, is if I'm on a piece of exercise equipment."
-Shirmel Richards, Chicago, Ill.
"I don't have time for a gym membership, so my workout is a mile-long walk up and down hills-while pushing a double stroller-to a local playground. To make sure I do it, I tell my 3-year-old daughter early in the day that we'll be going to the playground that afternoon. She gets excited and keeps asking me when we're going until I finally take her. I always keep my word to her, so it's a surefire way to make sure I get my exercise."
-Lisa Fields, Hartsdale, N.Y.
"If I don't want to work out, I tell myself that all I have to do is five minutes. If I honestly don't feel like continuing, I will stop, but 90 percent of the time, I keep working out longer. Five minutes is still better than nothing!"
-Diana Fletcher, Murrysville, Pa.
"My trainer and I have ongoing "missions," such as Operation White Jeans and Operation Strapless Black Dress to help me achieve fitness goals. I keep these items at the front of my closet so that every day, I see what I'm aiming to look great in. This constant reminder makes me think twice before I skip a workout or overindulge on French fries."
-Jaime Maser, New York
"I go to a class with a trainer who I have a crush on. It motivates me to go every day, and I can't wait to get there. I work as hard as possible, just in case he might be watching."
-Heidi Hageman, San Diego, Calif.
"I go to the gym in the morning when everyone there is at least 10 years older than I am. It makes me feel extra young and gets me motivated to stay that way!"
-Rose Crimmins, Sea Girt, N.J.
"I took an executive membership at my neighborhood gym. For an extra $100 per month, my workout clothes get washed and returned to my gym locker, and I get free coffee, fruit, reading materials and a flat-screen TV in the lounge area. My friends are appalled at how much I spend, but it turns out that I pay less per workout because I go so often."
-Samuella Becker, New York
"When I work from home, I wear jeans that are so snug that I wouldn't feel confident wearing them in public. It's my reminder to drink more water and eat less, especially when I'm feeling stressed."
-Shannon O'Regan, Evanston, Ill.
"My motivation is my hot running partner. We meet in Central Park and he motivates me to look and feel my very best and I do the same for him. It helps that there's a romantic tension between us, because we keep meeting to run so we can spend time together."
-Latham Thomas, New York
"I'm a huge fan of Madonna's body, so when I'm feeling unmotivated, I watch one of her videos on YouTube or Google a few pictures of her or her trainer, Tracy Anderson. Seeing the results of their hard work gets me to the gym and has helped me to achieve results I have been dreaming about for years but never had the dedication to achieve."
-Brenda Della Casa, Chicago