Spring into Action: Five Ways to Get Moving

Maintaining an exercise routine through the spring can be tough. Who wants to be inside working out when the birds are singing and the sun is shining? Yet we all know the importance of staying consistent with exercise. Check out the following five suggestions to stay motivated to keep up your workout routine at the gym during the springtime.

Write down your goals for exercise and stick them up on your refrigerator. You could say something like, "Work out at the gym three days a week after work." or "Spend 30 minutes in the gym at least twice weekly." Read your goals every morning when you are having your coffee and vow to meet them.

Pack workout clothes in your gym bag and stash the bag in your car. Having your workout clothes with you at all times means that when the mood strikes, you can head straight for the gym. If you are on your way home from work and passing by the gym, then you are prepared to work out. After all, you've got everything you need with you. Plus, if you exercise right after work, you will still have time to enjoy the great outdoors when you get home.

Recruit a friend to work out with you. You know which of your friends consistently exercise. Select a friend that you know you can count on to be a positive influence and support. Ask a buddy to meet you at the gym on designated days and times during the week. Make it a habit. Having an arrangement to meet someone there will prevent you from skipping your workout. You and your friend could even grab a quick bite at your favorite al fresco restaurant afterward.

Put a check mark or "X" on the calendar on the days you exercise. Make sure it's on a calendar that you see frequently. Perhaps it's the calendar hanging in your kitchen or the calendar you use at work. Marking the days off can be very reinforcing to keep up the good work.

Reward yourself for meeting your exercise goals for the week. If you set a goal to work out three times and you did, then do something special for yourself. It doesn't have to cost much money, but make it something you will truly enjoy. Perhaps you can take a novel to your favorite park to read and enjoy the lovely weather at the same time. Better yet, after 4 weeks of consistently working out, buy yourself a manicure or download a few favorite songs for your iPod.

Even when spring has sprung, you shouldn't let anything get in the way of your exercise routine. Setting goals, getting prepared and lining up a friend to work out with you can all have a positive impact on your motivation to work out through the spring. In addition, reinforcing your efforts to exercise by marking off the days you worked encourages you to get moving and keep moving. Finally, rewarding yourself can keep you exercising through the spring season. After all, you want to look fit and toned in all those spring clothes, don't you?