"I Lost My Motivation" —Kristine, 27, graphic designer continued...
After: 3 workouts per week
"I kept up the routine, even though one of the weeks involved lots of hours at work. Next, I'm going to join a dance studio with my friends and take hip-hop classes (I'll be more likely to stick to a program if I have someone to work out with). I'm considering martial arts classes, too."
Trainer Johanna's Tips: Shorten Your Workouts
Do a resistance-training circuit if you're limited on time. Kristine did exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, such as push-ups and squats, so that she would be done in 30 minutes. Doing the exercises consecutively, without taking a break, burns calories, builds strength, and keeps things interesting all at once.
Add 20 to 25 minutes of cardio after the circuit sessions. This burns more calories and builds endurance, so Kristine will be back to sprinting up the steps in a couple of months. Adding this workout to the circuit saves time you only need to get to the gym, change, and shower once for two different types of workouts.
"I'm Totally Bored by the Gym" —Brett, 31, craft designer
Before: 0 to 2 workouts per week
"In the past three months, I've gone from six workouts a week to two (or some weeks, none). I'm bored by the gym, and I'm losing the high level of fitness I worked so hard to build over the past two years."
Her "Aha" Moments
The first week sucks. "In the beginning, I had no energy or desire to do the workouts, and was bored stiff at the idea of long cardio sessions. Plus, every workout was hard, and I was sore every day. But I committed to sticking to it for a couple of weeks; after that, I was home free. You've got to hang in there until the magic kicks in. Then you feel great and don't think about it anymore."
I literally ran my errands. "I had a tight deadline on a project and needed to go to the button store. I wanted to work out — but knew doing both would eat up my afternoon. The old me would've skipped the workout, but I had a brainstorm and decided to run to the store and back (two miles each way). I'd normally never even attempt a four-mile run, but this felt easy: I think that having a destination made this less boring than trying to run a certain distance. And it was way more interesting than the treadmill. I definitely need some diversion to keep me doing cardio, so after that, I added Spinning class and some interval workouts."