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    Exercise can easily turn into something you dread, a boring chore somewhere on your to-do list. But it doesn't have to! While it may be hard work at times, working out should be fun and something you enjoy doing. If you dread going to the gym because you know it's going to be boring, or your weight loss has stalled, or you’re looking for ways to distract yourself, it’s a sure sign that something is wrong. 

    What’s going on? It could be as simple as being in a workout rut, which is easy enough to fix. Here are tips on getting out of the rut and making exercise fun again!

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    We nearly always focus on what we can teach our children. They're constantly learning from our examples, actions, and words, whether it's learning how to eat solid food or the difference between right and wrong. What we often don't realize is that our little ones have a lot of wisdom to share with us, too, sometimes in surprising ways.

    What does this have to do with working out? What could your kid teach you about fitness that you couldn't learn from a trainer or a fitness instructor? You may be surprised by the fitness truths your kids can teach you.

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    There are lots of excuses for not working out. Maybe you're busy with an important work project. You only have 15 minutes to spare, which couldn’t possibly be enough time for a worthwhile workout. Or it’s been so long since you exercised, you feel like getting fit again is too overwhelming to consider.

    These arguments against working out have nothing to do with time, motivation, or desire. People with these excuses aren’t lazy -- quite the opposite, in fact. They are some of the most dedicated, hard-working people you’ll meet. Something is holding them back, though, and until they realize where their justifications spring from, they may never make that first step.

    What’s the issue here? 

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    I love workouts where you only have to use one piece of equipment. If you try this medicine ball workout in a gym, it doesn't matter if the gym packed. All you need is enough space to lunge -- no stress about whether a machine is taken or moving from one spot to the next. If you do it at home, all you need is the space for a yoga mat, and a medicine ball.

    Ready to get sweaty? Here are 8 exercises you can do using only a medicine ball.

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    Are you totally at a loss as soon as you're faced with the weight training floor at the gym? If you're in the category of not even being able to fake-it-'til-you-make-it (because you're not even sure what you're supposed to be faking), you're in luck!

    From choosing your weights to trying new equipment, let's check out some of what you'll encounter on the gym floor so you can feel super-confident about beginning a strength training routine!

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    Wouldn't it be amazing to have your own home gym? All the latest equipment, available anytime, without having to travel or pay membership dues at a gym? For most of us, a home gym is not even close to a realistic option. There is one piece of equipment, though, that is inexpensive, takes up very little space, is super-portable (great for traveling!), and on top of all this, it will give you an awesome workout at home!

    What is it? A resistance band.

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    I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Northeast, we have been slammed with a brutal winter -- and it doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon! I am not a natural treadmill runner. In fact, for much of January, I moaned, complained, and dreaded my training runs indoors.

    But now, after more miles logged inside this year than in probably the last five years combined, I’m happy to report the treadmill and I have come to a truce. If you’re still struggling with getting your miles done on the mill, try these 5 boredom-busting treadmill tips!

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    Does this sound like you when you’re talking about your fitness? "I’m so out of shape." "I’m fat." "I could never do that." "I’m so slow/weak/unfit."

    I’d guess you don’t realize how often you’re saying these kinds of negative things about yourself. Whether you’re just listening to an internal critic or voicing your criticism aloud, it’s a huge detriment to your confidence and hinders your work out progress. Negative self-talk can become self-fulfilling prophecy -- if you tell yourself you're likely to fail, you probably will. With a positive attitude, you're less likely to give up on a workout and you're more likely to give it your all.

    If you want to get more out of hitting the gym, it's time to kill the negative self-talk. Don't know how? Here are 8 ways to kick negativity out of the way so it doesn't kill your workout.

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    The days of plain old water being the beverage of choice at the gym are long gone. Now, some gyms even boast their own smoothie or juice bar. We’re inundated with so many choices -- pre-workout drinks; post-workout ‘recovery’ drinks; drinks for energy; drinks for mid-workout fueling; drinks for immortal life. Okay, that last one I maybe made up, but there are definitely a lot of claims being made for beverages marketed at regular exercisers. 

    So what’s your best bet for optimal performance and results? Read on for some old wisdom versus new choices when it comes to drinking up while working out:

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    Do you ever see that woman who walks into a room and commands attention because of her confidence? Just by looking at her, you find it difficult to imagine she is ever nervous or unsure of herself. Confidence is such an important facet of success -- it’s not that you’re always sure you’ll succeed, but that you will have no problem handling the outcome if you fail. 

    As a personal trainer, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of confidence when it comes to achieving results from working out. The gym or any kind of new fitness endeavour can be terribly nerve-wracking for many people, and the catch-22 is that having confidence can help you succeed at your fitness goals. So, I asked a few of my confident female friends for their best advice on how they manage to be such confident women. Here’s their advice to use in life AND in the gym:

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About This Column
Carly Pizzani

It doesn't matter if you're a SAHM, work outside the home or work from the house ... making time for yourself when you're a mom always feels near impossible. But personal trainer and blogger Carly Pizzani is here to help. Having trained many moms, and being mom to an active toddler herself, Carly knows how to get the most out of your limited time. She'll explain what works (and what doesn't) and give you all the tips and advice you need to get into shape.

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