Banish these thoughts that sabotage exercise plans

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Our minds are powerful tools that can help or hurt our fitness goals. While it's tough to think positively 24-7, negative thoughts can really do a number on your workout plans, so much so that they may prevent a week or month of workouts, not just one day. If these negative feelings sound familiar, learn what you can do to turn these thoughts around and stay on a healthy track.

"I haven't exercised all week, so why start now?" A bad habit is tough to break, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Just because you've skipped out Monday through Friday doesn't mean Saturday has to be a no-sweat day. Every day is an opportunity to make a healthy change, so slip on your sneakers and get exercising! Consistency will help keep exercise going, and you can feel good saying, "I've exercised all week long, I'm going to keep it up." But even if you've skipped a few days, it's never too late to start the habit up again.

"Exercising will just make me hungry." While getting in a good workout requires refueling afterward, your post-workout snack doesn't have to be a 500-calorie piece of cake (and shouldn't be!). A typical 30-minute cardio workout burns about 300 calories; if weight loss is on your mind, choose a healthy snack under 150 calories like one of these low-calorie food options.

"I'm too tired, I'll exercise tomorrow." Everyone is entitled to a rest day, and they're essential to help heal and strengthen muscles. If you're sincerely tired and you vow to rest up and make no excuses to work out tomorrow, by all means, take your much-deserved day of rest. But if the "I'm tired" excuse is just that — an excuse — and it's one you make often that gets in the way of your workouts, then it's time to get to the bottom of this excuse. Perhaps your workouts are too boring, too hard, too easy, or not at a good time of day, or there's a health reason causing your fatigue. Whatever it is, make a change so you have the get-up-and-go to get your sweat on.

"I feel too fat to wear workout clothes." If you're exercising to lose weight, it's totally normal to feel self-conscious in your outfit. There are ways around this though. These loose-fitted tops can hide a bigger belly, and if your lower half is your main concern, go for these workout clothes that flatter a thicker tush and thighs. If you're super self-conscious, find times of the day to work out when your gym or the place you exercise is less populated, or opt to work out at home. Keep track of your progress to stay motivated, and every time you reach a new goal, buy yourself some new fitness gear that makes you feel good so you stick with it.

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