A few months ago, I started the couch to 5k program. It started slow. Really slow. I needed it to be a slow progression because I was just stepping back into fitness after a really long break. Part of that long break was breaking my ankle. However, that was almost 3 years ago. The other part was just laziness.

I started and stopped workout routines and videos. I kept trying healthy diets. But I found that I was more successful when I took things slow and changed things about my everyday routine. Sticking to a running program really helped. I'm the type of person that would rather work out hard so that I can have a glass of wine later. I want to enjoy life while still being healthy. Exercise helps me do that.

I used to think that people were thin or healthy or strong because they wanted to look a certain way. As I get older I'm realizing it's so much more than that. It's about being healthy and living a longer life. It's about being able to do the things you want to do in life when you are physically fit.

So instead of my motivation to look good, although that's part of it, I want to feel good and be healthy. I know that will encourage me to keep on track more than anything else. I can say for the past few months now I've changed into a healthier lifestyle and I already reap the benefits.

In case you're starting out, losing track of staying healthy, or just want some motivation here's how I keep it going:

– Monitor your progress. I used to just cross my fingers and hope I was using weight. It was like I was scared to step on the scale. I got over it, and now I know where I am in my progress.

-Stay hydrated. I am a Diet Coke fiend, I had to change that up and drink more water. Before, during, and after a workout always makes me feel better.

-Take breaks. This was huge for me. I thought I needed to workout every single day. I was wrong! Taking breaks helps let your body repair. 

zappos workout

– Have a buddy. Michael and I walk at least twice a week together so that we can encourage each other.

-Wear the right shoes. For the longest time I had 5 year old running shoes. As soon as I got new shoes everything changed. Plus, I wanted to get to wear them!

neon tennis shoes

-Cute, comfortable workout clothes. Whenever I hit a milestone I gift myself new workout gear. A sports bra, a pair of colorful leggings, or some new tennis shoes. Zappos is the best place to get high quality workout gear, delivered to you super fast. I'd heard about their exception customer service and excellent shoe selection, but I didn't realize that they have over 150,000 styles and 1,000s of brands of clothing, jewelry, and more.

zappos workout gear

At Zappos, shipping is always free and they have 24/7 customer service with a 365 day return policy. Basically, you can't go wrong. Seriously, I could be on that site all day. Don't like something- return it and get something you love and that motivates you.

Running has become a huge part of my life now, something I look forward to.

If you're in the San Francisco area, make sure to check out the Zappos Bay To Breakers run that's taking place today! Check out more information on how you could participate next year!

What keeps you motivated?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.