Yesterday I went out and bought new workout shoes, because my current ones looked like this…

And because they looked like that, they were wearing out my socks on the heels such that they were threadbare.

And if the shoes were wearing out my socks that way, you can imagine what they were doing to my poor, now-exposed heels.

So, I bought some new socks too.

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Aren’t they fun?! And as an added bonus–they are so bright that I can see them in my sock drawer when I stumble to my dresser, bleary-eyed, in the dark, for my morning workouts 🙂

Anyway, I found myself last night really excited about working out today just because I got to wear my new shoes and socks. Funny, huh? That the workout I would have done today in my old shoes and socks–not grudgingly, but not excitedly either–felt totally different to me because of something new. Same workout. Same home gym. But different shoes and socks on my feet and all of a sudden I can’t wait for 6am.

And I remembered that I feel the same way when I load new songs on to my iPad, or am learning a new, challenging exercise.

Like anyone I struggle with exercise motivation sometimes. I get bored with what I’m doing, or I’m so stressed in another area of my life that the last thing I want to do is get up early and exercise. So, I have had to find ways to switch things up. I have to find my exercise currency and pay it, if you will. I have to re-set my workouts in some way that makes them appealing.

Sometimes that means taking a new class. Sometimes that means trying out a new piece of exercise equipment. Sometimes that means checking out a new workout DVD or an exercise on YouTube and trying to master it. Sometimes that means finding some new music to listen to while I hit the treadmill. And sometimes that means buying something new to put on my feet. Anyone else find that something new, no matter how small, makes a huge difference?

I want to go back really quickly to my old worn-out shoes.

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I kind of glossed over it, but they were really starting to hurt my feet. Having workout clothing and shoes that fit is so important, both for your physical well-being and creating a positive association with exercise. So, if your workout pants are too tight or too loose; if your shoes don’t support you or are wearing holes in the backs of your heels; if your sports bra isn’t supportive or it’s so tight you can’t breathe properly; if you’re swimming in a t-shirt that’s so big it gets in your way when you’re trying to move; invest in stuff that fits. It’s so important. Exercise is hard enough, especially when you’re first starting out, don’t make it harder with clothes and shoes that make you uncomfortable from minute one. You are important enough to invest in some high-quality clothes and shoes and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. In fact, last year I wrote a post about my favorite places to find inexpensive workout gear. You can read it here.

What are your favorite ways to switch-up your workouts and up your motivation? Share below!