Do you struggle to find the motivation to exercise? Well you’re definitely not alone! Here’s 5 tips to help inspire yourself to exercise and stick with it.
I think the hardest part of any workout regimen is getting started ( or as yoga teachers like to say: “showing up is the toughest pose we’ll do all day!”). Funny thing about this cliche is that it’s totally true!
But even if you’ve pushed past your own excuses- too busy, too tired, too lazy– and showed up to exercise, there’s still the challenge of keeping with it.
Here’s 5 Ways To Stick With It
1. Forget How Good It Is For Your Health.
Dodging a heart attack that may or may not happen 10 years from now isn’t likely to make you want to work out, unless of course you’ve been told directly by your doctor this is necessary. As humans we are driven towards instant gratification and a pleasurable outcome. That’s the motivation.
So, even though exercising for eventual health is a worthy pursuit and sounds like a great idea, it’s too far off for most people to use for motivation. Better yet, focus on what you’ll get out of exercise right now- a boost in energy and mood, and endorphin high, improved sleep and less aches and pains. Because really these are the most motivating rewards of all.
2. Pick Something You Enjoy Doing.
Many people have the belief that exercise isn’t supposed to be enjoyable, and if it doesn’t hurt in some sort of way or feel like punishment it’s not worth doing. Yes, the workout that is super tough may burn more calories and get quick results short term, but it will also be the hardest to stick with.
Studies show that when women try to commit to long-term to an exercise routine, how much they enjoy it is a strong predictor of whether they will stick with it and whether they will keep off any weight lost while doing it in the future. So be sure to choose a workout that is enjoyable, comfortable and doable if you want to get lasting results.
3. Make It Non Negotiable.
The most consistent exercisers seem to be those who turn exercise into a specific type of habit- one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and getting up and getting dressed in your workout clothes without even thinking about it. Or situations like feeling stressed, and they immediately turn to exercise to “burn it off”.
What is key here is that these people do not take the time to deliberate about exercise, they don’t consider the pros and cons of getting up and working out. They just go regardless because its become an automatic decision instigated by their own internal or environmental triggers. This takes time, but know that the more you do this, the more your motivation will grow, turning an effective habit into one that will last.
4. Meet A Friend For Movement, Not A Meal.
Hangouts don’t always have to revolve around food, coffee or alcohol. Getting active with a friend deepens your connection and will help you both stay motivated. Working out with a friend can keep you more accountable, even if its just going for a walk. You’ll notice that when you exercise with a friend time passes much quicker, you are more likely to have more energy, and part in much higher spirits. Plus if you schedule it in with a friend, you are much less likely to cancel!
5. Use A Fitness Tracker.
There are so many available devices for tracking your fitness these days. Wearable devices and fitness trackers gather real time calorie burning and step count data, which can be useful for meeting fitness goals. How to make a tracker work for you?
Wear your tracker and continue with life as normal for at least 3-7 days. This will give you a picture of where you are at before you start tracking where you want to go! Next, look at your data and check for improvements. Then ask yourself how you changed your routine to cause those improvements, so you can do it again in the future. Once you have a realistic sense of your abilities, it will be easier to commit to a long term goal.
So all though there are definitely ways to help get you started, and keep the momentum going, ultimately the motivation has to come from you!
Here’s one last tip if you’ve tried everything else and you are still struggling. Connect with how you feel before, during, and after the workout. Yes, this is a bit of a mind game but it works.
So next time you go workout, pause and think about these 3 things. Which ever it is where you feel your absolute best, and notice an improvement from how you felt before your session is the feeling I want you to remember and connect with. So when you wake up and don’t feel like going for that run or heading to class, think about how you will feel when you are done. And honestly, 5 minutes into your workout and you will be glad you did!
Time Special Edition/ The Science Of Exercise