Why is it that only 20% of people manage to exercise enough to make a significant impact on their overall health? Everyone accepts the proven benefits of consistent exercise; decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis, reduced blood pressure, maintenance of healthy body weight and improved body image, decreased depression, increased self-esteem, and improved stress management, just to name a few. As the saying goes “Exercise is Medicine.” Taking all of that into account, one could be excused for thinking that all of this would be enough motivation to get us out the door and to the gym on a daily basis. But even the most devoted exercisers sometimes have a hard time getting motivated to do their daily routine.
Below are motivation tips to keep you healthy, excited and energized about your workouts.
Create your personal wellness vision, by answering the questions, “If I were at my optimum level of health and well-being, what would that look like and feel like to me? Why does it truly matter?” When you can answer those questions, see your vision, and feel it in your heart, you will exercise even on the days you do not feel like it. Whether it is climbing mountains with your spouse when you retire, riding bikes with future grandchildren, avoiding debilitating back pain, or looking great in the newest fashions, your motivation will be linked to your personal reasons for staying fit!
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*Try the buddy system. Enlist a friend or loved one in your quest for fitness. When you make a commitment to meet someone at the gym or track, and you know they are counting on you, you will make sure to get out the door.
* Find an activity that is fun. Whether it is spinning, swimming, dance classes or ice skating, make sure you like what you do. Try new things plus mix up the old routines. Everyone gets bored of the same thing day after day.
* Create a challenge. Sign up for a race, a walk for charity, or contests at the gym. Having the challenge to work towards will inspire you to keep going.
* Know why you’re putting all this work in and remind yourself of it daily. If you’re doing this to spend more active time with your kids, put a photo of all of you doing something active together on the bathroom mirror. Motivation remembered is motivation boosted.
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* Build in a reward system. For each 5 pounds you lose, or for every 15 exercise sessions you complete, promise yourself a new exercise outfit, a massage, tickets to play or concert or anything else that spells treat for you (except food, of course!). Whenever you feel like skipping a workout, remind yourself of the reward to come.
* Keep an exercise log. Writing down your workouts and seeing your growth and accomplishments over time can be incredibly rewarding. When you feel you are just not in the mood, look at your log and see a month ago you could only do five push-ups, and now you can easily do 15, will reinforce how far you have come.
* Hire a certified personal trainer. A good trainer can surely help you create a program that will assure that you achieve results, are exercising efficiently and safely, and encourage you to work through plateaus. Even a few sessions to learn a new routine will help ignite your enthusiasm and motivation.
* Couple exercise with another activity you enjoy. Walk on your treadmill while watching your favourite TV show, read while on the stationary bike, or jog the track with a friend. Listening to music or books on tapes on your iPod can make exercise more enjoyable.
Picture with thanks from http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health
* Change your self-talk. When the voice in your head says, “I am just too tired to exercise.” talk back. “Exercise usually makes me feel much better, and I will feel more energized when I am done.” Another common voice is the one that says, “I will do it tomorrow, or later today.” The answer, “You know you are just fooling yourself. Get it done now and you will feel great!”
* Just do it! As the old Nike slogan goes, when all else fails, workout anyway. Give yourself permission to end your session after ten minutes if you still feel like exercise is a struggle that day. Seldom, if ever, will you not complete your workout.
Experiment with the above suggestions and see which ones work for you. Or mix and match and try out different tips each day. After a few weeks, notice whether you are feeling more motivated and being more consistent with your workouts. Remember, to live your vision and reach your health goals; there is no option. Exercise must be part of your life!