How Do I Stay Motivated To Exercise?
It’s the busy time of year! Kids are back in school, work deadlines increase, many family events and let’s not forget the Holiday season which is coming up like a freight train! How in the WORLD can you stay motivated to exercise?! I fight these temptations, make excuses and want to roll back into bed as the weather gets chilly. Most of the days I win the battle and that has to do with consistency of routine. It did NOT happen overnight! When you start exercising it takes awhile for it to become something you “want to do” or you “miss it”. Most people quit within the first two weeks and then keep restarting and stopping again…it becomes a vicious cycle…
Not only does this not lead to the desired results, it sets up a negative mindset making it harder to stick with it next time. Mindset makes huge difference. It sounds silly, but if you tell yourself you CAN do it, you WILL. The reverse is TRUE as well- if you say I CAN’T you will FAIL before even started! This takes practice and I am continuing to work on this myself.
I wanted to share a few tips that help me stay consistent and motivated with my exercise.
1. Keep a Journal
Have a written out workout plan. Put in on a Calendar. I have found written works better than electronic and Posting it where you cans see it! In your journal, write down how you felt after the exercise. If it is weights like P90X, Chalean Extreme, Les Mills Pump or a gym workout, mark down the number of reps and weights. The P90X Handouts are great for this! If its cardio like Insanity, Turbofire, volleyball, soccer, running, etc marking down how far you got through the DVD, how improved your game was (were you able to jump higher, beat out that defender, kick harder), if you increased distance and/or speed. This will help you track your progress and make small goals. Try after each workout to write down your goals for the next workout. It will inspire you to 1) workout and 2) push harder to achieve those goals. There is no better feeling or motivation than reaching a goal!
2. You never know who you will Inspire!
Have you ever been inspired while watching a pro athlete or the Olympics on TV? I know I was glued to my TV during the Summer Olympics and now for the Baseball playoffs (Go Yankees!) and football season (Go Steelers!).
A shift in your thinking is imperative. Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete which is not as big of a challenge you might think. Think of it as “setting a good example”. I know many people I have worked with whose kids have started to follow them in the routines. Kids, friends and family see what you are doing. Your dedication can help them make the healthy decision to get fit and how much easier it is when you have people you love on board with you!
Also, think about how luck you are that you CAN be physically active. I take this for granted all too often and being injured has brought it to the forefront. I am Lucky- I will get better. Try hanging an “I’m lucky” sticky note on the mirror. Overall, committing to a fitness routine begins in your head.
3. Set Goals
I know I touched on this in number one, but it so important I am going to comment again! As the author I get to take a few liberties, lol.
Examples of goals are to run a 5K, bench press a certain amount of weigh, fit into a favorite outfit or bikini, or to be able to run around with your kids.
As far as races, there’s nothing more motivating — sometimes even scary — than that first 5K, 10K or ½ marathon etc looming in bold letters on the calendar. I recommend you register early and commit to an exercise program that will get you in shape by race day. There are great apps for your phone that allow you to put in the race day and a pre-set schedule it formed. Many of the people I have worked with have run their first 5K to half marathon and I most recently had someone complete their first tough mudder!
The most important thing is to make sure the goal is reasonable! You have to be able adapt your life around this goal. You cannot realistically train for a marathon in 2 months, but a 5K is reasonable. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure.
4. Schedule Workouts
Schedule a regular workout time once you have your goals. Some of the most committed exercisers do it every day before the sun comes up or late at night when the kids are in bed. Sit down with your weekly schedule and try to build in an hour each day to be good to your body. I wake up at 4:30AM on the mornings I workout as I have an hour commute to and from work. I am NOT motivated when I come home and it’s very likely those workouts will either not get done or they will not be optimal. Yes, that is early in the morning, but it is what works for me. Find what works for you. This can take a few tries of working out in the morning vs. the evening. I always feel ready to face the day and energized after my workouts. I often find I am more tired on my rest day! Setting an alarm and setting out your workout ahead of time where you can see them. That way when your alarm goes off you are up and dressed to workout before your brain catches up!
Take a moment to write down a few goals you want to accomplish in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year. Then start making a Plan to achieve them! I am here to help! All you need to do is Contact Me.
5. Think fun and variety
By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated. We also need to have fun — even while we’re working hard. Do both!
This is one of the reasons I love Beachbody- so many workouts to choose from! I am finding that especially relevant as I recovery from my soccer leg injury. I have gone back to one of my old favorites P90X and those upper body weight routines are kicking my butt! I like to mix up my at home exercises with soccer and running. Next on the list is learning to play ice hockey with Brian. I have always wanted to do a triathlon as well.
Whether it’s a toning and sculpting or cardio workout that changes choreography or a trail run that changes scenery every season, design your exercise routine around a variety of exercise methods. This is help you escape a plateau and stay engaged. Also, think about out of box workouts with family— like dancing, hula hooping, playing catch or hopscotch. The more you like the workouts and have fun, the more you will stick with it! There are days like Friday where I just wanted to get frustrations out and Les Mills Combat did that for me and others I need the mental quiet of yoga or Tai Cheng. The variety keeps me pushing play and moving toward a healthier future.
6. Reach out to others for support
I find this SO important. I do not think I would have made it through P90X the first time if I did not find the Team Beachbody message boards and my Coach. I know I would have thrown in the towel and not be where I am today, finally on the path to health. Having my husband on board with exercising is awesome. It’s become a part of our lives in place of our past activity of sitting on the coach eating unhealthy food. Being part of a team or running/walking group and sharing in their zest for your sport or activity will keep you motivated and on track. It’s easy to hit the snooze button when it’s just you, but much harder to leave a friend or team waiting at the track or game.
Experts recommend joining a social networking site or online community with fitness minded people and other people trying to lose weight and maintain healthy eating and exercise routines. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose three times more weight than people going it alone. This is why I started both my Message board thread (get access Here) and Facebook Support Group (contact me to get access). I aslo run Special Challenge Groups where everyone gets one on one support! The BEST way to reach your goals Fast!
I hope these helped! So start thinking of yourself as an athlete, and not a spectator. Set a goal, enlist a friend, mark it on your calendar and have some fun. You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, more happiness, and more energy for everything else in your life.