You’re one workout away from a better mood (and a better YOU)
You probably think that one of the number one questions I receive as a personal trainer is, “How can I lose weight quickly?” Nope, not even close – this one’s quite far down the list, and most of you know by now how I feel about focusing just on the scale.
The most popular question I and many other personal trainers are asked is, “How can I find the motivation to consistently workout?” Fitness and motivation are two words that should go together naturally, but they often don’t. Even the fittest of people that are used to regular exercise suffer from what I like to call exercise fatigue, A.K.A. a lack of fitness motivation.
But it’s worth it and, in fact, it’s required to achieve whatever fitness goal it is you’ve set for yourself. To get better at anything, we must keep going and keep doing. Here are some tips on finding exercise motivation and staying consistent well past the beginning of the year.
Everyone responds to rewards. It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are, rewards motivate people to work harder, so if you’re looking for some exercise motivation, this could help.
Lose weight, improve health, boost stamina…these are fitness goals, but they’re vague fitness goals and can take a while to achieve. Tangible rewards that can be achieved in the short-term, such as a cheat meal, new workout pants or a night out at the movies will work better as a type of exercise motivation. Think about what motivates YOU and tell yourself that once you get to point X, you get to choose a reward.
Through consistent exercise, you’ll form a good habit, and it won’t be as difficult to muster up the necessary exercise motivation (however, this doesn’t mean you won’t have off days – everyone does, so if this is the case, don’t beat yourself up too much!)
Need Exercise Motivation? Make yourself Publicly Accountable
You can promise yourself you’re going to workout all you like, but research shows that you’re more likely to follow through with your exercise if you make the pledge in front of friends and family who can help hold you accountable.
Go one step further and tell them that you want them to regularly ask you about your fitness goals and how they’re going. Knowing that you’ll have to answer these questions will help keep you on track.
Try visualizing how you’ll feel during a great workout session. If it’s a run, imagine that fresh air and how the sun will feel on your face. Visualizing future results works, too – imagine how toned and muscular you’ll be 6 months from now!
Additionally, try identifying what things are holding you back from achieving your goals. A possible obstacle is often lack of energy and just being tired. Once you’ve identified your obstacles, figure out how you’re going to overcome them – make a plan! For example, it could be as simple as changing your workout time from after work to lunchtime instead, or going to bed earlier so you can workout first thing in the morning.
Find a Fitness Buddy
The power of having a fitness buddy can be very beneficial – it’s a great way to make sure you stick to your workout program. You’ll be able to motivate each other, and of course when there’s another person involved in your fitness goals, it will increase your accountability.
If you’re going through a slump and the idea of hitting the gym is a big turnoff, your workout buddy will come in handy. And no doubt you’ll help them achieve their goals, too.
These things won’t happen overnight, but after some time, your body will get used to the endorphin rush that goes with working out, and you’ll soon discover that there’s an intrinsic exercise motivation that goes with it as well. Your body was made to move and it actually enjoys movement! Find what you like to do, stick with it and reap the benefits!