Feeling the need to give up after a few days of exercise, or after just a few sessions at the gym? You’re not alone. Here are five amazing tips on how to keep yourself motivated to exercise:
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1. Set Reachable Goals
What could be more motivating than having a clear picture of what you want to get out of exercising? The goal should be specific, reachable and clear. For example, if you’d like to set a goal for running, you’d put down something like this: I will jog for a mile during Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays at 5 in the morning. There’s a goal for how long, when and what time. Write it down so you can look at it for extra motivation, or make a chart with your planner so you can cross off daily activities as you finish them.
2. Surround yourself with motivation reminders
If you can remind yourself what motivated this decision to exercise in the first place, you can keep that initial rush of enthusiasm going for a lot longer. These can be positive or negative, it just depends on what works best for your personality type. For some people a picture of the body they want to achieve is going to motivate, for others the same thing is depressing. Even a print out of blood test results showing high cholesterol for example, if left in a prominent place, can do a good job of maintaining motivation.
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3. Prioritize Exercise
Put your health above all else when you decide to exercise, and everything else will follow. Once you see the importance of having an active lifestyle and the numerous benefits it can bring, then it would make total sense to stick with a regular exercise schedule.
Exercise should not just be thought of as something that could be done last. It should fit in perfectly with your value system and not just something that can be checked off at the end of the day. If you’re comparing exercises such as running or biking similar to doing drudgery, then you’re probably not in the right mindset. One of the best ways to re-frame your exercise as a form of motivation is to think that you get to do it instead of thinking of it as a troublesome aspect in your life.
4. Gamify and Switch It Up
Finally, set some rewards as you go about your exercise sessions. It doesn’t have to be costly or big; just provide enough encouragement and motivation to complete your plan in a step-by-step manner. Reward yourself for being able to complete the week’s exercise, and then reward yourself if you were able to stick to the plan for the whole month. You’ll be so motivated to finish these missions that you’d be looking forward to the next exercise session!
If you’re getting tired of following the same routine, then it’s time to switch it up. There are many ways you can do this. Do a buddy-up with a friend to tackle on a gym, or sign up for exercise classes once in a while. Instead of jogging at the park, you can rent a bike and take on a trail during the weekend, or even go rock climbing. Open up your adventurous spirit and take on any physical activity that comes your way!
Image from Sport Climbing Australia
5. Immediate Benefits
Exercise can bring about more benefits than you’d think. Aside from being fit and having optimal weight, you can also count on exercise to provide mental and emotional merits. It can make you stronger and improve your reflexes, make you sleep better at night and reduce your risk to develop chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and various cardiovascular problems. It can make you feel less depressed and improve your self-confidence too!