There are many benefits to exercising regularly, such as looking good, feeling sharper, and an improved sex life. But you probably already knew all that. The trouble is getting motivated to start exercising in the first place, and even more challenging, staying motivated to work out regularly.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to inject some exercise enthusiasm into your life.
Create Achievable Goals
One of the biggest motivation killers is unreachable goals. Many people set huge fitness goals for themselves and then within a few weeks of exercising they quickly realize that such achievements will be a little more difficult than they thought.
If you set yourself achievable goals, you will find it easier to stay motivated to hit further targets. Break the large overall target of say, losing 100lbs, into smaller manageable chunks such as lose 10lbs in one month.
Each month your motivation will be boosted with the reward of reaching, or even exceeding, your target. Within 10 months you will have met your overall goal.
Generate a Workout Playlist
Listening to music while working out can improve your motivation and performance according to some studies. This is because “Music listening can be an effective dissociation strategy”. As you listen to the music you lose some perception of effort and body fatigue, which helps you to push yourself harder.
This is why it is a good idea to load your MP3 with your favorite tracks and go into your workouts armed with a super motivating playlist. The ideal songs to include are those that instinctively make you want to boogie, which are generally fast songs with strong beats.
Design a Motivator Diet
Poor eating habits can lead to fatigue and a general lack of motivation as well as many health hazards. Exercise routines go hand in hand with good nutrition and when you adapt your diet to include healthier food options, you will naturally start to feel more energized and tuned for exercise.
It can take a little while to find the right nutrition balance, but, in general, you should make an effort to include lots of vegetables such as spinach, fruits such as bananas, and heart healthy oils such as natural coconut oil. In fact, including coconut oil in your diet has a variety of benefits, as detailed in this infographic.
Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Schedule
Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. In our increasingly busy daily routines, the first thing to get chopped from the itinerary is the workout. When we consider the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of regular exercise, it is clear that a re-prioritization of the daily schedule is required.
If you make a determined effort to get some exercise every day it will soon become second nature like going to work, eating, or taking a shower. You will most likely have to fight off an avalanche of excuses to begin with, but over time you will find fewer reasons not to work out.
Find Variation to Your Workouts
We humans naturally need variety in order to remain motivated in life. This, of course, applies to our workouts, which can quickly become dull and monotonous. When your routine becomes dull and you are not having fun you will quickly begin to look for excuses to be somewhere else. Exercise can take many different forms; a trail run, Zumba class, tai chi, take your pick and switch things up from time to time. Try running the reverse of your usual running route, or explore a new route altogether. If you always exercise outside, why not try out a new class inside gym for a change.
Half the battle is won if you can keep yourself motivated to exercise regularly and for the long term. It may take a little extra effort, but with a few small changes you will soon become naturally motivated to keep reaching for those fitness goals. On the way, you will be rewarded with such benefits as lower mortality risks, more energy, and the ability to better cope with your other daily routines.