It is a fact of life: you need regular exercise to stay healthy. You understand the importance of regular exercise, but may struggle with motivation. Although what constitutes effective motivation differs from one person to another, common threads emerge. Find the motivation that suits your personality and lifestyle and stick with it.
How much you get out of an exercise session has a lot to do with how much you
enjoy doing it. Here are some suggestions that might make working out more fun.
Working out with a friend or family member adds a social aspect to exercising.
Keeping track of one another's progress can be motivating. Buying you some
special exercise clothes may also add a fun dimension to exercising. The
clothes don't have to be expensive, but should be something you like wearing.
If your workout involves running, biking, or walking, go somewhere fun, such as
a park or a friend's house. Rotate the places you go to avoid getting bored.
Many people find setting goals powerfully motivating. It's fun to keep track of
your progress, and meeting your goals allows you to celebrate your successes.
As you meet a goal, set another that is slightly tougher. Make sure your goals
are achievable; setting goals that you cannot meet is discouraging. Unrealistic
goals that involve pushing yourself too hard can be dangerous.
There are different types of goals you can choose. Distance goals are helpful
if you enjoy running, walking or cycling. Speed goals are also good for these types
of activities. Endurance goals are useful if you use a treadmill, elliptical,
swim or participate in another type of aerobic workout. Repetition goals are
well suited to weight training and calisthenics.
MAKE SIMPLE CHANGES
If you are not used to exercising, starting a regimented exercise program may
seem overwhelming. Incorporating physical activity into your daily life may be
a good motivator to transition into other forms of exercise. Walk or bike to
nearby places instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of riding an
elevator. Park at a distance when going to the store rather than looking for
the closest parking space. These simple changes in your daily life can lead to
increased strength and endurance. You may notice that you're no longer winded
when you take the stairs or that you're walking faster than you used to. These
changes can help motivate you to take the next step in making exercise a
routine aspect of your life.
Many people live according to a schedule, which ensures that all of things you
need to do are accomplished. Scheduling your exercise can be a good motivator
because it means you've set aside time to the exclusion of other activities.
This bumps exercise from an "I'll get to it when I can" activity to a
important priority. By dedicating a specific time period to exercise, you
reinforce the importance of exercise in your life.
Rewards are great motivators for people of all ages. The daily reward for
exercising can be as simple as allowing yourself 10 minutes to relax, read a
book or play a game. Set your reward ahead of time and follow through each time
you exercise. You may want to set bigger rewards that are tied to your exercise
goals. For example, you may decide to treat yourself to a movie or go an
exhibit or attend a sporting event when you reach your distance or endurance
goal. Your reward should be personal, something you truly enjoy.
Talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program to be sure it is
safe for you. If you have a pre existing medical condition, ask your doctor for
suggestions about what type of exercise is best for you.