We all know that exercise can be pure magic for the mind, body and soul. But how do you go from a sporadic, on again, off again exerciser to someone who feels like exercise is a lifelong habit, as natural and necessary as going to work and eating regular meals?
Here are some great tips to stay motivated and not fall off course ..
The first thing to do is to ask yourself: Why are you exercising? Are you trying to get in shape for an upcoming event? Do you want to lose weight, sleep better, increase your energy, gain strength, add muscle tone and flexibility, or just feel a heightened sense of well being? If the reason you are exercising has anything to do with someone else (for example, your boyfriend says you need to lose weight or get in shape), you need a new reason (and, quite possibly, a new boyfriend).
Set goals. Set both a short term goal, to achieve in three to six weeks, and a long term goal, to achieve over the course of a year. Make sure your goals are achievable enough that they are not discouraging, but high enough that you have an incentive to tie your workout shoes each day. It is also important that your goals are specific and directly related to your specific motivation for exercising. For example, my main motivation for exercising is to consistently maintain my brighter mood and the calm, energized feeling that I get only from exercising, so my goal is to work out at least 5 days per week. My other motivation is to gain strength and cardiovascular endurance & maintain eating clean for life not temporarily.
Keep an exercise journal …Write down how your exercise is making you feel each day. How is your exercise benefiting your mood, energy levels, quality of sleep, weight, and so on? Chart your progress in regard to your specific goals. This can be a great way to see how well your making progress overtime.
Take photos of yourself each month in your workout gear so you have a visual record of your results. Join a group like my Team Fit group www.facebook.com/groups/royersteamfit/ for support from others who love working out and eating healthy just like you.
Make sure you are working out hard enough to release endorphins you want to make sure that you are exercising at the optimum level for you, your body type, and your fitness level. I am much more likely to continue with an exercise program if each workout releases those endorphins and immediately improves they way I feel. Find workouts you truly enjoy you’ll stick to them if you do!
If you enjoy working out with someone, call a friend to help hold you accountable for those daily workouts. You can support eachother on days where you need an extra push.
Identify the excuses you like to use and have a ready made response. If time is an issue, make sure your workout clothes are ready to go. If you have young children, get a good jogging stroller or set up a babysitting swap with another mom in your neighborhood: you can watch her children while she works out and vice versa. No excuses are good excuses if you want results you got to do the work!!
Place a giant star on your calendar each day to indicate that you completed your workout. These visual rewards can be so motivating. I promise you’ll be proud of yourself when you see all you have accomplished by the end of the month.
Change your routine as you reach new goals. Add zest to your workout and avoid the exercise plateau by increasing the intensity or the duration of your workout, or by trying a new workout or sport.
Try not to take more than one day off at a time. I have found this really important to avoid losing valuable momentum. If I take two days off, it becomes very easy to take another day, and then another day. That means that if your workout is only part of your weekday routine, weave it into your weekend routine, too.
Choose an exercise that you are likely to do each day. Walking is the best exercise simply because it is something that is easy to do on a continual basis. There is no need for special equipment, and you can do it absolutely anywhere. I love doing Incline walking on the treadmill at 10% incline for 30 minutes anywhere from 2.5-3.0 speed daily it’s great you’ll see results fast!
If you are walking or running, get a good pedometer to help you track your progress.
Give yourself simple rewards. For short term goals, consider a new fitness magazine, workout video, or simply fresh flowers for the dining room table. Long term goals maybe a new pair of shoes or a great new outfit!
Try to think of exercise as something you do for yourself: a gift you give yourself, a way to stay balanced and focused, and time when you can be alone with your thoughts. It’s not punishment enjoy it, embrace it …..change your mindset & you will change your life!
Like I always tell my members in Team Fit “YOU GOT THIS!”
Approved by Sean Marszalek CEO SDC Nutrition Inc