Are you having trouble staying motivated when it comes to fitness? According to some studies exercise adds 2 years to your life, stretching 1 year, getting active 4 years, and yoga 5 years, and best of all it’s never too late to start.
Routine is key, as in many areas of our life. Here is a list of 29 strategies to help you stay the course.
1) Set an appointment and make it a date
If you set up an ongoing appointment with a friend whose fitness levels is at the same level as yours then your mutual motivation will help each other make sure you both make the appointment. By having a dedicated workout partner you are more likely to stick with an exercise program.
2) Have a Snack
If you are running low on fuel due to exercise you are doing then your body will slow down your metabolism to conserve energy. This is undesirable so by having a snack of complex carbohydrates and proteins you can keep your metabolism going.
3) Put your shoes on
By making baby steps you will be overcome the urge to stay at home and not make it past your front door. Once you’ve put on your shoes you will have started yourself on the path to getting out of the house to your workout or having a run.
4) Eat more Iron
Iron is essential for keeping your energy levels high because it helps convert food to energy. If you are dieting, having heavy menstrual periods or avoiding meat your levels of iron could be low. Some good sources of iron are lean meats, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens.
5) Eat most of your food early in the day
By eating the bulk of your calories in the early part of your day you will be able to make it through your workouts throughout the day.
6) Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can drag your energy down. Even 45 minutes of exercise can make you dehydrated. So don’t rely on thirst to give you a signal to drink water, take a sip every 15- 20 minutes while you workout.
7) Make it Fun
If you’re bored of the same old routine try linking your exercise with an escape, social activity or happiness. An example could be trying inline skating or rock climbing.
8) Make it Rewarding
If you make your goals behavior oriented and give yourself a reward after performing these behaviors you will be more likely to stick to your goal and achieve it. An example would be to set a goal of working out 3 times a week, and once you achieve it give yourself a reward like watching your favorite television show, or getting a massage.
9) Look after a Dog or Toddler
Looking after a 3 year old can keep you running around the house without even realizing it. Also working out with a pet in the park can burn a lot of energy too.
10) Try Interval style exercise
Interval style exercise can burn more calories per minute when compared to steady state cardio. It also requires less time making it a more effective and time-saving workout.
11) Create a music playlist
Listening to music while exercising will help you relax your muscles and encourage blood flow, distract you from fatigue and helps with your coordination.
12) Cover all your bases
By covering these 3 areas of fitness – strength, cardiovascular and flexibility – you will be able to keep your energy level up, metabolism burning high and your body free from injury. Try mixing in different workout plans each week.
13) Try a new DVD program
Instead of purchasing DVDS you can save money by loaning workout DVDs from the local library. Use your loaning period to try new workouts, and change every 2 weeks if necessary to keep up the variety, or online there is a huge range of fitness classes, some free, some subscription based, this option is ideal in the current climate of social distancing.
14) Change up your Workout
If you are finding that your workout is no longer giving you benefits change any one of these things: the intensity of the exercise, the frequency of your exercise or the duration of your exercise. Try changing these once a month.
15) Start changing your frequency first
If you are working out once a week, trying adding it more workouts during your week. Once you have made your exercise a habit you will be able to start increasing the intensity and duration of each workout.
16) Develop Realistic Expectations
Within 3 days your heart should become more efficient, and you will find that running upstairs is no longer an exhausting effort. Other things such as changes in fat percentage, muscle development and weight might take a little longer, up to 2 months even.
17) Do some chores the old fashioned way
Instead of putting your washed clothes into the dryer try hanging them out on the clothesline. Instead of using the remote, get up and switch the channels on the television itself. Open your garage door manually instead. The amount of labor saving devices have lowered the amount of calories we burn each week.
18) Invest in a trainer
You will be able to have fine tuned workouts that produce extra results without wasting your own time and effort if you hire a personal trainer. They will be able to schedule follow up visits and keep you accountable.
19) Weight Training
By weight training you could start to see health benefits even before you start cardio. By being stronger, you will be less likely to get injured in an aerobics class. It helps develop strength in important areas such as the trunk, lower back and hip area.
20) Move at every chance
You might be lulled into thinking I’ve already done my workout today, I don’t need to exert any more effort. Consider challenging that reasoning by using all opportunities to work your body. At the grocery store use a basket instead of a shopping cart. Move some object by hand instead of using a wheelbarrow.
21) Taking Care of Injuries
If you have an injury it is important to seek medical help, if you continue to train with an injury it could put you out of action for longer. This will setback your fitness goals.
22) Get a health check up
If you are going to be at the doctor’s anyway, get your blood work done. You will be able to see if your exercise efforts have helped with your cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides level. By tracking this data you will be able to track your progress in the future.
23) Get A Referral
If you have been injured and been told to rest and recover, ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist. They might be able to show you alternative exercises you can do in the meantime that could include appropriate stretches, alternative weight exercises or even yoga.
24) Reclaim Control
If you have been injured and unable to workout you can still control your eating. By having a strong focus and mindset with your eating habits, this will translate into your workout habits once you have recovered from injury.
25) Create Journal After Every workout
Write down how you feel after every workout, and anytime you feel that you don’t have the motivation to workout have a look at your journals. They will remind you of the amazing feeling and help you get over your motivation issues.
26) Remember why you started
If you remember the original goals of why you are working out in the first place it will help you stay on track. Whether it is to fit in to a certain pair of jeans or whatever reason, it will get you into the gym and working out.
27) Try group fitness
By being in a group the energy of the other people in your group will keep you from quitting and also help you stay accountable. You don’t want to be that person who quits early right?
28) Get Addicted to the post-exercise endorphin rush
By knowing that after a good workout you will have an amazing endorphin rush afterwards is sometimes all the motivation you will need!
29) Make your exercise your favorite thing
If you are doing your favorite activity as your form of exercise you will never need to motivate yourself. This can be anything from playing tennis, rock climbing or yoga.