Many people have started a fitness program and then quitted. If you have done the same, you are not alone.
People start fitness programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly. So, is there a way to stay motivated to exercise? The answer is yes. Here are 7 ways to help you stay motivated.
1. Set your goals
First, set a simple goal and then progress to longer range goals. Make your goals achievable and realistic. If your goals are too ambitious, it is easy to get frustrated and give up. For example, in case you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 20 minutes a day 4 times a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 40 minutes six days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete 10K walk.
2. Enjoy it
Find activities or sports which you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. Try something different if you are not enjoying your workouts. Join a softball or volleyball league. Check out a martial arts center or health club. Discover what you like. Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery. You are more likely to stick with a fitness program if you are enjoying it.
3. Physical activity as a part of daily routine
Don’t fall back on excuses if it is hard to find time for exercise. Schedule your workouts as you would any other important activity in your life. Slip in physical activity throughout the day. Instead of the elevator take the stairs. Do strength training exercises or pedal a stationary bike while you watch TV at night.
4. Write it down
Are you hoping to sleep better? Lose weight? Manage a chronic condition? Boost your energy? Write it down. You may stay motivated if you see the benefits of regular exercise on paper. You may also write an exercise diary. Record how long you exercised, what you did during each exercise session and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can remind you that you are making progress and help you work toward your goals.
5. Exercise with a friend or others
You are not alone in this. Invite co-workers or friends to join you when you exercise. Work out with a family member or other loved ones. Play a sport with your children.
6. Reward yourself
Take several minutes to savor the good feeling which exercise gives you every time after an exercise session. This type of reward can help you make a long-term commitment to exercise. In addition, external rewards can also help. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to new tunes to enjoy while you exercise or a new pair of walking shoes.
7. Be flexible
Take a day or two off, if you are too busy to work out. Be gentle with yourself if you need to rest. However, get back on track as soon as you can.