How To Get Motivated To Exercise
Exercise. Love it or hate it, no one can deny the benefits of making exercise part of your daily routine. It’s literally the best thing you can do for your mind and body, and is the best way to get you feeling your best. That being said, understanding the benefits of exercise and actually getting yourself to exercise are two very different things. Many women (if not most) have a hard time making exercise a priority, you are definitely not alone! The tips below can help you get into the right mindset for exercise, and will help you make exercise part of your routine.
Top ways to get yourself motivated to exercise:
Workout with a friend
Having a friend to workout with is great for a few reasons. Number is that this can prevent you from canceling your workout session because then you would have to cancel on your friend. Another good reason to workout with a friend is that it gives you a social activity that isn’t surrounded around eating or drinking. Instead of happy hour, go to fitness class and maybe grab a smoothie after.
Find a fitness class that you enjoy and see if one of your friends (or even your partner) would like to start going with you. This is a great way to get motivated and stay on track.
This is probably the most important factor. If you hate a certain exercise, don’t do it, it’s not going to work. Exercise should be something you look forward to, something you can get better at. If you dread a certain exercise, your workout routine will never last. You don’t have to love the workout, but find something that makes you feel good and you at least somewhat enjoy. This could be playing tennis, cross-fit, or running, it really doesn’t matter so much as it matters that you enjoy it.
Schedule your workouts
Write down your workouts for the week so you already have them set. This gets you in the right mindset to make sure that you do the workout. For example, write down for Thursday that you are going to do an interval run for 30 minutes, with alternating speeds of 7.0 to 8.0. This also makes your workout more efficient because you know exactly what you are going to do going into your workout, rather than walking around the gym trying to figure out what to do for exercise.
Write down your workout goals
This could be goals for the week, for the month, the more goals the better. Small goals add up to big results in the end, so start small. For example, along with scheduling your workout for the week also write down a goal for that workout. Maybe the goal be that you do the workout without stopping the whole way through, or you go a little faster, or lift a little heavier or stretch a little farther. Having a goal in mind makes it so you have something set to achieve, rather than just aimlessly working out just to workout.
Keep a record of your workout
Along with the above, write down what you did for a workout. Did you do exactly what you had set yourself to do? Were you able to go faster or more intense then you thought? Or were you feeling a little slower? Keeping a log of your workouts and seeing how much you have done and how far you’ve come is motivation in itself to keep pushing. It also gives you insight about how your mind and body is feeling in general.
Exercise first thing in the morning
When you exercise first thing in the morning, this prevents anything else getting in the way of your workout. In this way, you will get your workout done right away, which will make you feel accomplished and ready to tackle the day. It also prevents you from talking yourself out of exercise if you do it first thing in the morning.
Put it into action:
Exercising in the morning sounds great, but it is hard to get yourself moving first thing in the morning! One thing I always advise is to set out your workout clothes the night before so that hey are ready for you to jump into – the longer you think about your workout the higher the likelihood you will skip it!
Think about how you feel AFTER you workout
Don’t love how you feel when you workout? No problem. Focus your attention on how you feel after you workout. Think about how much more focused you will be, your mood will be even and lifted, and you will have energy for the entire day.
Think about how you feel if you don’t workout
This is one of my personal greatest motivators to workout. The worst is when you think back and wish you would’ve just used that 30 minutes you had in the morning to workout. This is especially true if you are feeling tired, can’t concentrate, depressed mood, and then thinking “why didn’t I just workout! I wouldn’t felt so much better!!” Most of us know that feeling, and it’s not a good one.
You probably noticed that most of the above have much to do with your mind and getting into a positive mindset for exercise. Even if you don’t love working out, think about the positives. The mind body connection is incredibly powerful, be sure to use it to your advantage.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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