Have you ever started a fitness program and then stopped? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many people start a fitness program but may stop if they get bored, don’t like it, or the results are too slow. Here are seven tips to help keep you motivated.
1. Set goals
Start with simple goals and then move on to long term goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up when your goals are too ambitious.
For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be walking 10 minutes daily, five days a week. Even short workouts can have benefits. An intermediate goal could be walking 30 minutes five days a week. A long term goal might be to complete a 5K run.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. A greater amount of exercise will yield more significant benefits. Try incorporating strength training for all major muscle groups into your fitness routine at least twice a week.
2. Make it fun
Find a sport or activity you enjoy and vary the routine to make it enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy your workout, try something else. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dance class. Visit a gym or martial arts center. If you like exercising at home, look online for videos of different types of exercise, such as yoga, high-intensity interval training, or kickboxing. Or take a walk or run in a local park. Find your hidden sports talent or interest.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be boring, and you’re more likely to stick to a fitness program if you enjoy it.
3. Make physical activity a part of your daily routine
If you’re having difficulty finding time to exercise, stop making excuses. Plan your workout like any other important activity.
You can also do physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther away from the store. Walk up and down the ledges watching the kids play sports. Go for a walk during breaks from work.
If you work from home, stretch, walk, or take the stairs during your breaks. Or do squats, lunges, or sit-ups. Take your dog if you have one. During your lunch break or while watching TV in the evening, pedal a stationary bicycle, walk or jog on a treadmill, or do weight training.
Research shows that prolonged periods of sitting can negatively affect your health, even if you do the recommended weekly activity. If you sit for several hours a day at work, take regular breaks during the day for exercise, such as walking. B. drinking water or standing during a phone call or video conference.
4. Put it on the paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Increase your energy? Sleep is better? Dealing with a chronic illness? Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise and writing down your goals can help keep you motivated.
Keeping an exercise journal can also help. Write down what you did during each workout, how long you worked out, and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts and tracking your progress can help you work towards your goals and remind you that you are making progress.
5. Join friends, neighbors or others
You are not alone in this. Invite friends or colleagues to exercise or go out with you. Exercise with your partner or other loved one. Play soccer with your kids. Arrange for neighbors to take a fitness class at a local gym or work out virtually via video.
After each exercise, take a few minutes to enjoy the good feeling the exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.
Extrinsic rewards can also help. When you reach a more distant goal, treat yourself to a new pair of hiking boots or a new song while you train.
7. Be flexible
Take a day or two if you’re too busy to exercise or don’t feel like exercising. Stay calm when you need rest. The important thing is to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Now that you’ve got your enthusiasm back get moving! Set goals, have fun, and give yourself the occasional compliment. Remember that physical activity is lifelong. Check out these tips if you feel your motivation is slipping.