I’ve written about how to get started exercising regularly. Today I’m expanding on that post with some more details about daily changes you can do to turn it into reality. You may never have worked out or stopped or slowed down because of other commitments. Maybe you’ve had a health setback, or you just worked out because you knew it was good for you but were never really into it. Personally, I’m terrible at working out on my own and need a trainer to keep my motivation high. I travel a lot, and it’s hard to maintain, so I have to look for different ways of getting into a workout groove. It’s maddening at times, but over time I’ve figured out how to do it.
See if any of the following tips will help to make it easier to get your motivation to workout to an all-time high.
Stay vertical as much as possible. Don’t lie down when you can sit, don’t sit when you can stand and don’t stand when you can move. Each one burns more calories than the first option and eventually these little tweaks will become ingrained, and you will instinctively want to move.
Do something fun. If you hate going to the gym, or the thought of weights or the treadmill make you yawn, do something you’ll enjoy. It will help you stick with it in the longer run. There are endless options including dancing, swimming, boxing, yoga, Crossfit, Zumba, Pilates, and spinning. See what’s available in your area that may be of interest to you.
Walk away from stress. Instead of sitting down for coffee or tea, try going for a stress relieving and energizing walk. If you don’t like walking by yourself, try convincing some of your coworkers, classmates or friends to join you.
Schedule it into your day. Set aside the time to workout and stick to your schedule. Let others know about it so that they try not to disturb you.
Attempt to exercise at roughly the same time each day. Once working out becomes a habit, you’ll get used to it, and your body will be receptive, making it easier to keep the pattern going.
Change your routine. If you’re in a rut with your workout of choice, try doing something different. For example, if you’ve been running try pilates instead or if you’ve been taking spinning classes give boxing a try. If you find doing something new intimidating, check it out first to see if it’s for you. Doing something different can keep things fresh and your attitude about fitness positive.
Keep a progress chart. Reminding yourself of what you’ve done is great motivation to keep going. It also helps you establish a pattern.
Set realistic goals. Nothing can quash motivation more than not meeting your goals. Make sure you set targets you can truly meet. Check out our Smart Objectives Template to help you set appropriate fitness goals.
Get a workout inspiration buddy. Do things with friends and try to match or outlast their total participation time. Don’t measure who is stronger or faster, but establish a friendly rivalry over your commitment.
Find a personal trainer. If it’s in your budget, a trainer can help you meet your goals, get you motivated and help you avoid injury. It’s essential to find someone who will collaborate with you and won’t push you into things you aren’t capable of handling. Equally as significant is finding someone you can establish and maintain a good rapport.
Try to avoid getting injured. Nothing can deter you more than getting sidelined by an injury. Try not to workout the same muscle groups two days in a row, stretch to relieve muscle tightness, make sure your form is correct, and don’t attempt more than you can handle.
Make it more exciting. If you get bored while you’re exercising, try boosting the interest level. For example, use music, vary the tempo of your workout or do your workout in a different location.
Adjust when things come up. If something happens and your day or week becomes so hectic that you can’t get in your standard block of fitness time, try splitting it into smaller and more frequent portions of time. You’ll still get benefits.
Pat yourself on the back for your efforts. Give yourself credit when you meet a goal and don’t criticize yourself if you miss one.