Getting and then staying motivated to keep yourself physically fit does not come naturally to everyone. There has to be the drive to get healthy and stay fit. What motivates one person may not necessarily motivate someone else. Each of us has to have a trigger(s) encouraging us to carve the time and energy out of our day finding good reasons to get a little or a lot sweaty and endure occasional sore muscles. A trigger could be wanting to be a good role model for your kids or regaining your health. All reasons are valid as long as they get you up and moving.
My own personal exercise experience
Personally, I have faithfully exercised since the age of 13. To this day I’ve never gone more than 2-3 days in a row without some form of exercise.
What was motivating me at age 13 keeping me motivated to this day? I was inspired by people who took care of themselves. I wanted to look and feel the way they did, to stay out of doctor’s offices and hospitals, and to stay heathy enough to enjoy all life has to offer. I’ve also seen what lack of exercise does to people I’ve loved and I decided a long time ago that wasn’t the path I wanted to follow.
Finding your own inner exercise motivator
Each of us have our own individual reasons for making exercise a routine, consistent part of our lives. In working with patients, I find people have good intentions of exercising but often have excuses or circumstances drowning out the desire and drive necessary to make it a habit. That’s where motivation comes in.
If lack of motivation is inhibiting you from a consistent, routine exercise pattern, it’s time to find what positively reinforces you to become a person of action. Need some help? Here are 12 motivation inspiring ideas to get and keep you on track:
1. If I don’t exercise, will I regret it?
Going for weeks, months, or years takes its toll on your body. Ask yourself – “do I really want to increase the odds of developing chronic diseases, many of which could possibly be avoided with regular exercise?”
2. Workout with others
You know how accountability makes you, well, more accountable? Finding an enthusiastic workout partner sharing your same goal of getting fit, can be that big toe keeping you motivated particularly on days you want to play hooky.
3. Savor the post-workout endorphin rush
Working up a sweat releases a flood of endorphins leaving you with that “feel good” feeling of relaxation, satisfaction, and giving you that extra spring in your step,
4. If exercise has become stale, mix it up by challenging yourself
If the thought of doing the same workout day after day sounds like torture and boredom setting in, try out different forms of exercise. In fact, it’s best to not do the same routine day in and day out. Doing so opens the door to injury of constantly repeating the same moves of the same muscles.
5. Compete with someone else
It helps to have someone who ups the ante every so often. A friendly competitive camaraderie as to who can walk a little farther, lift a little heavier, or do one more pushup can keep you charged up in keeping fit.
6. Keep track of your successes
Sometimes reviewing how far you’ve come from when you first started working out puts things into perspective when progress seems to have stalled. By keeping a record of miles walked or ran can be very encouraging to see you really have come a long way.
7. Notice increases in strength and energy levels
When everyone else is complaining of weak muscles or lack of energy, you’ll have just the opposite experience – strong, toned muscles and a reinvigorating feeling of stamina and energy to outlast others.
8. Listen to your “enthusiastic” inner voice
Sometimes we have to really listen for it, but if we tune in long enough, that voice in our heads can sound positive as in “you can do this.” Ignore the voice telling you “why are you doing this? You’ll never become fit.” Think confidently and that reaffirming voice can be heard loud and clear.
9. Workout in the morning
Squeezing in morning workouts is one of the best ways to start your day making you feel alert and productive the rest of the day. An additional bonus is jump-starting your metabolism so you continue to burn more calories all day long.
10. Have good workout music
Good workout music is a must. Personally, I like my music fast-paced and loud (I hope my hearing stays good). Choose whatever music you like as long as it gets you off the couch and working out.
11. Have your workout clothes set out the night before
Seeing your workout clothes set out reminds you to fit in exercise for the day. Having everything already waiting for you makes it that much easier to get ready.
12. Remember why you started exercising to begin with
If exercise becomes dull and unappealing, remind yourself of what made you want to start to begin with. Priorities can change meaning you need to refocus on what made you take this journey and where you’re headed. Keeping fit is well worth the effort and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Stay positive, stay focused by remembering you’re worthy and deserve the rewards exercise offers.