Maintaining motivation for fitness can be a challenge. Have you ever found yourself starting an exercise programme and then quitting shortly afterwards?
If the answer to this question is yes, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Many of us, from all age groups, start a routine and we end up stopping when we get bored or don’t see immediate results.
Here are some tips on how to maintain your fitness motivation.
Set realistic goals
Set realistic goals that start off simple. Then, once you have achieved those, gradually progress into long-term goals. Make sure that the goals that you set for yourself are achievable. If you set your sights too high, you will easily get frustrated and you are more likely to give up as a result. An example of a simple goal is to start off taking 15-minute walks every day. Even if you only exercise for short amounts of time, it is still beneficial. A long-term goal could be to complete a 3-mile walk within a certain period of time.
Make fitness fun
Turn fitness into fun by finding activities and sports that are enjoyable for you and to keep your fitness routine interesting. Try out martial arts or a health club, join a softball or volleyball league, or take a dance class (Zumba is a favourite for many!). Walking or jogging daily in your local park can be fun. You can even work out in the comfort of your own home and do HIIT and yoga. YouTube has endless videos online. Many personal trainers, some famous, offer virtual sessions, too. Trying out a variety will allow you to discover the ones that really take your fancy.
Incorporate fitness into your daily routine
Don’t fall back on your fitness, even when you find it difficult to make time for it. Prioritise your fitness as you would any of your other important routines and tasks. You can also incorporate fitness into your daily routine by taking the stairs, take a walk during your lunch break, take your dog for a walk, ride your exercise bike or take a walk or a jog on your treadmill while watching TV.
Write it down on paper
Write down your goals on paper. Doing so will help you stay motivated by recording down your improvements and benefits from training regularly. It may be that the scales show little or no change yet measurements do, so make sure you jot them all down. Record your training sessions, the time you trained for, and how you felt during and after your training. This will serve as a reminder that you’re making progress.
After you have finished with your training session, reward yourself by embracing the good feelings that resulted from the session. By internally rewarding yourself, you will motivate yourself to maintain a long-term commitment to fitness. You can even reward yourself with external rewards, like treating yourself to new tunes or pair of training shoes when you reach one of your long-term goals. Just don’t resort to chomping your jaws down around a giant cupcake or packet of crisps – you’ll end up feeling guilty and negate all your hard work.
Be flexible with yourself
If you’re not feeling up for training, or you feel like you’re starting to burn out, take 1-2 days to recover. Give your body that bit of a break and take it easy, then getting back on track will be quick to accomplish.
Now that you’re inspired and motivated, get moving! Make training fun, set your goals, and compliment yourself from time to time. Remember, fitness is for life. If you feel like you’re starting to lose your motivation, come back and re-read our tips.