A lot of us find it hard to stay motivated to exercise, especially if it has to be done on top of work, family life and other things that need to be done. But exercise is important enough that you have to fit it in somewhere and to keep it going over the long term. What usually happens is that we start exercising and then we just stop doing. Here are some to tips to keep your motivation for exercise going:
1 Setting and reaching goals
Set realistic goals and reach them. At the very start keep your goals small and as you get used to working out regularly you can boost your goals more and more. Have short terms, medium term and long term goals. A short term goal would be to maybe walk or run 1km everyday. Medium term goal would be to be able to do that 1km within 10 mins or increase it to 5km. A long term goal would be things like waist measurements etc. These are just examples but keep your goals small and realistic at the start so you dont overdo it.
2 Take before and after pictures
You must take a before picture. In fact, take one right now and store it away. Compare after 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks etc, you might be surprised how much a little transformation every week can add up.
3 The amount of calories burned
If you keep a tab on the calories you burn and the calories you consume you will realize how simple the math is to lose weight. Keeping score will motivate you and keep you honest when it comes to your diet and eating habits.
4 Fun exercise
Exercise might not always be fun so stay away from things you dont enjoy. If you dont like running, then dont do it, or it will demotivate you when you think about your next workout. Also keep changing things around to prevent boredom, try mixing in yoga with a martial art once in a while.
5 How you’re going to look after
The possibility of looking in the mirror and seeing a much more improved person is going to have you going back for more.
6 Magazines, Movies and TV. I find a lot of motivation from seeing fitness magazines and seeing super-fit ripped people in movies and tv shows.
7 Success Stories.
Sucess stories are another way to stay motivated, knowing that someone has gone from overweight to ripped in X amount of months gives us the boost we need to know that its even possible for us. That’s why i created the Flickr group for people to contribute their own before and afters. Seeing is believing.
8 How you’re fitting into clothes
After a few workouts, just the way your clothes sit on you will make you come back for more. Tighter clothes might fit you just right or you could just look better in them.
9 Stress relief
Wound up after a long day at the office? Get out and work off that stress. It works.
10 A workout partner
Sometimes having someone to workout with can be a big boost, it keeps it fun and if you’re a competitive person the two of you can push each other to new greater heights.
11 A coach or trainer
Might be a bit pricey but usually have someone of authority in health and fitness telling you what to do will give you the confidence that what you are doing is right for you.
12 An exercise log/graph
Keeping track of what you do is very important. Knowing what you did the day or week before can give you a good baseline of what you should be doing now.
13 Personal Time
Use the time you exercise as personal time just for yourself, at work we are usually looking into work things and clients and coworkers and at home we are usually looking after family, so use this time for yourself and some personal reflection.
14 The way you feel after a workout
I feel on top of the world after a workout and the rest of the day is a breeze, its a natural high and can serve to motivate you day in and day out.
15 Posting it on a forum or on a blog
Telling people about what your doing and whats working is always a good motivator. Especially when people read about it and reply urging you on or asking how your progress has been.