Have you ever missed a workout? Let me share my fitness motivation tips to help you prioritize.
Are you motivated or do you procrastinate? Sometimes it’s all too easy to talk yourself out of doing something important. I bet we’ve all been there. My motivation downfall might not be exercise but I can relate!
To get what we really want in life, we have to work hard and that takes dedication, even sacrifice. I hear all the time from people who give up on diet and exercise and feel there is no way back. You probably know someone who keeps falling off their diet or starts a new exercise bootcamp but doesn’t turn up for the second class. It doesn’t need to be that way and, whatever your starting point, it’s always worth trying to find your fitness motivation. Improved fitness and health should always, in my opinion, be your most important goal. Your body is priceless. And, it’s worth making an effort to look after it through regular exercise and good nutrition. If you give up on your health goals, you are giving up on yourself.
Fitness motivation advice, whatever your fitness level
We know that attaining a worthwhile goal usually takes time. Sometimes the time and effort makes the reward even sweeter. Let’s think about the rewards we get from fitness: increased energy, strength, stamina and coordination are the first ones that spring to my mind. Do they work as fitness motivators for you? How about knowing that you’re looking after your health?
If you are giving up or slacking on your fitness plan because you’re not seeing results, then maybe we need to reassess how you measure results? Have you taken part in a race to challenge yourself? The warm feeling of being a competitor is a huge fitness motivator. Maybe you just want to keep up with your kids without feeling out of breath? Whatever your goal – you should add in a way to measure your progress. Noting progress is a huge fitness motivator.
– For a competition the measurement options are endless. Can you go further? Can you improve your finish time?
– If you want general lifestyle fitness, then test your fitness levels in real life situations. Can you carry an extra bag of groceries without having to stop and put it down? Can you climb the stairs without a break to stop and catch your breath?
Any small milestone is worth recognising and celebrating. Focus on the achievements that get you closer to your big goal and you’ll find it easier to stay motivated.
Three tips to sustain your fitness motivation
Let’s face it: the number one result of lack of fitness motivation is giving up entirely. I don’t want anyone to give up on fitness. I really do want all of you to succeed!
Here are three fitness motivation tips to help you stay on track:
1. Take your foot off the gas but don’t stop
If you are working out but not seeing results, simply back off for a few days and reduce your intensity. Continue to work out at a lower intensity in order to give your body a rest and then slowly start to increase your workouts over a week. It sounds counterintuitive to do less, but you need to allow your body sufficient time to recover then adapt and improve.
Quick tip: remember to add recovery days to your fitness regime. If you are working on strength training and cardio five times a week, then try simply walking or swimming for fun on two days to give your body time to recover.
2. Mix it up and make fitness fun
Doing the same thing over and over can easily start to feel boring. Repeating the same workout can also cause overuse injuries and slow down the results process. When you ask your body to consistently do more, it physiologically adapts to the increased demand. Therefore, in order to continue to improve, you must continue to increase the challenge. If you can add an element of fun to exercising then it will be something you look forward to, every time.
Quick tip: Ask a friend to join you or work though a series of varied online workout videos so that you’re constantly doing something mentally and physically interesting.
3. Write down your fitness goal
It’s easy to lose track of the reason you’re working hard, so writing down your ‘why’ can remind you of the importance of your personal fitness goals. Refocusing on your big goal (and the smaller ones along the way) will help you regain momentum.
Quick tip: Try keeping a fitness journal. Investing a a special notebook and writing down what you hope to achieve through fitness on the first page may help you stay motivated.
I hope these fitness motivators help and I bet you’re wondering what I need extra motivation to accomplish! While I never shy away from a fun workout and I’ll be the first to sign up for a race, there are a few things that I procrastinate about. I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for a while but I only manage in starts and stops. My goal is to reach a level when I can join in a conversation with my Spanish-speaking friends without them all having to switch to English. Sometimes, while I’m trying to remember if the term for tomato is masculine or feminine, it’s easy to forget my overall aim.
For me, languages are difficult and I can always find something else to do when I should be working on memorizing new words. I don’t lack for fitness motivation but I do lack language motivation. Just recently, I’ve come across a new approach – I’m listening to language podcasts during my warm ups and cool downs.
Combining something I love with something I often put off is a perfect solution for me – and, being a fitness enthusiast, I know how to listen to my body and listen to the language teacher at the same time! Maybe you are the exact opposite – if you love learning a language or listening to podcasts then perhaps going for a walk while you listen is a good way to add a few more fitness minutes to your day?
A friend – and excellent Spanish-speaker – shared a wonderful piece of advice with me the other day: the moment you are about to give up is usually the moment just before you see results. You have to allow yourself ample time to adapt to new challenges but, if you give it time and practice, you will eventually improve.
If you can push yourself just a little bit harder, complete just one more workout, then this could be the day you realize it’s a little bit easier; you’re a bit stronger or you’re a bit faster. Wouldn’t it be a shame to give up when your goal is within reach?
Tell me what motivates you and what you always find yourself putting off until tomorrow. Between us, I’m sure we can find a way to prioritize what really needs to get done!
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.
Article originally posted in http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2013/10/fitness-motivation/