Obviously we love the results, but there are few people who genuinely love exercising. We've found some great tricks to help you stay motivated!
I think we can all agree, even the fittest of people run into slumps where they don't feel like exercising. It can be hard to find the motivation to break out of these slumps, but it is doable! Below are some tips and tricks on how to stay motivated to work out.
Change Your Perspective
This sounds like a big leap in thinking, but shifting your mentality to that of an athlete can actually be easy. Instead of using your busy life as an excuse not to exercise, look for the times where you can fit a quick 20-minute workout in—even if the only time is at 11:30 p.m. (although, if you have downstairs neighbors, they may request you try to find another time). A great example of this is a single mom who, instead of using her children and her busy life as an excuse not to exercise, views exercising as a way to be a good example to her kids.
Set a Goal
Nothing helps motivate a person to train like actually having something to train for. Find something like a 5K that interests you, pay the admission fee, and put that bad boy in big bold letters on your calendar so you can't forget it! Maybe your goal is more along the lines of "I want to fit back into my old prom dress or that cute swimsuit I saw in the store the other day." Whatever your goal is, write it down, define what succeeding at that goal looks like, and revisit that goal often to remind yourself.
For anyone who's working out just to lose weight or get in better shape, you should set what we call "non-scale goals" for yourself as well. If you're defining your success exclusively by how much weight you lost or gained each week, you could be missing the bigger picture. Stay motivated by finding other victories to work towards and let the scale follow along as added proof that you're getting healthier.
Schedule a Regular Workout Time
I'm serious. Pull out your day planner and block off an hour exclusively for taking care of your body at least three days out of the week, preferably every day. Try to schedule your exercising for a time when you know you generally have the motivation to do it. If you love the energy boost and endorphin rush that exercising gives, schedule it in early in the morning so you can ride that rush the rest of the day. If it tires you out and helps you sleep, schedule it in at night. The right time is different for everyone, so make sure you figure out the right time for you. If you convince yourself that you'll exercise once the kids are asleep, or once your spouse leaves for work, or after your last meeting of the day, it's probably not going to happen. There'll be a last-minute invite somewhere, that bike ride you were going to take will be canceled due to rain, or the kids just won't go to sleep. Instead, schedule your workout like any other appointment and plan around it like you would an important meeting.
Enjoy Some Variety
People need change and variety to stay motivated. This is true for life, for work, and for working out. It also makes it a lot easier to stay motivated to work out if you know you're going to have a lot of fun doing it! Whether it's finding a toning class that has new choreography every week or it's finding a new trail to run for each month, design your exercise routine around a variety of exercise methods. Find something you really, genuinely enjoy doing. For example, I absolutely despise running to the very core of my being. However, I love things like Zumba that still get my heart rate up. If you find a way to exercise that you actually enjoy, you're much more likely to keep going.
Build a Support System
It can be hard to ask for help, but it can be just as hard to motivate yourself to exercise alone. Having encouragement from someone else can make a huge difference. Find a friend who you can work out with who'll help keep you motivated. You'll find that while it's easy to hit the snooze button when it's just you, it's much harder when you know your friend is waiting at the gym or track for you. If you don't have a friend you can run with, try joining a social networking site or online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts as well as support from others trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can also lobby with your workplace to offer on-site fitness, yoga, or Pilates classes to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Make it Cost You
The reality of working out is that it's very easy to avoid and make excuses for. If there's a price tag tied to it that you've already paid for, you're a lot less likely to bail at the last-minute. Try booking a personal trainer, even if you already know what machines to use and how they work. Most of them charge you if you cancel at the last-minute, so you're paying even more for not going than you would be for going! There you have it!
What's your go-to workout? Tell us how you stay motivated in the comments below!