Fitness should be enjoyable! These tips can help you add focus and fun to your routine.
Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many people start fitness programs but stop when they get bored or results come too slowly. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.
1. Set goals [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_356_dumbbell.png”]
Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious. For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day three days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.
2. Make it fun [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_331_dashboard.png”]
Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball league, a Zumba class, a ballroom dancing class or martial arts class. Discover your hidden athletic talent. Remember, exercise can and should be enjoyable — you are also more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.
3. Stay physically active [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_329_soccer_ball.png”]
If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up and down sidelines while watching the kids play sports. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night.
4. Put it on paper [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_312_rugby.png”]
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated. You may also find it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can help you work toward your goals — and remind you that you’re making progress. I love writing little post-it notes and leaving them on the fridge reminding me “I am eating healthy, nutritious foods.”
5. Join forces with friends [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_064_lightbulb.png”]
Get some support. Most likely, your friends will want to exercise too, and may need a little push as well! So invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise to help you stay motivated. Or work out with your partner or other loved ones.
6. Reward yourself [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_306_bicycle.png”]
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.
7. Be flexible [fitness_icons icons=”wp-content/themes/fitness/images/icons/glyphicons_311_baseball.png”]
If you’re too busy to work out or simply don’t feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can. Now that you’ve regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.