If someone could bottle motivation for exercise, they would be as popular as CocoCola, I’m sure! Sadly, it’s unlikely to happen. Despite this, there’s actually some really simple things you can do to help yourself be motivated to exercise regularly. These are my top three tips which will help you build a constant desire to move your body, whilst removing some of the common barriers that often hold us back from a daily exercise routine. Take on these tips and you’ll be out moving each day in no time!
1. Keep exercise simple & increase intensity gradually
One of the big barriers people face when it comes to exercise is the idea that it’s too much effort or takes too long. The problem here is that there is a preconceived idea of what fitting exercise into your life needs to look like eg. working out 5 times a week for an hour at the gym or running really far or following a home workout that might require equipment you don’t own. So instead of seeing exercise as just walking out the front door and going for a power walk for 30 minutes, many of us look at this MASSIVE commitment that is just so far beyond what we currently do. You need to ease yourself into it. Start small, then each week or two increase your intensity of the exercise. Commit to your goals, but make sure your mindset is aligned with something achievable.
2. Make working out fun
Make it fun!! Exercise should never be something which you loathe. If it is, it’s time to find another way to move your body or look closer at the reasons behind why you loathe it and address those (eg. body confidence concerns). Find a type of exercise you like – running, dancing, swimming, weight lifting, workouts at home, pilates workouts at home, workouts with friends, bush walks, bike rides, walks with the dog – just to name a few! If you prefer to workout with people or have a laugh working out with a personal trainer, seek out local fitness groups or gyms with classes.
It’s also a good idea check in with yourself and see if you’ve put any unhelpful rules around your exercise routine that might be holding you back from enjoying the time you do have moving your body (eg. needs to be done a certain way, for a certain amount of time or there’s no point).
3. Change your exercise routine regularly but establish exercise habits
If you’re exercising regularly and doing the same thing, it’s likely that at some point you will get bored and lose motivation. I know I do. This is why I change up my training style every 8 weeks or so. Not only does it keep me from being bored, but it also trains cardio vascular and muscular systems in different ways to keep them from ‘getting comfortable’ which prevents further improvements in their functionality.
Outfit from 2XU
Whilst you want to change it up regularly, it’s important to create habits to support your workout efforts. These are things like choosing the same time to exercise each day, or laying out your workout gear the night before, or organising times to workout at the start of each week. Doing these things regularly means that even when the type of exercise you do changes, your set times to workout will remain the same, creating a lifestyle habit which takes up less brain space and internal motivation.
3. Love yourself and be content with who you are
For many of us this can take years to get our head around. It sure did for me. But take it from someone who disliked her body, and for years never thought it was good enough – thinking like that won’t get you closer to your goal, if anything it’s a hinderance to that! Be determined and know what you want from your exercise, but love yourself as you are right now instead of wishing you were somewhere else – it makes for a far less stressful time and helps you to enjoy the process, which also just makes it easier to be motivated to exercise
Know your motivators for exercise
Your personal motivators (the reasons you want to exercise) are what will make up your general motivation to exercise and they’re also what you can call upon to remind yourself why you want to exercise when you have days that you’re just not ‘feeling it’. You need to know these and ideally write them down on the ‘my motivators’ printable below and stick it on the fridge (click here for info on how to use it or get PDF version). Remember, exercise isn’t just a means to weight loss, and I’ve written before about why weight loss can’t be your only motivator for exercise. There’s also some other suggestions of things that might motivate you there too.
Find some sweet tunes to motivate you to exercise regularly!
Of course, music is also a great way to get you in the mood and motivated to exercise regularly. If you haven’t got it yet, you can get my motivating Spotify playlist here. I’m also giving away a pair of bluetooth in ear headphones to 5 lucky readers. Enter below!
Giveaway – win 1 of 5 Audiofly Bluetooth in Ear Headphones
Competition ends midnight 25 June 2018 and is open to Australian residents only.