I often hear people say, I need to workout, but I just can’t get motivated. Even seasoned athletes experience highs and lows occasionally before getting started.
There are so many ways to motivate yourself to exercise, and I want to share some ideas that have helped me. Sure I’ve had days when I’ve struggled with exercise. Just like everyone else, there are days when I’m too tired, or have too many things scheduled to find time to exercise. With three boys, I have a plate full of responsibilities and everything seems to require top priority. But my workout is my time for myself, so I have a secret stash of motivational jolts that keep me on the fitness trail.
1. Remind yourself how good you feel after your workout. I always feel on top of the world after a good workout. It’s a natural high. Allowing myself to dwell on those thoughts help to motivate me to get going.
2. This is your special time for yourself. While many women make time to take care of others (kids, husband, other family, co-workers, boss), they often neglect taking time out for themselves. Instead, make your “you” time a priority, and don’t break that exercise appointment.
3. Think about the calories you will burn. If you count calories, you know that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn.
4. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t, choose an activity that you enjoy. As long as you’re moving, you’ll reap benefits.
5. Think about how you’re going to look as you continue to exercise regularly. Imagine a slimmer, fitter you. Now let that body image drive you.
6. Magazines. It motivates me to read fitness magazines. I get energized when I read about other people striving for the same goals as me.
7. Cover models. When I see a cover model that looks really good (and most look terrific) it helps motivate me to work harder.
8. Blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about people who are into fitness training. I can relate to the ups and downs they go through, and learn from their experiences.
9. Success stories. I find the success stories of others to be motivational inspirations.
10. I reward myself. Especially if I am having trouble getting motivated. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, a book, a magazine, a pretty new nail polish, or a small bouquet of flowers. One of my friends buys herself fitness presents to reward her dedication.
11. Fitting into new clothes. The love of clothes is a great motivator for staying in shape. If you want to look good in all the new styles. Work out!
12. Adrenaline rush. I get a rush when I exercise and it lasts long after my workout.
13. Stress relief. Stressed from a long day at the office? Get out and work it off. It really helps to have this physical outlet to let go of all that tension.
14. Time for contemplation. Sometimes, I enjoy losing myself in my thoughts when I exercise. I’ve found it often helps me uncover solutions to daily problems.
15. A workout partner. Not only is it much more fun to exercise with a friend, you have a sense of responsibility to them to keep your workout appointment.
16. An exercise class. Sign up for a class, perhaps with a friend, and you’ll be motivated to get there and work out.
17. A coach or trainer. Worth the money, just for the motivation.
18. An exercise Journal. People who keep a journal of their workout routine have a far better chance of success than those who do not. The journal is your own personal checkpoint to remind you where you came from, where you are now and what your intended goal is to be.
19. Looking at a before picture of myself. You often don’t realize how far you’ve come. Find an old picture of you taken before you began working out.
20. The dread of feeling disappointment from not exercising. I hate the guilt, frustration and feeling like I have missed something very important when I skip my workout. So I remind myself of that when I’m feeling too tired or lazy to workout.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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