We all know we need to stay active in order to be at our optimum. Fitness effects everything from mental health to bone strength. Yet many people don’t regularly exercise, the number reason being lack of motivation.
I’m going to let you in on a secret; everybody struggles with motivation, even those who love working out. I have days where i can’t be bothered or i’m just not feeling it but then I remember how good I feel afterwards, how much stronger I am physically and mentally. I tie my laces, put on my head phones and get a sweat going.
Here are 12 ways you can motivate yourself to become a fitter, healthier and happier you.
1.Have a Goal
First of all, ask yourself why you want to workout. Is it to be stronger? To feel better in your everyday life? Or simply to live a long life? Keep that goal at the forefront of your mind, when you feel like quitting, when you’re struggling to complete those last few reps, think about your goal and push through the burn.
2.Find your Groove
You have to find something you love, if you don’t enjoy it there is no way you’re going to get up and do it. My dad loves running, I hate it. I love Tabata, HIIT and yoga, my sister hates them. Everyone is different and types of exercise effect peoples bodies differently. Some people thrive on weight training and others on Pilates. It is a question of what makes you feel good.
3.Mix it Up
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get bored of doing the same old workout day in day out. Varying your workouts will not only keep you motivated, it will provide fresh challenges for your muscles and your mind. Try changing your type of workout: if you usually cycle, try swimming. Or change where you exercise: swap the gym for the park.
4.Have Visual Prompts
Most of my workouts are done in my room ( not ideal, but i’m not allowed to make any other room ‘smell like death’, i’m too poor for the gym and I live in England so it’s usually raining) where I have little bits of motivation stuck to my wall. I’m not usually one for motivational quotes (I blame the posters they had in the careers room at school) but I do have a postcard, which my mum gifted me, that reads ‘believe in yourself’. I also have a chart to log the exercise i have done along with a bunch of images that inspire me.
Whether it’s quotes, charts, pictures or post its, having reminders of why you want to workout will keep your fitness goals at the forefront of your mind.
5.Make a Playlist
Research has shown that listening to upbeat music can increase your endurance by 15%. Without music I don’t think I could workout half as hard as I do, all I would hear is me breathing heavily/dying. I prefer EDM and tracks like this.
Download your favourite tracks, or a podcast, or turn the radio up loud and get hat heart pumping.
6.Find a Buddy
Exercise releases feel food chemicals called endorphins that decrease the brain’s perception of pain and increase mood. Why not amplify the feel good factor by making your workout sessions a bit of social event too.
Having a fitness partner will motivate you to show up and to push yourself further. Plus, you’ll always have spotter.
Connecting to other people could be just what you need. Sharing your story, listening to other peoples; there’s nothing better for the soul than surrounding yourself with like minded people that share the same goals as you. You’ll push each other to achieve more than you thought possible.
8.There’s an App for That
Nowadays there’s an app for everything (cat paint anyone? You know what that photo needs Fred, more cat). If you’re a novice apps like Couch to 5k will have you running like a pro in no time. Yogi’s of all levels can rejoice with Daily Yoga, there’s over 500 poses and 50 complete videos to choose from. Fitocracy is an app that rewards you for your sweaty efforts. There are even apps like Zombies, Run turning fitness into a post apocalyptic game.
Search your app store, you’re bound to find something.
9.Utilise Social Media
Follow the right people and social media can be a great place to find inspiration and post your own progress.
10.Buy New Gear
Talking of which, I need to; my trainers have holes and my leggings are baggy. I love getting new active wear; I can’t wait to try them on and once they’re on I might as well use them for their intended purpose.
Find some outfits you love; sleek black, crazy patterns, neon, muted nudes etc. It’s good to feel confident when you’re getting your sweat on.
Set yourself goals and when you smash them, treat yourself. Attend the gym 3 times this week and i’ll go out to dinner on Saturday. Cycle 15 miles and i’ll buy myself those fancy shoes.
It can’t be all work and no play.
12.Scales Lie Feelings Don’t
Do not get hung up on the scales, I rarely weigh myself. One person may weight very little but be weak and unfit, where as another individual may be a similar size but weigh a lot more due to muscle mass.
Muscle weighs more than fat. Listen to your body, if you feel good, strong and healthy that is what ultimately matters. Strength and fitness over scales and figures.
Remember health isn’t just for the New Year or those 2 weeks spent in a bikini on the beach; health and fitness are for life. x