It’s a fine line that divides motivational success or failure when it comes to exercise routines. Missing one evening’s training could start the slide back to the couch instead of going out running, swimming or whatever activity you had planned. Here are some top tips to keep you motivated for exercise so nothing stands in your way.
1. Set goals for your fitness training and be specific
The more specific the better. For example, aim to complete a running or swimming event, or to lose two inches from your waist rather than just generally aiming to get fit. You are more likely to fulfill your goals, if they are specific. Be realistic with your goals but make them hard enough to be a good challenge. Strike the balance – an unrealistic goal will kill motivation but a goal that is too easily achieved will lead to boredom.
2. Get an exercise training plan
This will give you a daily goal, even if sometimes it is just telling you to rest. You could obtain one from a personal trainer. A structured plan will increase your motivation and your chances of success.
3. A huge de-motivator is overtraining
Don’t increase the duration or intensity of your training too quickly as you will soon become disinterested or injure yourself. This is another reason to get a proper training plan.
4. Adopt exercise role models
Find out what totally motivates you and then surround yourself with it! It could be photos of inspiring sportspeople, men’s or women’s magazines, or even your favourite celebrities butt – whatever works for you! Place these things where you can see them every day.
5. Record your training progress
Keeping a training schedule, logbook or blog , of your gym visits, running times, swimming pool visits, will keep you focused on the tasks in hand and allow you to accurately check your progress. Many people regularly review their logs to provide motivation for the future.
Nothing is more likely to keep you going than adding variety to your fitness training. Look at what else you can do – running, walking, cycling, rowing and swimming, all add to your training and improve flexibility, strength and general fitness.
7. Go shopping for the right exercise clothing
New workout wear can equal a new you, which can subsequently result in improved motivation and performance. Get out to your sports or fitness specialist and find out what’s new in-store. A new top, shorts or shoes could inspire you to keep going. The better you look, the better you feel and you are much more likely to stay motivated.
8. Make your exercise social
After a training session allow yourself a drink or dinner with friends – you deserve it...
9. Get a pedometer for daytime exercise
Current thinking suggests 10,000 steps per day are needed for good health. Try walking whenever you can in your day – you will be further motivated as you see the steps clock-up!
10. Visualise your training success
If you picture yourself achieving your goal and what it will feel like, those images and feelings will help to motivate you to achieving them. Picture yourself feeling amazing as you achieve your goal.