Getting adequate exercise is extremely important to your overall health and wellness, but some people lack the motivation to accomplish it. If you are having trouble with motivation it may be time for an attitude adjustment. Instead of viewing it as a hassle, you should view it as a component of self-care.
Once you get into a good routine, you may even start to look forward to your workout times. It takes about 21 days to make a habit, so what do you do if you lose motivation after that? Here are some ways to motivate yourself to exercise.
Set Realistic Fitness Goals
If you’ve never worked out in your life, setting a goal of running a marathon in a month is not a realistic goal. Starting slowly and setting goals that you can achieve is a much better bet so you don’t get hurt, burnt out, or give up.
Setting goals of working out so many days each month, getting a certain number of steps in, or doing a certain number of repetitions can be a much more attainable goal for someone just starting to exercise. Whatever your goals are, getting some exercise is better than getting no exercise.
Reward Yourself When You Meet Goals
Some people may set general goals like “lose weight” or “be healthier,” but it’s better to make more specific goals like “work out three times this week.” When you achieve these goals, you can reward yourself with something special.
A reward is powerful because your brain will catch on to this and realize the behavior is worth doing.
This can create a neurological “habit loop,” which includes a trigger of the behavior (like setting your running shoes out), the workout itself, and then the reward.
This reward helps to make the behaviors a habit, and the brain will positively associate the exercise with feeling good. Once your brain is trained, you may not have to reward yourself- the endorphins from the workout may be reward enough!
Develop a Commitment Contract
While we can tell ourselves all day long that we will do something, we’re more likely to follow through with promises when we commit to them in front of someone. You can create an actual contract and then set parameters.
When you say you’re going to do something and know if you don’t follow through that there’s going to be a penalty, e.g. where you put money in a jar if you don’t follow through, you may be more motivated to keep your commitment.
Reconsider Positive Thinking
People who think more positively have long promoted the visualization of the benefits of behaviors as a way to motivate themselves. For example, if your goal is to go on a walk each day, you may lay in bed thinking of how glorious it’s going to feel with the sun shining on your face, breeze in your hair, and how excited you’ll be to see your body developing more muscles.
Mentally practicing the event before it happens can be monumental in making things happen!
Find Fitness Friends
You’re more likely to stick with working out if you have family or friends that will work out with you. Even if it’s just walking around your neighborhood, having a friend to exercise with can help you stick to your goals.
If you don’t have any friends that can work out with you, joining a gym or exercise class can also help with your accountability.
Work With a Doctor
If you need help reaching your fitness and nutrition goals, working with a doctor like Dr. Leo can be very helpful in reaching your goals. Give us a call to schedule an appointment – we would love to be a part of your health and fitness journey!
We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park.
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