“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” Ayn Rand
Let’s face it; exercising is at the backbone of any healthy lifestyle. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention documents the benefits of exercise well. This and more information on how exercise helps with each area are listed below.
There is no doubt that exercise is something we should make a habit. And, like all habits, after a while, it can begin to feel rote. You may find yourself dreading going to the gym, wanting to take some extended time off, or cutting your exercise routine short. It is only natural that something we do on a regular basis can become so routine that we tire of it. Exercise is no different. In fact, you can read some reasons why workouts in the gym can become stale here.
Knowing why you are getting tired of your exercise routine is important. After all, when you’re aware of something, you are more able to change the problem. However, knowledge is only half of the battle. Taking action to motivate yourself is important so you continue to exercise and enjoy the benefits it provides. Below are five ways to keep yourself motivated to exercise that are not the same old ones you find in every health magazine or blog.
Make it a Game
Have you ever played a video game? If you have, you know just how addictive they can become very fast. This is because they are filled with rewards and the ability to advance levels to get new items to use in the game. This kind of reward system keeps your brain feeling good as you earn rewards and helps you feel motivated to work towards earning something. Why not turn your exercise into a game with rewards to stave off your lack of motivation to exercise. For example, for every day you exercise in a week, you can put a certain amount of money in a jar towards a small item you want to purchase. Then, slowly increase how much you are saving and what you want to earn. This will make exercising fun again!
Keep it Natural
Oftentimes, we think of exercise as something formal that has to be done in a gym. This can make motivation for fitness hard because it can feel like a chore to go to the gym all the time. Plus, there are many things about a gym that can be off-putting or intimidating, such as men grunting, the feeling of being judged, and not knowing what to do. Instead of trying to put exercise into a certain box, think about doing it naturally. This could include things like playing with the kids, walking the dog, exercising at your desk, and so much more. When you fit it into your natural schedule, exercising can become a lot more fun to do.
Permission to Break
Sometimes life beats you up. Whether it is a personal matter, something at work, or something out of your control, life can be hard. This can make wanting to exercise hard too. There are just going to be times when you need to give yourself permission to take a break to deal with life. When you do this, set a timeline for how long you will break and put it on your calendar. This is more likely to keep you from letting a small break turn into a very long break. Plus, sometimes, your body just needs some rest to recuperate too. There is nothing wrong with making time to spend away from exercise so you feel more motivated to exercise at a later date.
Put it on Your Calendar
Scheduling your activity can motivate you to want to exercise because you are physically making time for it. When you exercise with no set schedule, its tempting not to follow what you had in mind for when and what you were going to do. However, there is power in putting something on your calendar. In this sense, you are telling yourself that exercise is a priority and you set aside time for it, which is really setting aside time for your own self-care. And, making time to care for yourself can make you feel motivated in its own right. Learn more about the importance of scheduling things and how to do it here.
You may be thinking that this is a contradictory statement. Why would you ever distract yourself from focusing on exercise? This is a good question, but distraction in this sense means giving yourself something to keep your mind occupied while you exercise. This is especially true if you are doing long stints of exercise as those can get monotonous. Doing things such as listening to music, an audio book, a podcast, talking to a friend, reading something, or watching TV can help keep your mind occupied so the time goes a little faster in your mind and is a little more enjoyable. This will motivate you to exercise.
We can all agree that exercise is great for us. It helps us in so many ways. But like any habit, it can become boring and make us lose motivation to exercise. While there are many common fitness motivational tips out there, the ones here are lesser known but very effective in helping to keep that motivation to exercise burning so you get the benefits you deserve from making the time to care for yourself.