We all know that regular exercise is essential to better health. Most of us also know how hard it can be to stay on track when it comes to exercising. Our lives are busy, and it’s too easy to convince ourselves that we just don’t have enough time to get in a good workout. Really, though, our lack of motivation is usually more of an issue than a real lack of time. Below, we’ll talk about a few methods you can use to help keep yourself on track.
Get your friends involved
Having a support system of some type is always a good way to stay motivated. Chances are good that you have a least a couple of friends in the same boat as you are. Make a commitment to each other to workout regularly. More often than not, making a commitment to others generates more willpower than if we only have to answer to ourselves. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we have a legitimate excuse for not exercising, but not so easy to convince those who know us well. You might even consider making a contest out of it. You and your buddies could place a wager on who can lose the most weight (responsibly, of course). Alternately, your wagers could be on any number of milestones, like who walks the most steps in a week. Another option can be that you all agree to pay a “fine” for missing workouts.
Another way to get friendly support is to make friends with some of the people at your gym or in your favorite exercise class. Connecting with people in this way gives you another reason to want to get to the gym or exercise studio.
Using social media to tell your friends and other contacts your plans to get healthier can help keep you motivated, too. This is in part because you’ll likely feel more accountable when you know that others are aware of your plans and in part because you’ll likely be encouraged and congratulated by many of them. You might even inspire them to do the same.
Keep your gear handy
Keep your workout bag or at-home equipment in sight. Having your balance ball or mini trampoline handy while you’re watching TV can make it more convenient to get in a few minutes here and there, whereas putting everything away can too easily lead to an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of thing.
Buy more clothes
Workout clothes, that is. Investing a few bucks (again, responsibly) in more workout clothes can actually help keep you motivated. Buying clothes specifically for exercising can make you feel more like you “belong” in the workout world, which can make you more likely to spend more time in that world. Having enough workout clothes to get through at least a week also makes you less likely to skip exercising because you haven’t got anything clean to wear.
Log your goals and progress
Write down your current stats (like weight and measurements) along with your short- and long-term goals. You can also note things like how many sit-ups or push ups you can do, how many steps you average in a day, how many bicep curls you can do at a given weight, or any other measure of any exercises you want to do. Having these numbers in black and white can make your goals seem more real. Tracking your progress can help you see how much you’ve actually achieved and how much closer you are to your goals than when you started. Setting very reasonable short-term goals that you can check off of your list is another way to keep yourself motivated.
In the end, you still need willpower, and you still have to answer to yourself above all other people, but employing one or more of these methods can make staying motivated and on track a little easier.