Everyone knows that exercise is good for them, just like eating vegetables or quitting smoking. But why aren't more people exercising? That's because it's easier to not exercise and harder to start getting fit. You see, exercising is every bit mental as it is physical. Here are several tips on getting motivated to get fit.
Tip #1: Find your reason
Motivation is not a feeling; it's not something that comes like an epiphany. Motivation is something that you create, which is why you need to find your own reason and not wait for inspiration to strike.
That reason could be to lose weight, actual fear of illness, or wanting to be healthy for one's children. It doesn't matter what--each person's is different. What matters is that the reason makes you take the first step.
Tip #2: Set realistic goals
Let's be honest with ourselves here: if you're flabby and overweight, don't expect to look trim and athletic right away. You need to set realistic, attainable goals, ideally on a weekly basis. As you hit your goals consistently, gradually increase your exercise's length and intensity.
Tip #3: Do something you enjoy
You don't have to go to the gym or join marathons, especially if you don't enjoy doing them in the first place. If you don't find the exercise fun, then there's a very good chance you won't keep doing it for long. You have to choose an activity that you actually enjoy.
If you enjoy basketball, play hoops with your friends or your kids. If you have a Wii, then pick an exercise game like Just Dance or Zumba Fitness. You can also walk your dog or ride a bike, as long as you take pleasure in it. If the activity is something that you actually look forward to, you'll hardly ever be short on motivation.
Tip #4: Get physical in your activities
If your reason for not being able to exercise is that you're too busy, then you're not alone. However, no one's too busy to not squeeze in some physical exertion in their activities. For instance, you can go for a couple of kilometres on your stationary bike while doing the laundry at home. Or instead of riding the elevator, take the stairs. Maximise the time by combining everyday activities with exercise.
Tip #5: Expect setbacks
Don't think that just because your schedule (which now includes your exercise) is all planned out, you won't be experiencing any setbacks. If you miss your daily morning run because of an extra-early meeting, don't let it ruin your entire exercise plan for the week or month. You can put in an extra kilometre to make up for the miss.
Tip #6: Try different exercises
Going to the gym is good but there are other ways to keep healthy, and it would be good for your overall health if you didn't limit yourself to one type of exercise. You can also dabble in other activities like yoga for better circulation, aerobics for cardiovascular health, and running for better endurance.
Tip #7: Take a break
Rest is just as important as exercise to give your body enough time to heal and rejuvenate. A break would be good for your mind as well because it's going to keep you from burning out. Remember to space your exercises so that you can sustain it for the long term.
Tip #8: Treat yourself
Exercise may be good for your health, but you also need to reward yourself along the way for sticking to the plan. The mind can be a funny thingeven if it knows that what you're doing is good for you, it's still necessary to reward yourself so that you'll stay motivated to keep exercising and staying fit.