When you’re about to hit the gym for a workout session or the road for a run, all kinds of excuses can cross your mind to keep you from leaving the comfort of your house. In such instances, getting a dose of fitness motivation becomes critical, which is why I’m writing this post. Hopefully, once you reach the end of this motivational boost, you’ll gather enough energy to wear your gym clothes and leave your couch.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”John F. Kennedy
How Can You Stay Motivated?
Here are my top eleven pieces of advice when someone asks for a dose of fitness motivation:
Visualization has been used by experts in different fields for decades, and it’s an excellent way to prepare your body both physically and psychologically for the workout session that’s waiting for you. It’s pretty simple. Just close your eyes, and imagine what it would be like to achieve your goal or finish your training session. Imagine the satisfaction that you’re going to get, and your body will beg you to start touching the iron.
“When you visualize, then you materialize.”Denis Waitley
Setting goals is one thing, and achieving them is a whole different ball game, one that you can’t master if you’re not realistic. To achieve success in the fitness field, or any area for that matter, you need to be realistic when setting your goals and take the process gradually. If you’ve never touched a dumbbell before, don’t just throw six training session in your weekly schedule. That’s a shortcut to failure, and a sure way to burn out. Instead, start small, then add more activities and sessions as you grow stronger and more committed.
“Set realistic goals, keep re-evaluating, and be consistent.”Venus Williams
Dress for a Workout, Even If You’re Not Feeling Like Hitting the Gym
Research has shown that dressing for a specific activity can fuel your ambition to go through with it. Besides, once you put on your sweatshirt or yoga pants, you’ve already done half the work. All that’s left is for you to run a few miles and voila!
“Don’t dress to kill, dress to survive.”Karl Lagerfeld
Make a Plan
How many times have you actually went through with something to the end without a plan? Not many, I bet. Planning is the essence of any activity, so don’t just hit the gym whenever you feel like it. Instead, make a plan, and your brain (and therefore body) will be committed to sticking to it.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Change Your Routine
One of the things that may put you off when trying to hit the gym is the routine. Doing the same exercises every time can become boring quite quickly. To overcome such an issue, rotate your exercises, re-arrange the order, and substitute alternatives every now and then. That way, you’ll keep both your mind and body invested in the activity.
“Sports should not become routine. It should be about passion.”Kapil Dev
Give Yourself a Tangible Reward
It’s easy for us to write down our fitness goals, believing that looking and feeling better will be all the motivation we need to hit the gym. However, sometimes these aren’t enough to roll you off the couch and onto the treadmill. Instead, give yourself a reward you love – like smoothie from Robeks – so that you want to hold yourself accountable.
When we do this, it creates a neurological feedback loop. Over time, your mind will begin to associate exercise with that reward, and it’ll become infinitely easier to drag yourself to the gym.
“It’s good to keep working hard, pushing yourself, and, by scoring goals, you get the reward.”
Workout to Your Favorite TV Show
Doing a 40-minute cardio session feels like a breeze when you’re engrossed in one of your favorite shows. And it doesn’t have to be on TV, either. I love getting a run in while listening to some of my favorite podcasts. What makes this a game-changer is that it helps you get into a flow state so that your mind forgets about the stress you’re inflicting on your body. An hour-long cardio session suddenly feels like twenty minutes!
Book a Fitness Class
Another way to motivate yourself is to sign up for fitness classes. Most of these classes don’t offer refunds after you’ve booked a session, so this is one of my favorite ways to force myself to exercise because the last thing I want to do is waste my money.
Also, group workouts like yoga and Pilates create a great sense of community. When you feel on the brink of passing out – which always happens to me during cycling classes – that group atmosphere of community keeps you going. Group workouts are a great way to hold yourself accountable, while also helping you reach that next level of intensity.
Start Your Day Off with A Sweat
Getting up and moving before the sun might seem impossible to some of us night owls – trust me, I’m not a morning person. But getting yourself up and moving in the morning helps me make healthier decisions throughout the day. I don’t feel the cravings for sugar and greasy food when my body already feels great. Also, it just feels good to get the workout done for the day: you’ve already done something productive, and this energy will permeate through the rest of your day. At the end of the day, you have to want a healthy lifestyle – it’s not going to magically come together one day.
“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”
Get Yourself a Work-Out Buddy
Friends make everything easier, don’t they? Get yourself a work-out partner, sync up routines and watch how both of you motivate each other to get on track with your fitness goals. Friends make everything better. Just imagine the inside jokes you could share with your friend! In the times of Quarantine, you could sync up with your partner over a video call, thanks to the digital world.
Create an Inspiration Board
You can only create something when you know what you want to see as an end result. Therefore, I would suggest you’ll to create a small inspiration board of what your goals are, and whether it’s that pretty dress you want to fit into or if you want to be able to run a 5K marathon. Start small, but start.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”