Keeping yourself physically fit and healthy all year long is hard work and needs a consistent level of motivation. Having the right mindset and inspiration will help keep your fitness goals on track and will give you a reason to get up and exercise even on the days when you feel anything but motivated.
The most common reason people start to lose motivation is that they have very high expectations at the start of their fitness journey. They expect to see rapid results, and when they don’t show up, doubt sets in. They forget that they have been inactive for a while, at that those extra pounds have taken months to accumulate. They can never be shed with a quick fix.
Although your motivation is volatile and can change over time, it’s important to find your why and stick to it. This is especially important during the colder months when all you want to do is bundle up and mooch around the house.
Another thing that can get in the way of your fitness goals is a busier schedule. With work piling up and personal commitments demanding your attention, hitting the gym may be the least of your priorities.
Here are 5 foolproof fitness tips to keep you motivated, through rain and sunny weather alike:
Take note of your goals
Before you start any workout or diet, it’s important to have a clear sight of what it is you want to achieve. Having this on lockdown will make it easier for you to keep yourself excited and energised for your exercises.
One way to make sure your goal is a good one is to apply the S.M.A.R.T. method to designing it. S stands for specific, M for measurable, A for achievable, R for Relevant, and T for Time bound. By making sure your goal is aligned with the S.M.A.R.T. principle, you'll be ensuring that you don’t set yourself up for failure from the very outset.
The best way to check if the goal is indeed all of the above it to consult a fitness coach or a nutritionist. On the other hand, if this is not your first fitness rodeo, you might already know how long your body will need to get to a certain point.
Bear in mind that losing X number of pounds is not the only goal you can set. You may also wish to run faster, run longer, lift more, be less out of breath, sleep better, feel less pain in your joints, tighten your muscles, and so on.
Write your goal(s) down and tape the piece of paper to your fridge. As corny as it may sound, it will be an excellent deterrent from late night and excessive snacking and will serve as an excellent reminder.
Exercise even if you don’t feel like it
All of us have those down days when we just don't feel like working out. Trust us; we’ve all been there.
This is where the why of your fitness goals becomes important. It has to be bigger than the momentary laziness you’re feeling, and it will keep you committed to better health. Why do you want to lose a few pounds? Run faster? Be able to run up the stairs without the winded feeling awaiting you up top?
Here's the thing about exercise: you will never regret working out, even on your worst, most sluggish day. Even if you only put in 50% of hard work, it will undoubtedly do good for your physical and mental health.
When you’re not feeling like you’re in tip-top shape, try doing a 15-minute High Intensity Interval Training. This is a great way to get your heart pumping in a short amount of time, and it burns quite a number of calories too! If you’re looking for something with a lower intensity, you can do a yoga routine to get the blood flowing and your muscles stretched.
People often believe that exercising will only tire them out, but the truth is that working out will only boost your energy levels over time. And once you start to feel the benefits of regular workouts, you will not want to give them up in the first place and will soon start to miss them if you fail to put the time in.
Find an accountability partner
There’s really nothing better than having someone cheering you on and reminding you of your goals, especially when it comes to working out. In terms of fitness, this is what we call an accountability partner.
This is someone who will remind you to work out, as they also work on their own fitness goals. If you aren’t strict about working out solo, and you wouldn’t mind a little nudge now and then, an accountability partner may do wonders for you.
This can be someone like a personal trainer, a gym buddy, or even a friend who’s starting on their own journey. Essentially, this is someone who won’t let you off the hook when you feel lazy. Think of it as your own personal coach and cheerleader, all in one!
If you’re still apprehensive about the idea, consider joining group classes. If your gym offers one, be sure to try it out and you may find yourself with more than one accountability partner.
Find a workout plan that works for you
No workout or diet plan works for everyone. A cookie-cutter fitness program doesn’t exist, and what your favourite celebrity does might not be what’s suitable for you and your body type.
You may not find a routine you love on the first go. But just because you hated pilates does not mean you won’t love running or lifting weights.
From cardio exercises like running or spinning to boxing, or low-intensity ones like yoga, there will certainly be at least one type of workout you will fall in love with. Whatever it is that you ultimately choose, make sure that it’s something that you truly look forward to and are excited to be doing. Something you will not feel is a chore, and that will become the highlight of your daily schedule.
Needless to say, you don’t need to choose one thing and one thing only. On the contrary, you will only benefit from engaging in more than one kind of workout, be it cardio + weights, yoga + boxing, or any other combination that suits your goals and lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid of change, either! Humans crave change and are kept on their feet by a little variety now and again.
Schedule workouts in your calendar like a meeting
The most committed fitness buffs out there have become who they are by sticking to a routine. You can figure out what works best for you by sitting down and plotting your weekly schedule. By doing this, you’ll be able to see what time is best for you.
When you find the right workout slot, add it into your calendar. Don’t leave it empty in the hopes of feeling motivated enough to exercise. Book yourself the time in your schedule to actually do it. Seeing it blocked off will remind you of your routine, and it will help you avoid making excuses for not working out.
Take it as seriously as you would a meeting. Avoid cancelling or being late! You shouldn’t let yourself think that you can just mentally move it to a later time, since you will most likely not follow through. Chances are, something else will come along and you’ll be missing a day.
You can also try using applications on your phone that will serve as a reminder. Anything to help you keep your routine on track will be useful.
Here’s the best tip of them all: you have to let yourself have some room to grow as you take on your fitness journey. We know that a huge part of this is discipline and commitment, but you also have to keep in mind that you’re learning as you go along.
Here’s a quick run-through of all the tips you need to keep in mind to keep you motivated:
- Don’t forget to make sure your S.M.A.R.T. goals are in check
- Commit to your workout even on a tough day
- Find yourself an accountability partner
- Find an exercise that is suited for you
- Schedule your workouts weekly or even monthly
Those are our five foolproof tips that will help you keep your eyes on the prize. Remember that regular physical activity has a multitude of benefits.
You’ll find yourself generally feeling better, and there will even be an extra pep in your step. Another bonus is that you’ll definitely have more energy, since exercise releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in your body.
With all of these benefits of working out, there’s no reason for you to delay your quest for fitness any longer!
Want to set up a home gym to kick-start your no-excuses fitness plan? Flex Equipment has the widest and most complete array of gym equipment that will help you stay motivated, even at home!