I don’t know about you, but in the summer I am full of energy and always want to go outside to have fun and be active. Then the weather changes, and I start to slow down and lose my momentum. Guilt and disappointment follow when I start to slide off-track.
So how do I stay motivated? I have found 11 ways that have worked for me:
1. I try to keep up with my kids.
Having a family usually means you have less time for yourself, but kids can motivate you to play or go outside and run around with them. Just think what you’ll miss if you’re too out of shape! (See how your family’s activity level compares to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.)
2. Exercise makes me feel great.
When I need motivation, I visualize all of the feelings I experience after a workout, including the boost in confidence I get because I challenged myself and accomplished something.
3. I set regular appointments to exercise.
This works best when I’m with a partner or I join a group. Setting a date to be active means you’ll be more likely to follow through with it.
4. Goal setting keeps me on track.
Whether it’s a 5K race, losing weight or having a healthier body, make your goal realistic and attainable. Achieve small steps, and then continue to raise the bar for yourself.
5. I keep an exercise log.
Track your workouts. If you put the details on paper or keep a digital log, you’ll know exactly where you started and how far you have come. This in turn will motivate you to try harder.
6. I read fitness magazines and health news.
Reading about success stories or new ideas can inspire you and provide new exercise options.
7. It’s gotta be fun.
You’re not going to want to exercise if it’s boring and you hate it. So find something you enjoy and just do it to have fun.
8. I’m always willing to try a new activity.
Variety keeps things interesting. Why not try something new, like boxing, yoga, dance, trail running or team sports? Step out of your comfort zone, even if that means trying burpees and Bulgarian split squats.
9. I take care with my diet.
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more than you consume. Eating a balanced diet and having small rewards of your favorite foods will make sure you don’t end up pigging out on all of the bad stuff.
10. Exercise is my stress relief.
It’s been proven that exercise relieves stress, so when I feel like screaming at somebody…I don’t. Instead, I go for a brisk walk. That’s right — when people say “walk it off,” it really does work.
11. I take time for me.
In a world where work and family take priority in our lives, we need to do something for ourselves. I deserve it. So do you. Tell us what motivates you — or keeps you from putting on those running shoes!