Why can’t I stay motivated to exercise?

     
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  • Weight loss and exercise are everywhere you look. However, when you are first starting out it can be really difficult to get into. It can be easy to lose motivation and hard to stick at when life gets in the way but, on top of that, sometimes our approach can be self-punishing and unhelpful when looking to achieve a goal.
  • Let’s talk about some ways to keep on the right track in a healthy and constructive way. This isn’t a post about exercise itself but how to keep your motivation high and make it easier for you to build a routine that works for you.
 
  • Why are you doing it?
  • This one is an important step so let’s start here. Why are you changing your routine and forcing yourself into the gym? What is your motivation and end goal?
  • For instance, wanting to lose weight is not enough – why do you want to lose weight, how much weight, and how much time are you giving yourself?
  • Set a SMARTER goal to keep you on track but also be really honest with yourself. If it’s not realistic or the end goal isn’t right for you, then it’s going to be a really tough journey if you reach the end at all.
  • The following way of breaking down a goal can be really helpful:
 

Specific – What is the goal?

Measurable – How will you know when it’s done?

Achievable – Is it realistically achievable?

Relevant – Why does this matter to you?

Time-bound – What time frame are you giving yourself?

Enjoyable – Is it fun?

Reward – What are you going to give yourself for meeting your goal?

 
  • Use friends and family
  • If you have supportive friends and family, use them to keep you motivated. Ask them to join you or speak about what you have been up to. Recognise your weaknesses, fears or things that cause lack of motivation and tell them – they can help keep you on track.
 
  • Be careful of sabotage
  • It’s great to get fitness buddies but make sure they have high motivation to change, especially if you are still working on yours. It’s very easy for you to agree to start going to the gym with a friend and end up drinking tea and eating cupcakes whilst your gym gear allows you a more comfy time!
  • Don’t allow your buddy’s lack of motivation to bring you down – or anyone else who comments negatively on any effort you are making. No matter how big or small the improvement, as long as you are moving forward, you are doing an awesome job!
 
  • Apps & technology
  • In our modern world full of apps and technology, there is no excuse for pushing yourself so hard on the first sitting that you scar yourself for life. No matter what you are looking to do, I’d be willing to bet there is an app for it. So if you are trying something new, use one to help you progress at a smart and steady pace. Most apps break your progress down into smaller, more manageable steps that you can actually achieve and will make you feel awesome!
  • Along with every other piece of technology from heart monitors, calorie counters and water bottle timers, it’s never been easier to stay on track.
 
  • Is it fun?
  • Ok – I’m just going to put this out there… If it’s fun you’re much, much more likely to stay motivated and look forward to exercising. If you hate running for instance, you will find any excuse under the sun anytime you’re even slightly demotivated, be it the weather (too hot or too rainy), your schedule, your bad day, or even lack clean gym gear! Yes, a little bit of self-discipline comes into it as well, but maybe leave the tough, gruelling schedule until you have a good active routine in place that you can build on. Being too hard on yourself will only lead to you feeling that you’ve let yourself down before you have even really begun.
  • Also, surely life is too short to spend hours forcing yourself to do something you don’t even like. Use exercise as an outlet for your stress and worries. Use it as down time – and that means FUN, laughter and feeling fabulous!
 
  • What do you naturally find easier?
  • So give me a dancefloor and some 90s pop music and I won’t tire for hours!  Aerobics? Sign me up now. Indoor surfing? Yep. Skiing? Check.
  • Put me on a treadmill, however, and I’ll give you 30 seconds.
  • Same with any kind of weight or resistance training. No, nope and no again.
  • I suppose this comes back to the need for fun in exercise but also the things we have always been doing. What did you grow up doing? What did you love as a child? It might be an idea to go back and revisit these things or just start trying everything to see where your natural strengths are. If you find something easy and good, once again you are most likely to keep it up. This would be an awesome foundation to build a new exercise routine on. Build your fitness and then start pushing your limits.
 
  • Congratulate yourself!
  • So what if you are not yet your ideal weight! Your body is amazing and does so much for you each minute and second of the day! If you have started something new in your routine that is taking care of your body, be proud of yourself. This is a journey that you are at the start of. You are learning all of these new ways that your body works and thrives. Enjoy exploring your limits and then begin to push them. Feel great about your efforts and give yourself a treat to recognise that – my personal favourite is a face mask and a book
 
  • Have fun and be kind to yourself, guys!
   
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Amanda Hudson is a registered member of
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