Anyone who has ever tried to stick to an exercise schedule knows that the motivation to work out ebbs and flows. Some days, you wake up, and you can’t seem to face going to the gym. However, you know that a fitness routine is critical to your overall health. How do you keep your commitment to fitness going strong when staying in bed or going out for happy hour looks so much more attractive than working up a sweat?
Fortunately, you have choices when it comes to shoring up your motivation to get fit. Whether you’re going it alone or have a workout buddy, here are some things to keep in mind whenever your desire to exercise lags.
1. Identify the things that interfere with your exercise plans
Whenever you miss a workout for any reason or just don’t feel like going to the gym, write down some notes in a journal or electronic diary. Did you miss a workout because you felt too tired and sluggish after work? Did you overindulge at the bakery at the end of a stressful day?
Once you start to identify the situations, feelings and events that seem to interfere with your desire and availability to work out, you can strategize ways to cope with these happenings, making them less likely to derail your intentions to get to the gym.
2. Reset your wake-up time
For many people, the morning is the perfect time to exercise. It starts the day off on the right foot by working up a healthy sweat, which means that they are more likely to eat a healthy breakfast and make additional healthy choices throughout the day.
The advantages of morning exercise are even backed up by science. Researchers suggest that people who get in an early workout tend to lose a bit more weight than people who exercise later in the day. Another advantage of tackling your workout session first thing in the morning is that there are fewer things to interfere with your plans. When you schedule your exercise for later in the day, all sorts of factors may make it difficult to stick to your commitment.
Try setting your alarm clock for between 45 minutes and one hour earlier than usual. You may be surprised by the results.
3. Get a workout buddy
It’s much harder to just roll over and go back to sleep when you know that you have a workout buddy depending on you. Make sure that your buddy is someone who has pretty steady workout motivation too so that you don’t end up being disappointed by them.
If you can’t find an individual who can stick to the same workout schedule as you, then consider joining a class or a fitness group at your gym. This can be a helpful habit as it provides you with a predictable routine. The longer you stick to it, the more other members of the group will expect to see you there. You’ll expect to see them too, and that’s just one more thing that keeps you motivated.
4. Figure out why fitness is important to you
Too many people exercise simply because they think it will enhance physical attractiveness. While this offers sufficient motivation for some, other people need stronger inducements. Perhaps you exercise to improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure or fend off diabetes. Maybe your goal is to make certain that you’ll still be healthy and active when your grandkids want you to play with them. Whenever you feel your dedication to the gym begin to wane, remember why you started exercising in the first place.
Your motivation to exercise is bound to rise and fall over time. The good news is that you have tools that you can use to get back on track. Using these tools enables you to reach your fitness goals and enjoy better health for a lifetime.