You don’t have it.
I know how you must be feeling.
The “I need to do this” aspect of a wellness routine that seems like a never-ending chore with no end in sight.
Working out isn’t something that one simply does once and then it’s over with for the next year (like spring cleaning).
Nope. We’re talking about a lifelong commitment that requires both physical and mental energy on a regular basis.
And as I sit and type these words, I must confess that even though I’m a fitness professional and enthusiast, I am not naturally motivated to work-out. In fact, I’ve struggled with a lack of exercise motivation on several occasions.
What helps me during such times are a few tricks I have up my sleeve that I am willing to share with you now. And yes, you can thank me by leaving a comment and sharing the post with your loved ones 😉
Exercise Motivation: 5 Ways to Get You Moving
1 – Ditch the All Or Nothing Thinking
Exercise doesn’t have to be an all or nothing event. In fact, small bits throughout the day add up and can be just as effective as one longer workout session. If the desire to put in an hour’s time is what is preventing you from moving, consider 10-20 minutes – and give it your best effort.
I’ll expand on that in a bit.
Instead of seeing (and fearing) the need to tackle this huge accomplishment ahead of you, make balance your overall goal.
Keep your activities small and attainable. By allowing yourself to work in an organized and realistic manner, you’ll reach your “big” goal naturally.
It may take more time, but the results will last longer and they’ll become part of you are.
2 – Keep it Enjoyable
Let’s face it – if you dread doing something, anything – you aren’t likely to get it done. You’ll come up with a multitude of excuses to put it off.
However, if the task at hand is something you enjoy, the likelihood that you’ll take steps in the direction of your pleasure is much higher.
What do you love to do?
- Do you enjoy dancing?
- Are you someone who loves to swim?
- Walking on the beach?
- Have you ever had the desire to take a martial arts class?
Find something you have always wanted to learn to do and take a class. You may have to take several until you discover what you really like to do, but that’s ok.
You’re looking to make this a permanent fixture in your life, so take the time to investigate what sounds like fun and try it out.
3 – Follow the Ten Minute Rule
When you visualize spending an hour of your time enduring a grueling workout, the idea may seem rather unpleasant. In this situation, you may decide you have better things to do (like clipping your toenails).
However, if you tell yourself “all I have to do is commit to this for ten minutes”, you may feel more inspired to get moving.
What usually happens when you follow the ten-minute rule is:
- You no longer have a mountain to climb, so you are willing to take that first step.
- Your motivation kicks in after ten minutes and you find yourself voluntarily extending your workout.
- You feel better because you’ve at least done something rather than nothing.
Make sure your ten minutes are worth your time, though.
Try to work up a sweat. Warm up for two minutes, get two to three sets of compound exercises in (exercises that involve more than one muscle group). You can alternate pushups with bent over dumbbell rows for seven to eight minutes and walk yourself back down to resting heart rate for two to three minutes as a cool down.
You can also try a walk at home workout.
Leslie Sansone has some fantastic videos and – perfect for anyone looking to lose weight and build strength and stamina.
She has a kit that not only includes her DVDs, but it also comes equipped with two soft hand weights, stretchy bands, resistance bands and four workouts. Considering that it can be expensive and time-consuming to look for fitness equipment, it’s nice to have everything you’ll need from the start.
Check it out here.
Now if you want something to follow along with immediately, check out this ten-minute walk at home video by Jessica Smith from jessicasmithtv.com
4 – Get Your Workout Clothes On
Being dressed and ready for a workout is a surefire way to mentally prepare for exercise.
You may not get started immediately, but if you’re walking around your house putting things away, you’ll have it in the back of your mind that you’re dressed in fitness attire and it will remind you of your intentions.
Taking the clothes off without having accomplished what you set out to do will cause you pain in the form of regret, so try this out and see what it does.
I’ve used this technique many times and if nothing else, it has at least gotten me motivated enough to follow the ten-minute rule.
5 – Watch Workout Videos
When you watch others engage in exercise routines that seem interesting or appealing to you, chances are you’ll find yourself motivated to at least try to follow along with what you’re seeing.
I’ve searched for videos demonstrating different workout routines for me to write about in several of the fitness articles I’ve composed over the years and more often than not, I would get up and practice what I was watching – not only for the sake of the article’s credibility factor but to satisfy my own curiosity.
If you’ve been wondering how to strengthen and tone a part of your body that you’d like to see improvements with, do a search for some demonstrations of exercise techniques that can help you wth this.
Just remember – don’t attempt anything you aren’t ready to do!
Exercise like a beginner if you ARE a beginner.
If you haven’t worked out in a while or are new to exercise in general., you’ll need to follow “proper progression”. This means you’ll start at your current level of fitness and work your way toward a more advanced fitness level with appropriate form and conditioning methods.
I get into this in more depth in my book “A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You”. You’ll learn how to avoid unnecessary injury (and worse) by reading it.
I strongly encourage you to grab a copy if you’re thinking of adding a fitness program into your life. For the cost of a fancy latte (and about 500+ calories less), you’ll learn how to engage in an exercise program the right way.
Exercise Motivation – Sticking With It
In times like this, you’ll want to have the end in mind.
What I mean by that is…you’ll want to imagine yourself as being the fit and healthy badass you’ve always wanted to be!
It doesn’t matter whether or not you can keep up with everyone else. It only matters that you start – and keep going.
I hope these tips will come in handy for you.
I know it isn’t easy to feel motivated to exercise. But if you follow the suggestions mentioned here, I think you’ll find yourself in a position to stick with it…and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.
Is exercise motivation a problem for you? Do you think you’ll use the tips I shared with you here?
Let me know your thoughts.