Losing motivation to stay fit and healthy is a scenario many are familiar with. Before that ever happens to you, there are a couple of ways you can do to maintain discipline when the last thing you want to do is exercise. Here are 12 practical tips.
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Make It a Habit
“Go on the same days every week at the same time, and set yourself to avoid distractions (like, if you go after work, go straight after work without stopping at home). You won’t need motivation. It just becomes a thing you do,” encourages a poster on consistency.
Don’t Do It to “See” Results
Next, don’t do the exercises to “see” but “feel” results. One commentator who has experienced this shares, “I feel stronger, my mood has improved drastically, and eating alongside exercising has done wonders to improve my digestive issues.”
Results Happen Quicker Than You Think
Also, you may feel the results quicker than expected. “Your body won’t transform that fast (but) you’ll notice that exercises get easier and easier to do or you’re able to lift more weight,” says a user.
Find the Right Routine and Exercises
Another trick is finding a routine and exercise you enjoy. If you enjoy lifting, HIIT group class, or squats, go for it and stick to it.
Stick to a Schedule
Don’t solely rely on motivation. You should also stick to a schedule. One poster says, “Discipline is doing it even when you’re not motivated because it’s part of your routine. I like to tell myself, ‘Do it badly,’ when I’m unmotivated because that gets me to show up, which is like 60% of the battle.”
Remove Your Excuses
Many people can’t stick to a workout routine because they always have an excuse. Too tired to go to the gym after work? Wake up early and work out before heading to the office. Don’t know how to use gym equipment? Watch YouTube tutorials.
Find a Sport or Activity You Enjoy
“Once you see the numbers start to increase, it’ll naturally give your motivational boost as you strive to continue improving,” notes a poster. If the activity you initially loved becomes too easy or boring for you, switch to another that will physically challenge you.
A user who compartmentalizes his workout routine says, “The whole act of working out can be too much, so I break it into achievable tasks: 1. Wake up and get out of bed. 2. Put on gym clothes. 3. Hydrate. 4. Actually, get to the gym. 5. Warm up and start small. 6. Treat myself when finished.”
You, too, can break down your routine into smaller, achievable tasks.
Go to Classes or Group Fitness Programs
Meeting people with the same fitness goals can also help you stay motivated. Consider enrolling in group fitness programs or classes. “You can even build friendly rivalries to push yourselves into those sucky cardio workouts,” a user suggests.
When You Feel Like Quitting, Remember Why You Started
One post elaborates on this tip, “You will never always be motivated. Learn to be disciplined by ignoring that little voice that tells you it’s too hard. Tell yourself that whatever doesn’t kill you better start running and kill that voice that wants you to quit.”
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
Another important tip is never to overwhelm yourself. “The key is to just get in the door. The rest will take care of itself. If you go to the gym and get a workout in, even if it’s not meeting your weight/rep goal, it’s 1000% better than doing nothing, and you will continue to get better,” a user points out.
Lastly, start small, set reasonable expectations, and exercise patience. “Take yourself to your reasonable limit, thank yourself for going that far, and tomorrow, go for an extra inch if you can,” advises a user who enjoys lifting weights.
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