Most people who are questioned about their health, diets and exercise regime respond in much of the same way. The most common excuses for many of us for not working out are that we are unmotivated, unsure about where to start and that we simply don’t have enough time. Although we know deep inside how important incorporating exercise is into our lives, so many of us still don’t do it.
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
We covet what we see and more than that, when we have a visual it impacts us to the core. One of the best motivational tools some top fitness trainers advise their clients to use is a self before and after photo.
As uncomfortable as it may be, have a friend take a current photo of you and place the picture somewhere you will see it every day. Most choose to place it on the refrigerator as they utilize it daily and it will act as a deterrent when they are tempted to indulge in over-snacking.
At the same time, peruse a magazine or find an older picture of yourself that resembles your goal weight and place that picture right next to the current photo. This will give you motivation to get moving. By seeing your current photo and also having a comparison with the ‘future’ photo of yourself, it is a constant reminder of where you are and where you would like to be.
2. Strength in Numbers
Working out solo is seldom appealing which is why many people choose to go at this goal with a partner. Not only will a partner act as someone you will have to be accountable to, they can motivate you and challenge you at the same time.
Together the two (or more) of you can plot and plan your goals and strategies and even turn it into a friendly competition! Human beings are usually competitive by nature and this may be the one thing that keeps you moving forward Additionally, having a partner in crime means that the activities you engage in will have a social aspect as well, so it won’t feel so much like work.
3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
No one says you need to come out of the gate running. Sometimes the best way to begin and keep a habit going is to start slow. Therefore, once you commit to your health and weight loss goals start by committing to small increments of time such as 15 minutes per day for a week or two.
Then on weeks three and four increase your time to 25 minutes and so on, until you reach the recommended daily amount of 45-60 minutes.
A common error for many inexperienced exercisers is to push themselves too hard at the onset and they quickly stop exercising altogether when they feel exhausted or that it is too difficult. As long as you are making the effort, remaining committed and increasing your goals over time, you are on the right track.
4. Rewards and Milestones
Another important aspect of fitness training and working out is to recognize when you are doing well. All of us respond positively to encouragement and certainly to rewards. Each time you complete a goal or each week that you exercise ‘X’ number of days, offer yourself a reward. Knowing that you will have a treat for all your hard work is a great motivator.
The reward you choose can be anything that suits your personality and that will make you feel good. Keep in mind though, that food or snack rewards should be minimal as they can infringe upon your goal.
Instead, say to yourself, ‘Once I lose 10 pounds I will buy myself a new outfit’ or choose other rewards such as a weekend getaway, a night out with friends or purchase that book you have wanted to read. Milestones which are completed and met with rewards often push us to continue on our journey even when the journey is tough.
5. Change it Up
One of the worst things those who exercise do is to get into too much of a pattern or ‘rut.’ It’s hard enough to remain motivated but when we bore of our regimes, it is more so. Make sure you keep things interesting and find numerous ways to be active so that it stays fresh and exciting.