Physical Activity

One of the hardest parts of getting fit is finding the motivation. Whatever your reason for taking up a new fitness regime, it is often a struggle to stick to a workout plan.

So how can you motivate yourself and make sure you stick to your plan?

Set small, achievable challenges.

Setting yourself daily challenges, can be a great motivation booster. Make these challenging, but not so challenging as to be unachievable. There is no quicker way to demotivate yourself than to set yourself challenges you cannot achieve. For example, if you are new to running and just starting to build up your fitness, setting yourself the challenge of a 10km run would be too much too soon and the disappointment will likely lead to future demotivation. Why not pick a distance you can already run, but challenge yourself to shave down your time, or to go a bit further than your last run. Completing small challenges such as these can give you a great boost, and incentivise you to keep going.

Have one or two long term goals.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with aiming to run that 10km, or to set yourself any other big long term goal. Long term goals are great for reminding us exactly what we are trying to achieve. Just remember to try and reach it in steps, work up to it incrementally. Have a long term goal to work towards and break it up into your small, achievable challenges as steps to get there.

Find a sport you love

Exercise comes in many forms, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Find something you really enjoy doing, and exercise stops being a chore and becomes a hobby that just happens to get you fit. This could be running, yoga, group sports, dancing, wall climbing…  the list goes on. Find what you enjoy and go from there.

Have a back up plan

It’s easy to look out of your window and be put off by bad weather. Having a back up plan is key for days like these if you usually exercise outdoors. Take up a secondary exercise, such as yoga, pilates or develop a home workout that you can do on wet and windy days.

Find a fitness buddy

Sometimes all the motivation you need is a friend or a group to exercise with. On days you are lacking motivation, not wanting to let your buddy down may give you the incentive you need. Exercising with a friend can also be much more enjoyable and make the workout easier to get through.

Reward yourself!

After a session of burning calories and working hard, make sure to reward yourself. It’s a fantastic incentive to get you moving, knowing you will be rewarded later. Find a delicious smoothie recipe, or perhaps set a morning run with your exercise buddy, followed by going out for a delicious breakfast. Getting yourself into an exercise and reward cycle will become a habit in the long run, and will no longer be such a conscious effort.

And finally…

On the day’s you’re really struggling, start small.

Sometimes, it feels impossible to get going. So start small. Put your workout clothes on and do a few stretches. Once you’ve done a few stretches, it feels a waste not to do a little exercise, so go for a quick jog. Once you’re out there and started, it suddenly becomes much easier to shake off the cobwebs and get into your stride. You may choose to just go for a walk once you’re outside. Or you may want to stay indoors and turn your few stretches into a few yoga poses. Whatever you choose to do, starting small, with no expectations of yourself can help to get the motivation going.

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