Most of us find it easy to start working out–whether it’s because of a New Year’s resolution or a sudden weight-loss epiphany. But only a few of us find a reason to keep going.
We know how exercise can be good for our mind and body. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, boosts energy, and lowers the risk of numerous diseases, among a plethora of benefits.
Most of the time, however, merely knowing the many benefits of physical activity isn’t enough to stay motivated.
If you’re struggling with sticking to a consistent workout routine, don’t lose hope just yet. Here are six ways to motivate yourself to maintain a daily routine.
Make Exercising Convenient
You have to admit: getting up from bed just to break a sweat is hard. Combine that with the long drive to the gym, and you’ll easily get discouraged from working out.
To stay motivated to exercise, remove any obstacle that makes it hard to start. Rather than going to the gym, consider doing some home workouts or jogging around the area.
And instead of hiding away your yoga mat and trainers, place them beside a door, in your living room, or in any visible spot. That way, you can have a tangible cue or reminder that you shouldn’t miss your workout. It also makes it easy to start your routine.
Set Realistic and Specific Goals
What got you exercising in the first place? Is it merely because of its countless health benefits? Or do you want to lose a few pounds?
Whatever the reason is, use it to set your goals–and keep them detailed and realistic.
During week one, for instance, you might want to slowly build the habit of working out and walk 15 minutes every day. After two weeks, you can gradually incorporate running into your routine. Once you build your endurance, your long-term goal may be to run 3 miles a day.
Find a Routine That You’ll Enjoy
They say that “variety is the spice of life,” and this rings true with exercise. Instead of forcing yourself to stick to a monotonous routine, add variety to it to make it more interesting.
Do leg days on Tuesdays and weight lifting every Friday. Or try workouts outside the gym, like swimming, dancing in studios, hiking, or joining triathlons. It’s all about finding something that you’ll love doing regularly.
Create an Exercise Plan
Ever planned to hike in the great outdoors, then it suddenly rained? There’s nothing more annoying than having your plans ruined by the weather.
So grab a calendar, refer to the weekly weather forecast (as well as your other plans for the week), and plot out your workout schedule.
Putting everything on paper won’t only encourage you to stick to a consistent routine–it’ll also give you an easier time to look at your goals, monitor your progress, and appreciate your efforts.
Focus on Yourself
Having someone exercise with you or support you in your journey is great and all. But that doesn’t mean you have to purely rely on a friend or a family member for your exercise motivation.
When it comes to your daily workout routine, it’s all about you–what works for you and how you can reach your goals.
In the same vein, avoid comparing yourself to other people. Not everyone has the same body type, and not everyone is born an athlete. Again, you’ll have to focus on yourself, along with your goals, in every workout.
Be Sure to Treat Yourself
A lot of fitness enthusiasts take “cheat day” for granted. It’s a day to take a break from a strict regimen and savor some comfort food or enjoy an entirely different activity.
But it’s not just about indulging in whatever makes you happy. It also means shaping your view about exercise and thinking of it as a worthwhile activity.
Think of it like Pavlovian conditioning. By rewarding yourself after every workout, you’re linking sweat and pain with a feel-good treat.
And it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. You can treat yourself to a nourishing smoothie bowl, a massage, a movie night, or anything you enjoy.
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