Fitness Motivation To Help You Overcome 3 Common Exercise Ruts
We’ve all gone through healthy lifestyle phases — we eat well, we make time for exercise, we try really hard. Then, at a certain point we lose our motivation. Maybe we didn’t reach our goal, maybe we got too busy and started skipping workouts, maybe we just got bored.
Fitness motivation is challenging, and a lack of motivation can leave many of us feeling unhappy and unhealthy. Check out these tips for overcoming three ruts that we often find ourselves stuck in:
Rut #1 — I’ll Never Reach My Goal
Many of us can relate to this problem — when finally accepting that your favorite pair of jeans has become a bit too snug around the waist, you dust off your scale (after pulling it out of the depths of the closet where it’s been sitting for the past year), step on, and — wait — no, that can’t be right. Pick up the scale, check batteries, set it down, and try again-hm, maybe that is right. How in the world did 15 pounds creep up on you like that? Last year you told yourself you would lose 15 pounds to get down to an ideal, healthy weight and BMI, and 15 pounds seemed like a piece of cake, right? Well look how that turned out — somehow you’ve gained 15 instead of losing — and 30 pounds sounds a whole lot tougher to lose.
Don’t let your final goal frighten you. In fact, don’t even think about that final goal. Think about how even a five-pound weight loss will make you healthier. Go for five pounds instead of 30-reaching a goal (any goal) will be fulfilling and give you the optimistic outlook that you need to keep advancing. Set another five-pound goal after you reach the first one, and continue moving on in baby steps. The pride you feel in reaching your goals will motivate you to keep going.
Rut #2 — Exercise Is Boring
You’re at the gym, pushing yourself through another mind-numbing session on the treadmill. You take a look around, and you see ten other people, just like you, their faces expressing about as much excitement as they would watching paint dry. You check the timer on your treadmill after what has seemed like ages of walking, yet it’s only been two minutes.
The thing is, exercise doesn’t have to be boring. The gym is great, especially if you have a workout buddy, but it’s not always the most stimulating atmosphere. If you find yourself dreading another humdrum trip to the gym, consider shaking things up a bit.
- Take your workout outdoors — a 30-minute walk outside is a lot more interesting than a 30-minute soul-sucking session on a treadmill. Find a few outdoor locations you love, and rotate your walks at these different places a few times a week. Seek out new places to work out, and try at least one new spot each week.
- Work out with a friend. Whether you are going for a run, walk, or hike, it is much easier to stay interested when you have someone else with you. You can chat and pass the time more quickly, and you can motivate each other when you’re running out of steam. You can also turn your exercise into a competition, which is a great boredom-buster.
- Create an awesome playlist for your workout. We all have songs that pump us up — create a playlist full of these adrenaline-charging hits to help you pass the time during your workout. Plug in those earbuds, blast some “Eye of the Tiger”, and watch the time fly.
Rut #3 — I’m Too Tired
If you’re a working mom, you juggle your job, taking care of the household, and playing a taxi driver for all the kids activities. Maybe you are a college student, overloaded with tough coursework and three different part-time jobs. Or maybe you are one of those lucky (insert sarcastic snicker here) people that spends four hours a day on a train commuting to and from work. Whatever kind of crazy fills your day, it’s probably almost 10:00 at night when you can finally collapse on that couch. Workout time? I think not. You are beyond tired — you’ve entered the Land of Exhaustion, courtesy of the Burnout Express.
It is very tricky on days like that to find the time to squeeze in a workout, never mind the energy. However, it is a proven fact that more exercise actually gives you more energy. Even if you can’t squeeze it in every day, a low-intensity exercise session a few days a week can give you a much-needed energy boost that can help you tackle difficult days like the one mentioned above. A walk during your lunch break can energize you and help you get through the rest of the day. Try playing an evening game of softball with some buddies, or getting your kids outside for a game of tag before bed for a convenient way to squeeze in some exercise for everyone. You will be pleasantly surprised at the increase in energy you experience from more frequent exercise.
There are plenty of obstacles that prevent us from being active. We are discouraged, stressed out, exhausted and ironically, the benefits of exercise can help us turn around all of these negative feelings. Exercise can reduce stress and provide energy while reaching goals can help increase our pride and confidence.
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