GETTING MOTIVATED TO START AND STICK WITH AN EXERCISE PROGRAM IS HARD, BUT ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE WHEN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT MINDSET.
Even if you hate working out, you can develop mental habits that turn exercise into an enjoyable daily routine.
1. BE REALISTIC
Starting an exercise regimen just so you can fit into a pair of skinny jeans or look good in the bathing suit you wore as a teenager isnt the kind of motivation that you need.
Separate yourself from these unattainable fantasies, identify the real reasons why you arent exercising and map out a plan to overcome them. Instead of telling yourself that youll never reach your goals, find the one thing that you can do to get started and go from there.
2. START SMALL
If youve been avoiding exercise because you cant imagine hitting the gym for an hour every day, remember that nobody starts out hardcore.
Begin with small steps that you know you can achieve, whether its taking a walk at lunchtime, doing yoga every morning or hopping on the elliptical while you watch your favorite show at night. Remind yourself that each step is more than you were doing before and that the benefits of taking those steps will add up over time.
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3. HAVE A CONSISTENT SCHEDULE
Putting your exercise regimen in writing can help you stick with it when you want to quit. Get a calendar app for your smartphone or tablet and work up a regular fitness schedule.
Set reminders to keep yourself motivated. Start with a couple of days a week and work your way up as you get a handle on what you can manage.
4. ENJOY YOURSELF
The only way to learn to like exercise is to pick workouts you enjoy doing. Youre not obligated to do anything that you hate, so go ahead and skip the treadmill in favor of a kettlebell class or take up kickboxing instead of going for a jog.
Shift your mental focus from burning calories and losing weight to having fun learning something new. It wont be long before you begin to look forward to working out and start relishing the challenge that it brings.
5. APPRECIATE THE REWARDS
After establishing a regular fitness routine, youre going to need tactics to help you stick with it. Tracking the proven rewards of exercise is one way to remind yourself that everything you do is helping you make progress.
Write down your milestones as you go along and look back on your log now and then to see how far youve come. Set goals for the future based on your progress and do something fun as a treat to yourself for reaching those goals.
Knowing that exercise makes you healthier and improves your well-being may not be enough motivation to keep up with a regular routine. However, if you take small steps and make the effort to create workouts that you love, youll find that the work pays off in ways that you can see and feel.