For many people, “exercise” is a greatly dreaded word, one that brings to mind horror-movie scenarios of endless injury and exhaustion. We all know the facts, of course – that regardless of age, gender or lifestyle, engaging in regular exercise is always beneficial for our physical, mental and emotional health. But understanding something in theory is very different to putting it into practice!
When it comes to planning (and more importantly, sticking to) an exercise routine, motivation is a crucial element if you want to achieve your fitness goals. Of course, motivation can be hard to come by when there’s often so many other priorities demanding your time and energy. So if you’ve decided to start participating in some form of physical activity every week but are feeling a tad lacklustre at the prospect, you’re in luck! In this post, we’ve compiled some trusty tips and suggestions that will help to boost your mood, determination and enthusiasm when it comes to exercise. So lace up your running shoes and get ready, set, go!
Make Exercise Fun
You might think that having “exercise” and “fun” in the same sentence is a bit of a paradox, but the truth is that there really is a great form of physical activity out there to suit everyone’s individual preferences. If dragging yourself to the gym or forcing yourself to go running is getting you down, it’s time to start thinking outside the box and consider alternative options. There are now so many different ways to exercise that, when it comes to taking control of your fitness regime, the world is your oyster! Those who are after a less vigorous and more relaxing workout should try Pilates or Yoga, while people who love to hit the dance floor will adore the vibrant energy of Zumba. Meanwhile, social sports such as netball and basketball are perfect for social butterflies who are looking to improve their fitness levels and make new friends at the same time. If you’re having a great time while you exercise, it’ll no longer feel like such a chore and will hopefully become an activity that you actually look forward to each time.
Create Realistic Goals
It’s important to be optimistic and to keep your chin up when you’re devising your brand new exercise routine. However, it’s equally important to know your limits and to understand that there might be some setbacks along the way. Make sure that you start small when you’re figuring out how often you want to exercise and for how long, before slowly increasing the length and intensity of your workouts periodically. Progress is the key when it comes to regular physical activity, so don’t beat yourself up if you skip a week of exercise due to illness, family obligations, or social opportunities. Just pick yourself back up and get back into it when you can, because as soon as you begin to see (and feel!) the amazing results of your exercise regime, this will only further fuel your motivation to keep forging on.
Keep Your Priorities In Mind
It can be all too easy to get distracted by the other events and activities happening in our lives: upcoming holidays and celebrations, school and work tasks, platonic and romantic relationships, and plans for the future, to name just a few. Amidst all this commotion, it’s no wonder people sometimes find it tricky to slot regular workouts into their schedule. This can lead to them using excuses such as “I’m too tired from doing so-and-so”, “I have to get up early for this or that”, or simply “I don’t have the time right now” to evade their exercise regime. However, while it might be tempting to do just that, the best way to amp yourself up and keep your focus is to reaffirm why you decided to start exercising. If you came up with an exercise plan in the first place, there are undoubtedly very good reasons as to why you chose to place such importance on it! Whether you wanted to lose weight for an event or to improve your fitness and wellbeing, it’s always a good idea to remind yourself of your original goals when you feel your determination ebbing. Think about how good you’ll continue to feel as you progress to grow stronger, fitter, and overall healthier. Keeping your eye on the prize is a great way to stay motivated in the long run.
All’s Well That Ends Well
When it comes to engaging in physical activity on a regular basis, starting is always the hardest part. You just need to get over those first few hurdles and persist with your exercise plan, because the longer you stick with it, the easier it’ll get. Soon after that, exercising (however you choose to do it) will simply become a healthy habit, one which you will hopefully have learned to enjoy. So put in the hard yards now and remember that it’ll all pay off later – guaranteed! For more handy health tips, don’t forget to browse through Comparethemarket.com.au’s comprehensive health guides.