Sometimes it can be hard to stick to an exercise routine. Daily obligations can zap your energy, you may have become bored with your routine, or it could be that you decided to take a day off and it snowballed into weeks or months of inactivity. If you lack the enthusiasm to keep moving, these fitness motivation tricks will get you back in the game in no time.
Defining your fitness goals is a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track. One of the best ways to set goals is by using the SMART—specific, measurable, relevant, time-bound—method. State your specific goals. Making them measurable. Keep your goals relevant to your needs and abilities. Finally, create a timeline, or make them time-bound, to stay focused.
Make your goals realistic
Sometimes we lose our motivation when our fitness goals are too big or intense, especially when we’re just starting out. For example, if you’re new to running but your goal is to run a half marathon in two months, this would be very hard to achieve. You could injure yourself or your enthusiasm may peter out fast. So, instead, aim to run a 5K in two months and a half marathon in six. By setting realistic goals, you’ll be more likely to achieve them and excited to take the next step in your fitness routine.
Make your workout fun again
Kids don’t give exercise a second thought. They’re too busy playing tag, riding bikes, and swinging on monkey bars. They have fun while burning calories and building muscles. As we grow up, we may think of exercise as a chore, which leads to a lack of motivation. Ditch the activities that you simply don’t enjoy and find some workouts that match your interests whether that’s playing tennis, practicing yoga, or rollerblading.
Find support from family and friends
It’s motivating when we have social support from those we know and love, and accountability may help jumpstart your workout routine. Discuss with a family member or friend why it’s important for you to stick with your exercise routine. You can ask them to check in on a regular basis to make sure you’re sticking to your goals. Or you can ask them to join in! Finding someone to work out with is a great way to form a stronger bond and motivate each other.
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Join a team
If you’re someone who enjoys exercising with others but can’t seem to find a workout partner, consider joining a team. There are plenty of sports to choose from. Locate an intermural soccer team or softball league. Find a local running club or cycling group. When we have that team mentality, it’s easy to join in on the fun.
Rethink your approach to fitness
Sometimes, there aren’t enough hours in the day to dedicate as much time as we’d like to our workout routines. If your car breaks down or your manager asks you to take on some extra work, you may not be able to go on that five-mile run or attend that class at the gym. But don’t scrap your plans altogether. It’s okay if you need to adjust your daily workout goal, and you can still benefit from short exercise routines.
Achieving your goal or hitting a milestone is something to be proud of. Take the time to not only appreciate your efforts but reward yourself. This can be anything from buying yourself that new pair of running shoes you’ve had your eye on or going to the movies. You deserve it, and it will help motivate you to reach the next target.
Use exercise to de-stress
Exercise is a great way to get in shape, but it’s also an effective way to relieve stress. Physical activity releases endorphins, feel-good neurotransmitters that can boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. About 20 minutes of aerobic activity, six or seven days per week can help you control stress levels. Yoga is another way to relieve stress, relaxing your mind and body.
Change your routine
If you find yourself dreading your next workout, it’s time for a change. It’s recommended to change your routine every six weeks. If you need some inspiration to find your next fitness routine, there are apps and websites dedicated to discovering something new. If you’re a member of a gym, find a trainer who can make a recommendation or try increasing the intensity of your current routine.
Take time off
Believe it or not, another surefire way to spark interest in your fitness routine is by taking time off. And it’s okay if you ended up taking more time off than planned. Get over the guilt, forget the past, and reignite your routine.
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