Motivation is key to achieving your fitness goals, but often staying motivated can be the most difficult part of your fitness journey. Life can get on top of us and suddenly, we become too busy for the gym, or we feel too tired.
To become fitter and stronger, you have to be persistent with the gym. Luckily for you, we have a few tips to help keep you motivated on those days when you really don’t feel like going to the gym. You need to give your body rest and recovery, but if you have goals you want to achieve and know what you need to do to get there, we’re here to help.
Setting long-term and short-term goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated. You shouldn’t set unrealistic goals or else that may demotivate you. If you don’t set achievable goals, you will soon become frustrated with your workout plan, which will really impact your motivation.
An example would be aiming to complete a 5K run in a particular time. Complete a 5K run once or twice a week and then every week, look to get it down by 30-seconds until you reach your main goal. That way, you are setting realistic goals and keeping yourself motivated. ANother short-term goal is reaching a certain weight on the squat machine.
Many people assume that exercising isn’t fun, but you probably just haven’t found your favourite yet. There are endless amounts of different types of exercise you can do, with some being individual and others are team sports. Depending on your character, a team sport might be best to keep yourself motivated and make new friends. If you are a reserved character, you might prefer to play individual sports or to go to the gym on your own.
Join a team sport such as football, cricket, rugby or tennis, or do something a little more different like dancing and yoga which you might just fall in love with. If you want to have fun, consider combat sports such as boxing and muay Thai as these raise the heart rate and are ridiculously fun!
Health specialists suggest we aim for 150 minutes of light exercise per week with 75 minutes of intense exercise. Light activities can include anything from walking to strength exercises at the gym. Intense workouts include running, swimming, HIIT classes or anything else that can get the heart pumping. So, get yourself a good balance between high and low-intensity exercises and you will have even more fun. Exercise doesn’t need to be boring. There is an exercise for everyone so ensure you look around to find the fit for you.
Finding time for exercise can be difficult, especially if you spend a couple of hours travelling to and from work. So, rather than thinking about working out as a possibility, schedule a workout like it is essential to go.
The average person only needs around seven hours of sleep. If you go to bed at 10 p.m., you can wake up at 5 or 6 AM and still get the sleep you need. This way, you can get your workout done early and then have the whole evening to yourself. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym either, your morning exercise can include running or going for a walk with the dog.
Another thing you can do is include exercise throughout the day. Rather than doing one big workout if you don’t enjoy that, go on a short walk on your lunch break and get a breath of fresh air. Something as simple as a few lunges, press-ups or sit-ups when you get in from work can be enough as well.
For those that work from home, there are many things you can do. In fact, you could argue there is more opportunity to exercise at home! For example, every time you send a work email, do five press-ups, five sit-ups and five squats. When you are on your lunch break, do step-ups on your stairs. There are so many exercises you can perform at home so get creative and watch your motivation for fitness transform.
Writing everything down makes a difference. When I was younger, every time I attended the gym, I would write down how long I was there and what exercises I did. If I thought that I performed something well, I would write that down too. The reason why is that when I looked back on these notes, I noticed that something I achieved a couple of months ago was nothing on what I just achieved recently.
Once you begin writing your workouts down on paper, recording what you are lifting or how fast you complete a 5K run, you will soon see the difference. It isn’t the writing down part that will keep you motivated. It is the part where you look back on your notes and see what you have achieved.
Time goes by so quickly. Three months at the gym will fly by, just like six months will. Looking back at your notes will keep you motivated.
Those short and long-term goals you set yourself earlier, start rewarding yourself once you achieve them. This doesn’t mean you treat yourself to a takeaway after you lose a few pounds. It means you buy some gym wear such as a new gym crop top, a new protein powder you’ve been wanting to try or a full tracksuit for your winter runs. You will soon find different ways to reward yourself that won’t hinder your performance, but will actually motivate you to become better!
If you wish to achieve your fitness goals, you need to stay motivated. The difficulty is staying motivated each month if you do not see any results, but they will come when you are committed. There will be bad days where you don’t complete a rep or run a little slower than usual. The solution to that is don’t be too hard on yourself and start afresh the next day. Good luck!