Joel Gray writes…Considering the amount of time and energy that it takes to go out and exercise, it is easy to neglect the habit of working out when life gets busy. It is important to remain motivated and stick to it so that the routine is not forgotten altogether. Here are a few pointers that can help keep you motivated and wanting to exercise as often as possible.
Don’t try to overachieve. A person with a busy lifestyle may only be able to exercise a couple times a week, but that is still better than not exercising at all. There’s also no point in intending to work out for a certain amount of time, run a certain distance, or lift a certain amount of weight if that intention is so intimidating that it never gets done. It is better to set reasonable goals and actually accomplish them.
Put on the clothes first. Very often, the most difficult part is getting started. Change into workout clothes and see how they look. If buying new workout clothes will provide encouragement, do that. After being dressed for the activity, starting it is less daunting. Another useful tip is to take a photograph of yourself every couple of weeks. Physical change is gradual so watching it take place over time can provide a continuous source of motivation.
Create some competition. Working out alone can become monotonous and competition is always motivation to try harder and be better. In addition to that, you will be less likely to skip out on your workout if other people expect you to be there exercising with them. Getting your friends to compete with you is a wonderful way to simultaneously make exercise seem more fun and to get into a habit of being physically active on a regular basis.
Do not take off more than two or three days at a time. After missing a few days, it is easy to miss a few more and then to lose the habit entirely. Even if the activity is less strenuous that it had been before, or if your schedule is tight and it cannot be done for long, exercise anyway. Something is always better than nothing and even short workouts help to retain the habit.
Remember that the benefits outweigh the costs. Working out does take up time and energy, but it also promotes health and mobility, increases confidence, improves the quality of sleep, and makes you more attractive. It is easy to make excuses and say “I’ve done a lot today and I’m tired” or “I have no time” but in the end, you will reap the immense benefits of exercise if you sacrifice the time and energy that it takes to exercise.
Get more involved. This can begin with as little as subscribing to a magazine or newsletter on the physical activity that you have begun doing. If it is a sport, keeping up with the news on that sport and joining cares or competitions will also help. The idea is to get excited and enthusiastic about exercise- because exercise is meant to be enjoyed and not just endure.