Maintaining The Motivation To Exercise
A lot of people would like to be fit, but acting on that motivation is the key to actually becoming fit. Motivation is best defined as a cognitive process connecting a thought or feeling to an action. The greater your motivation to exercise is, the more likely you are to work out.
There are two types of motivation to get fit. The first is intrinsic motivation in which the desire to exercise comes from within you. Sheer enjoyment of an activity or a strong belief that exercising is very beneficial for your long-term health are examples of intrinsic motivations. Knowledge is among the most powerful intrinsic motivators, as you are considerably more likely to exercise regularly when you are aware of all of the scientific studies linking physical fitness to reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, and premature mortality.
The alternative is extrinsic motivation, or motivation that comes from an external source. Training for a competition, a doctor's advice to start exercising more, and a desire to improve your personal appearance are all excellent examples of external motivation.
If you struggle to maintain enough motivation to get fit, the tips below will help you build and maintain it so you can achieve your fitness goals.
1. Set A Clear Goal
The human mind is naturally goal-oriented, so having an attainable goal is an excellent source of motivation. Define what success looks like so that you can easily measure your progress toward it. For example, you might take a picture of yourself every month and compare them to see all of the progress you are making.
2. Make A Plan
Your workouts should also be planned out well in advance. Define the activity, duration, and intensity of what you plan to do well before you intend to do it so that you can't look for a way out when the time comes. There is nothing wrong with starting small and gradually building up to more intense regimens as long as you are achieving the results you want.
You should also ensure that you actually work out when you are supposed to. For instance, you might leave your gym bag near the door as an environmental cue to take it with you as you're headed to work. You should also take the time to find an activity you enjoy enough to stick with and schedule it for a time and place that you consistently have available.
Building a support network of fitness buddies can also turn peer pressure to your advantage by making you accountable to and for other people. Writing up your successes in a fitness journal can also be a helpful way to keep your motivation levels up.
Finally, feel free to reward yourself for a job well done. A slice of chocolate pie would be counterproductive, but new fitness clothes or even a favorite TV show are suitable rewards.
3. Believe In Yourself
There is no need to compare yourself to fitness models and feel inferior. Take pleasure in the smallest gains, and refuse to dwell on any setbacks that occur. Persistence is the most challenging aspect of exercise, but it's also the most rewarding.