You already know exercise is good for you, right? Especially vigorous exercise. We all know that. But actually doing the work is another thing. In a recent survey conducted by Fhitting Room, over 50% of respondents indicated that Lack of Motivation was their #1 barrier to fitness, followed by Lack of Time (19%), Lack of Equipment (14%), Resources (7%), and Fitness Knowledge (7%).
So what is the best way to start (and stick with) an exercise routine? How do you get out there when that little voice inside your head says, “I’ll do that tomorrow…or the day after…maybe.”? Motivation is the answer in many cases, and it’s not always about just powering through. There is much nuance involved with motivation. Here are some tips we’ve curated from our users that have worked well for them and could possibly help you too.
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) Goals
Your fitness goal may be too big – or too small – for you right now, especially if you’re new to exercise. Beginners usually “want to go for maximal goals, but they tend to get overwhelmed,” says Gerald Endress, exercise physiologist at Duke Center for Living in North Carolina. Don’t start off trying to work out an hour every day. Instead, set more reasonable, achievable goals, like exercising 20 to 30 minutes two or three times a week. SMART goal setting can be successful used in all parts of life.
Track Your Progress
One of the key parts of the SMART goal setting is tracking your workouts. Whether you do it online or in an old-school fitness journal makes no difference. The key here is seeing improvements, whether it’s your mood boost, running faster, doing more reps, or working out more often, progress makes you want to keep going.
Break It Down into Manageable Chunks
If you’re just not feeling it, try talking yourself into exercising for 2-5 minutes. This could be a quick stroll around the block, 30 second planks, or a quick set of air squats. Oftentimes you’ll want to keep it going. And if not, you can still do a couple more minutes here and there throughout during the day, instead of one long workout.
Forget “The Other Person” …or Don’t!
There will always be someone fitter, faster, or more flexible than you. Don’t compare yourself to them. Forget about them. Do not let them deter you from your goal. Your workout time is for you, and about you. However, if that person does inspire you get out of bed every morning and hammer a workout, then by all means put of picture of them on your bathroom mirror a la Rocky V.
Whether you can do it yourself, or if you need to tap in friends, family, or co-workers, someone should be there to encourage you to stay on track. Ask yourself/them to check in daily or weekly and remind you why you’re on this journey. If helpful reassurance turns into criticism, gently remind yourself or your pal that you don’t need nagging, just accountability.
Make it Fun
If you can’t get motivated, maybe you’re doing the wrong activity. Or maybe an old favorite has now gotten stale. When you’re struggling (and we all struggle) try to pick activities you like to do and look forward to. Remember, exercise does not have to happen in a gym. Exercise is about movement and lifting stuff, and there are many ways to enjoy that.
Make It Convenient
Don’t spend 30 minutes in the car getting to a gym unless you have to. Simply find an online workout. If you’re too tired to work out at the end of the day, set your alarm a little earlier and exercise in the morning. The number of exercises you can do next to your bed is endless.
Forget the Past
Yesterday doesn’t matter. What matters is right now. Acknowledge the challenges of the past. Accept that you cannot change the past, only how you view it. Release any negative thoughts holding you back. And now start a new healthy pattern.
Celebrate the Small Wins & Reward Yourself
Treat yourself for working out. This reward becomes the reason you’re motivated to do the behavior. It is a positive stimulus which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. There are many ways to treat yourself. Try them all!
Remove the Guilt
You will not perfectly execute your fitness plan. And if you accept that there will be some side steps on your fitness journey, you’ll be better prepared mentally to deal with setbacks. Most importantly, don’t let a misstep be an excuse for giving up.
Fhitting Room is the first digital HIIT platform. Our signature programming combines high intensity intervals, strength training, varied exercises and functional movements for an effective total body workout. You can count on Fhitting Room to deliver the energy of a killer group workout experience with the personal attention of a one-on-one training session. We’re here to help you feel less stressed, more productive, safe and strong. Come find your perfect FHIT.