Staying Motivated to Exercise!
Getting motivated to exercise sounds easy. We all get excited when we make the decision to finally do something to get fit and healthy and to improve our appearance by losing those few extra pounds!
For most of us that motivation remains right up until the moment our alarm goes off to get up early and start our program. Or on that first day that you have decided to start the healthy eating program and you have a morning tea with your girlfriends and they are all eating cake. There goes that motivation, at least for today.
So why is it that we can’t seem to get started and why is it some people seem to have no trouble? Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-orientated behaviors. It is the reason we act.
There are three components to motivation: activation, persistence and intensity. Activation is the easiest part, which involves making the decision to start exercising or eating well. Then comes the effort required to persist towards your set goal even through obstacles such as having no time, feeling tired, it’s raining need I go on we all know about the obstacles! Lastly is the intensity or the vigor at which someone will pursue his or her goal. Some people may choose to enlist help such as a personal trainer or group to keep them motivated whereas someone else will just do their own thing and seem to have no trouble keeping to their program.
The problem is motivation does not just happen. We have to make it happen. We need to create a goal that in our mind is extremely important to us. If you say you want to lose 5 kilos for example it is the why that gets you motivated. I want to lose 5 kilos as I have a wedding dress to fit into! I want to lose weight so I can stay healthy for my children. Anything that will give you a reason to get up every day and exercise and say no to that cake. It is actually easier if you set smaller goals and then as you achieve them set another one. Have more than one goal.
If you have 20kg to lose imagine how overwhelming that is when you struggle all week exercising and eating well to only lose 500gm? But what if you set yourself a goal of losing 5kg at a time it seems much more manageable. 500gm loss is a good result. Don’t deprive yourself and have such a restrictive diet that you can’t follow it. Make changes that you can live that are going to move you towards your goal. Losing weight or gaining muscle tone is a process that takes time, it is not a spectacular event that suddenly occurs.
We all have very valid reasons for why we may not be able to make time to fit in exercise or why we will start our diet tomorrow but maybe by setting out some goals and putting them in writing and treat your exercise like you would a Drs appointment. Write it in your diary and do it. Each day that you follow through will make it easier the next day. It is easy to do something when you feel like it but if you can do it when you don’t feel like it that is when it will make the difference.
Enlist the help of those around you such as your friends, family or colleagues. Maybe your friends would enjoy going for a walk or doing an exercise routine rather than having an unhealthy morning tea. Maybe they just need you to help get them motivated!
If like me you find it difficult to get to the gym or get out and exercise try the eFit30 exercise videos that you can do at home in your own time.