How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise
To achieve great eye-catching and head-turning results from your exercise you need to be consistent with your habits.
A big part of achieving that consistency and regularity is finding the motivation, whether it comes intrinsically or extrinsically or a combination of both.
Here are some tips that can help you find that motivation and start achieving the results you should be getting:
Knowledge is power - it’s easier to be motivated to train if you know what you’re doing and what it will achieve.
You don’t have to take a course at college to do so, but there are a number of excellent books out there that can help you out.
Knowledge will also allow you to set up routines that you can stick to rather than doing things aimlessly.
Some of my favourites include:
- Fat Loss – The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto
- Strength Training – Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
- Bodybuilding – The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarznegger
- Power Sport Conditioning – Functional Training For Sports by Michael Boyle
- Endurance Sports Conditioning - Serious Training For Endurance Athletes by Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning
Find a training partner
Preferably someone who has similar goals and is at a similar level to you – make sure you don’t choose someone who is an unreliable slacker when it comes to exercise!
If you have trouble finding someone in your area you can use an online service like Fitm8s to track a training partner down.
Listen to Music
Music can be a very powerful motivator – check out my Best Pump Up Songs hub for some great tracks to listen and add to your playlist that will get you motivated.
Join a community
It can be in the real world at a sports, recreation or fitness club or online on an internet forum.
Get a coach or trainer
A professional can help you get results at a faster rate and is an additional motivating source – plus you are paying for his/her services so you’ll be wasting your money if you’re not training.
If you can’t afford the fees then try out an internet personal trainer – they can’t physically be there at every sessions with you but most will provide you with an individually tailored training and nutrition program and often regular support.
An example of an online personal training service is Amino Z.
Write them down - make sure they are concrete, measureable, achievable but still challenging and clearly visible to you on a regular basis.
Make it fun!
Exercise shouldn’t be a drag – find a form of physical activity that makes you want to get out there and do it!
Taking up a sport is a great option that anyone can do.
Two very popular current exercise trends include:
Zumba - great if you’re musically orientated an enjoy dance.
Crossfit- great if you want hardcore intensity and all-round conditioning with a different challenge every session.
Train for an event or competition
Book yourself in for a future event whether it be a fun run, marathon, figure competition, mountain climb, weight loss competition etc.
It’s hard to slack off when you know your body or fitness will be on public show with people watching and judging in the near future.
Watch and read success stories
There are a number of amazing physical transformations that have been documented out there whether it be from serious health risk to healthy, pot belly to six pack, skinny to buff, weakling to powerhouse, slow to fast, lacklustre to fit etc. that will let you know anything is possible with enough application and effort.
Close your eyes, visualise your ideal physique or level of performance (the more vivid the vision the better) and go out and make it happen!
Keep a public training log
Most fitness forums have a training log section or perhaps you can document your training sessions on your own blog.
Take a before photograph
Sometimes we forget how much progress we’ve made when our results start to stagnate and motivation falls as a result – a before photograph can help prevent this.
If your goals are more performance orientated then keep a record of your before level of performance.
Send yourself a reminder
Only after a sustained period of consistent, regular, good quality exercise and/or great results though – you want to reward the right behaviour.
Junk food rewards typically aren’t a great idea, unless used strategically during a stagnant weight loss period (cheat meal).
Fitness-related books, DVDs, equipment and clothes in particular make great reward ideas as they continue to feed your motivation to exercise.
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How do you stay motivated to exercise? Feel free to share your own tips and advice with everyone in the comments below.