Exercise tips to help you stay motivated
Unfortunately, in today’s image-driven world the biggest motivation to exercise can be to acquire a ‘hot’ body. Both men and women are consistently bombarded by images of the ‘perfect’ body that is entirely unobtainable for human beings. The men and women you see on those billboard are not real; they are half human, half computer generated. If your reason for exercising is to look like those billboard models you can forget it. All you are doing is setting yourself up for an unobtainable goal.
A much healthier way to go about it is to love the body you’re in and to want to take care of it. Your body is a wonderful thing and should be respected and loved. No matter what negative thoughts you have about it I can guarantee you that somebody has looked at you and wished they had what you have. Motivate yourself to exercise out of love for what you already have. Take care of what is precious.
An obstacle that stands in many people’s ways when it comes to exercise is money. You simply cannot afford a gym membership or a pilates subscription. A great and affordable way to start exercising is by jogging or running. That way you can get fit at very little cost, and it you keep at it you can treat yourself to a gym membership knowing you have what it takes to stick with it. Once you have the right mindset it’s time to get down to business:
- The first order of business is footwear. Buy comfortable footwear. Exercise shoes are something you should not scrimp on. Bad footwear can lead to muscle, ankle, hip and back pain. Make sure you get yourself a nice pair of runners.
- Secondly, find the right place to run. Try to find a place that does not have too many intersections, as waiting to cross the road can be frustrating. Also try to find a nice part of your neighbourhood, somewhere with a nice view where you enjoy being. I am lucky enough to live a short drive from the sea so I motivate myself by running along the shore at sunset. Finding a beautiful time and place to exercise goes a long way to motivating yourself to get out there.
- Next, make sure you stretch well. A de-motivational aspect of exercise is muscle pain. You can reduce this by stretching and warming up your body before you exercise, and cooling it down again when you are finished.
- Don't push yourself too hard in the beginning. If you exercise to the point of near collapse on the first try, the chances are you won’t be too keen on going through it again. Unless you have a personal trainer to push you, you need to go easy on yourself in the beginning to keep yourself from simply giving up. Once you have gotten into a pattern of exercise and know you will stick with it you can start pushing harder.
- Make sure you hydrate. Always carry a bottle of water with you, even if it means having to hold it in your hand while you run. Keeping your body hydrated will stop you from getting head-achey and light-headed.
- Listen to music. Sometimes jogging can get a little boring so make some exercise playlists for yourself. Listening to music can make the time go faster and takes the focus off the body. If you spend your whole time concentrating solely on how harsh your breathing is and how tired your legs feel you will not last long.
Mixing it up at the gym
If you have a gym membership one of the best ways to stop yourself from getting bored is to change machines every fifteen-twenty minutes. The thought of spending forty-five minutes on the treadmill can be a little soul destroying so help yourself out by planning on spending just 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 on the cross-trainer and 15 on the bikes. This will break it up and also allow you to exercise a wider range of body parts.
LIVESTRONG is a great Youtube channel where you can find plenty of great workout videos
© 2012 Emer Kelly