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11 Tips for Exercise Motivation11 Tips for Exercise Motivation


Exercise motivation tips

You can use various strategies to stay motivated. The most important factor is finding an activity you enjoy. If you don't enjoy the activity, once the initial excitement of a new program has ceased, you will likely give up your exercise routine. Here are a few tips to help you stick with your program.

  • Think outside the box when selecting activities. Try something new that you initially find intimidating. Once you become a regular, your sense of pride and accomplishment will be even greater.

  • Don't let being a beginner intimidate you. Everyone was a beginner at one point, no matter what the activity or sport.

  • Cross-train, cross-train, cross-train. Doing the same old thing every single day will burn out even the most avid exerciser. Find at least two activities that you enjoy and alternate them throughout the week.

  • Choose activities with an endpoint. It is motivating to have something to work towards. For example, train with the intent to run or bike in an upcoming race. Update these goals as you attain them, and set new goals for future events.

  • Schedule your workout. If you don't make room for it in your busy schedule, you're not giving yourself a fighting chance. So many things demand a spot in your life, and everything else is scheduled - work, school, church, social events. Your workout is just as important as any other appointment, so treat it that way.

  • Select days and times for your exercise that are appropriate for your lifestyle. If you are truly not a morning person, don't set your alarm an hour earlier to workout at 5 am. It may work in the short term, but fighting against your natural circadian rhythms will be a constant uphill battle. Experiment with your schedule until you find a time slot that works for you. Remember, it doesn't have to be the same time every day.

  • Explore your options. Work with your employer to shift your schedule. Take a 90-minute lunch break to workout and stay 30 minutes later in the evening, or come in earlier so you can leave earlier and squeeze in exercise before picking up the kids. Employers are currently struggling with insurance costs and often work with employees who are taking strides to improve health.

  • Consider finding a workout partner. When someone else is depending on you, it ups the ante. It doesn't have to be for every workout. Mix it up. Schedule a weekly Saturday hike with your spouse and a noon yoga class with your best friend. Inform family members and friends about your desire to integrate these times into your schedule.

  • Stay accountable. Sign a contract stating that these are the exercise steps you are going to take to improve your quality of life. Ask friends in the MyFoodDiary forum or through social media to check up on you, and ask about your workouts. Record all of your activity in the Exercise Log so that you can see just how many calories you are burning and how it influences your weight.

  • Be a good manager. Some approaches to exercise may not work at all while others may simply need a bit of tweaking. A good manager will tackle the problem from a different angle until the problem is solved. If your current exercise routine is not working for you, adjust it until you find a fit. Be a good manager of your health and stick with it!

  • Be patient. Don't give up! Integrating exercise into daily living is a lifestyle habit and it will take some time to perfect.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
Eat better. Feel better. MyFoodDiary Categories Exercise
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