Top 10 Motivational Tips to Exercise

We all know how important exercising is to our health, but most of us still find excuses to put it off.  It’s your health!  It’s your life!  It’s your future, and yet, we find excuses to avoid it!  Staying motivated to workout is tough, but I have compiled several tips to help you stay on the fitness wagon:

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Here are my Top 10 Motivational Tips to Exercise:

1. The first thing to do is to ask yourself: Why are you exercising? Are you trying to get in shape for an upcoming event? Do you want to lose weight, sleep better, up your energy, increase your strength, add muscle and flexibility, or just feel better about the way you fit in those jeans? If the reason you are exercising has anything to do with someone else (for example, your boyfriend says you need to lose weight or get in shape), you need a new reason (and, quite possibly, a new boyfriend).   Find your why!  What is it that is making you workout in the first place?

2. Set goals. Set both a short term goal, to achieve in three to six weeks, and a long term goal, to achieve over the course of a year. Make sure your goals are achievable enough that they are not discouraging, but high enough that you have an incentive to tie your workout shoes each day.  It’s important to create goals that are going to be motivating!  Example, create a specific goal that you know you will benefit from and physically see yourself achieve, like, “I want to lose 5 lbs by the end of the month.”  Not, “I want to get skinny and strong.”  Too plain, too vague.  Focus on the details because that’s what you will notice!

3. Keep an exercise journal or log. Write down how your exercise is making you feel each day. How is your exercise benefiting your mood, energy levels, quality of sleep, weight, and so on?  Keep up with your journey as a way to stay accountable for continuing!  Place a giant star on your calendar each day to indicate that you completed your workout. These visual rewards can be so motivating.  Also, schedule your daily exercise on your to do list and in your planner. Think of it as simply something you need to do before your head hits the pillow.

4. Take photos.  Take pics of yourself each month in your workout gear so you have a visual record of your results.  I know, I know… the before picture is always GROSS.  But use that as a motivator!  Snap those pictures and see your body changing!

5. Join an online community.  TeamBeachbody.com encourages you to log and track your exercise each day.   Also, Make Me Your Free Beachbody Coach so that we can work together and hold each other accountable for our workouts!  The buddy-system is a great way to stay on track and push yourself passed your comfort zone!

6. No more excuses.  Identify the excuses you like to use and have a ready made response. If time is an issue, make sure your workout clothes are ready to go. If lack of energy after work is the excuse, then force yourself to knock out your workouts before work.  Whatever your excuses are, write them down and find a way to work around them.  Trust me, if there is a will, there is a way!

7. Make sure you have the right gear.  Having the right fitness gear can make all the difference in the comfort level of your workout. A good pair of shoes is essential. And weather resistant clothing or a membership to an indoor gym can help you fight off your own excuses when weather conditions are less than ideal.  Have the right weight dumbbells so your reps aren’t too hard or too easy.  Invest in a soft yoga mat for additional padding for your floor exercises.

8. Change your routine as you reach new goals.  You’re not forced to do the same workout programs over and over again.  Once you finish a round of P90X or Insanity, feel free to venture out and pick up a new program.  Especially if the program you finish has a sequel, such as P90X2 and Insanity: The Asylum!  Add zest to your workout and avoid the exercise plateau by increasing the intensity or the duration of your workout, or by trying a new workout to your agenda!

9. Try not to take more than one day off at a time. I have found this really important to avoid losing valuable momentum. If I take two days off, it becomes very easy to take another day, and then another day. That means that if your workout is only part of your weekday routine, weave it into your weekend routine, too.

10. Choose an exercise that you are likely to do each day.  If you don’t enjoy too much cardio, then avoid workouts like Insanity or TurboFire and try P90X or Power90.  If you workout on a shorter lunch break, then look into 10 Minute Trainer!  Find a workout that suites your needs and lifestyle!

BONUS – Here are two more BONUS motivational tips:

11. Give yourself simple rewards! For long term goals, treat yourself to a new pair of athletic shoes or other fitness equipment that you feel will benefit your workouts. For short term goals, consider a new fitness magazine, workout video, or simply a night out to the movies with your loved ones.

12. Exercise for YOU!  Try to think of exercise as something you do for yourself: a gift you give yourself, a way to stay balanced and focused, and time when you can be alone with your thoughts.  Make it your “ME” time to block out all of life’s stresses.

 

 

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