Few things in life are as rewarding as sticking with your exercise routine. You will feel fitter, stronger, healthier, more confident and it will also bring a sense of accomplishment. However, it is not always easy to get yourself motivated to exercise.
Lack of energy, other priorities and unrealistic expectations can all stop you getting off the sofa to do those squats! So what can we do to help motivate ourselves?
Dealing With A Lack Of Energy
This can be down to a number of factors such as poor diet, poor sleep hygiene and lack of exercise. There are many complex diets out there and there are always new trends and fads, however you can’t go far wrong if you simply focus your diet on a wide variety of fresh, unprocessed food and ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. This type of diet will help to provide you with a more balanced energy release as supposed to processed foods which can contain added sugar and result in lots of energy highs and lows throughout the day. Sleep can be helped by a good diet, exercise and a regular routine i.e. going to bed at the same time each night. Also, ensuring you get 7-8 hours sleep per night is recommended for most people. If you are not getting enough sleep, your energy levels will likely dip during the day. Exercise actually gives you the energy to do more exercise. The trick is to start of small and build it up over time. As you continue to exercise your energy levels will increase and you will be able to do more.
Yes, it is tempting to watch just one more episode on Netflix. And we all have an unending list of tasks to do around the home or for work or for the kids. But it is important to evaluate your priorities and realise that your own health and fitness needs to be sitting at the top somewhere. All those other things you do will be more enjoyable if you are fit and healthy. There are only so many hours in a day however, so it is important to plan ahead and schedule in your workout. This might mean getting up half an hour earlier or finding some time at lunch a few days per week, find what works for you and stick to it.
Reset Unrealistic Expectations
Many of us may have experienced exercising in the past and it did not yield the results we wanted quickly enough, so we just gave up – this is completely natural. Unfortunately, most exercises do not provide instantaneous results in terms of the strength, fitness or weight loss gains that we want to make. These things will come in time, but it may be weeks or months before you start to see the results you want. It is therefore important to set some realistic goals – and also to embrace the success when you achieve them.
While not all the benefits of exercise are instantaneous, there are some immediate mental health gains from doing a workout. Even a short workout will release endorphins in your brain which in turn improve your mood and give you a more positive outlook.
What else can help?
People often feel more motivated when training with others. This can be difficult at the moment with the current lockdown measures in place, however it is possible to do live online, instructor-led video sessions if you are a member of your local HITZone studio.
Tracking your progress can be a great motivational tool for many people. Fitness trackers and their associated apps provide a visual reference which is easy to understand, and they can also be set up to alert you if you are not moving enough. As with most technology the price goes down as the technology matures and it is now possible to get a wide range of trackers from leading brands for under £100.
Doing the same exercises over and over again can become a bit dull. Mix up your routine as much as possible to keep things interesting.