Finding the Motivation to Stick to a Workout Routine
Like any project – getting started is often the hardest part. This is no different to developing and sticking to a workout routine. We all know that we should be more active, but for those who spend much of the day sitting down, it can be extremely difficult to break the sedentary cycle.
Whether it be a stressful job, erratic working hours or a busy family life – this article will give you tips on how to establish a healthy exercise routine, and more importantly, stick to it.
Ease into your workout regime
In our world of instant gratification we demand quick results. Because of this, we often go into exercise, all guns blazing in an attempt to achieve quicker results. We may be able to keep this intensity up for a couple of weeks, but it is something we struggle to maintain.
Fitness expert Roger Lawson notes that when approaching a new workout regime, people have a tendency to set their bar too high off, too early.
“We have a tendency to expect too much from ourselves – we believe it has to be much harder than it really has to be and when we can’t live up to our expectations (in the short term), it all begins to fall apart”
The solution? Ease into your regime and work up to the high intensity. Whether it is a light 20 minute walk, a releaxing swim or a light weights workout, easing into physical activity will allow you to experience the positive, euphoric feelings that come with exercise, without putting you off.
The mistake of the ‘all or nothing’ attitude
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Don’t get caught in the mindset that you have to be giving it 100% all the time. You can always give more effort, however if this means that, in the long run, you will not maintain an active lifestyle, then it is not worth it.
When starting out, just do what you can, but do it consistently. Then later down the track you can worry about increasing your intensity and optimising your workouts.
Identify what gets you moving
Everyone is different – the motivational spark which gets you up and moving varies from person to person. Chances are you already know what motivates you to exercise. For many, it is the competition element, making social sports their best choice for consistent exercise.
For some gym goers, having a consistent gym buddy to hold you accountable is a great source of motivation. Ideally, find someone who is at a similar fitness level as yourself and has similar exercise goals as your own.
Another source of motivation for many people is progress tracking and use of technology. For individuals who enjoy closely monitoring, tracking and improving, technology like Fitbits and apps such as Runkeeper provide a handy source of motivation. These kinds of technologies make users feel like they have a goal to work towards, encouraging them to go the extra mile – literally.
When it comes to establishing and sticking to an exercise regime remember, nothing happens overnight. Start with small, realistic goals and work your way towards more high intensity workouts. In the beginning, developing a consistent weekly routine is more important than the intensity of the workout itself. Lastly, try and identify what makes you enjoy exercise the most and make this part of your regime.