According to the American Heart Association, about 80 percent of adults are not physically active enough to keep them in a healthy condition. There are many convincing advantages to start taking care of your health and body right now. However, sometimes a lack of motivation or time can get in the way of exercising.
Stop making up excuses and start an active lifestyle now!
Being active will not only help you to lose weight, but will also strengthen your overall health and heart health. If you start taking care of your body now, it will help you avoid suffering from physical problems later in life when it might be too late to make adjustments. What’s more, it will increase your happiness and confidence!
Of course it’s difficult to just start exercising every day for long periods of time, so pace yourself and allow your body to get used to the changes you are making. If you ease yourself into it and make it more of a process, then you’re bound to be more successful with the healthy transition!
Here are 6 tips that will help you to get motivated into making sports and physical activity an essential part of your life!
How to enjoy exercising
- Award yourself properly
Of course the main reward from exercising should be the end goal; this can be different for every individual. Some may be looking for weight loss, better health or just generally try to make it a part of their lifestyle. However, it is found that that’s often not enough motivation to wake up at 6am before work and power through a morning jog. So perhaps you could actually reward yourself in a more motivating way.
Now you need to remember, the reward needs to benefit you, so not in an unhealthy manner such as by a doughnut but instead by a healthy smoothie. Or you could dedicate the rest of your evening to watching one of your favourite episodes. This might make you feel as though the exercise is more worthwhile and you’ve actually achieved and earned something.
Once this mindset has been created in your head, exercising won’t feel as as much of a ‘chore’ but instead it could become a habit, a stress relief and an important part of your lifestyle!
- Involve an exercising partner
More often that not, you require someone to berate you into attending that HIIT class after a long day at the office. You know it’ll benefit you more than sitting at home on the couch with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s but you just need someone to tell you this!
Perhaps try speaking to your friends, work colleagues or family members and find out if they’re interested in also becoming a little more active or perhaps shedding some weight to reach their Summer body goal. Then you can workout together and motivate one another.
- Record your improvements
Take some before pictures so that you can look back at them, during and after the process of reaching your goal. This way it’ll be far easier to measure the obstacles you’ve overcome.
You can use these pictures as a way of critiquing yourself, you’ll be able to see a more clear image of your body to distinguish areas for improvement. Then you’ll notice progress, gradually and when you reach your end result, you’ll be even more pleased with yourself and just want to continue to work even harder!
Looking at your progress in photographic form is better than weighing yourself as weight doesn’t take all attributes into consideration.
- Sign a Commitment Contract
Of course on a Sunday evening everyone says: Tomorrow is a new week, a new beginning…it’s a Monday, so that’s when I’ll begin my diet. And then you continue to indulge in the cakes and crisps you bought the day before (the set cheat day). Let’s face it, no one enjoys beginning a diet on a Monday, it’s bad enough that you have 5 more days of work until it’s the weekend, let alone having to swap your chocolate bar for carrots and your cola for water. So instead, why don’t you create a contract? A signed contract with a friend who fully supports you.
Perhaps you could use the incentive of losing money, so every time you miss your gym session then you pay your friend £20. Let’s be honest, you lose enough money with the gym membership you’re paying for, so you don’t want to lose anymore for not even utilizing the facilities! It’s proven that those who sign contracts for a longer period of time, in comparison to signing a contract for a shorter period of time, tend to stick to it and actually make identifiable progress. It’s crucial to get past the initial period of unease and just persevere in order to achieve the longer-term benefits.
- Positive Thinking
You need to believe in yourself and the things you do. A positive mindset is the key to success. “After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan”. After identifying your wish and visualizing your outcome, you have to identify what’s holding you back. Perhaps you feel too tired to go to the gym after work. Take a step back and think, it might be a better idea to go in the morning before work, during your lunch break or even straight after work, without going home first. Doing this would give you a positive mindset for the rest of the day which would aid you in your professional and social lives.
- Get Paid
This may seem like the most ludicrous motivation: get paid to workout, however there is some logic behind it. It has been proven that those who receive money to go to the gym actually double their attendance. There’s an app known as Pact, this involves a community of fellow users who will pay you to stick to your schedule. If you miss your session, you authorize the app to charge your credit card or PayPal account. When you reach your goal, you get paid out of a common pool funded by yourself and other pact breakers. Money is motivation!
The process of how you reach your goal isn’t the most important matter but rather the realization that you’ve succeeded, when you wouldn’t even question missing a gym workout.
The most essential thing is that you’re doing it on a regular basis and you’re doing it for you. Exercising is very important for your heart health. It lowers your blood pressure, assists weight loss and allows you to live a more fit and healthy lifestyle. In the long run, you’ll be thanking your past self!