Everyone has days when they feel a lack of motivation sooner or later, whether they're a beginner or an advanced trainee. If you think about why you should be exercising, you will rationalize and understand how important and beneficial exercise can become. Furthermore, once you understand the reasons you should be exercising (i.e., reduces or maintains body weight, lowers blood pressure, reduces "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, strengthens bones, lowers cancer risk, reduces depression, decreases stress, improves your sex life, etc.), you will feel motivated to avoid skipping workouts. With that in mind, here are some strategies to instill or maintain your motivation level:
Avoid the temptation to go for maximum goals--you will inevitably become overwhelmed. Instead, think in terms of "baby steps" and break your fitness goals into manageable short-term chunks. A personal trainer can help significantly in developing manageable fitness goals that you can follow.
Avoid the all-or-nothing mindset. Missing one workout day will not doom the achievement of your fitness goals. Expect some missteps along the way and accept these as insignificant occurrences.
Consider yourself as a unique human being with personal fitness goals.
Seeing incremental improvements can boost your exercise motivation level. Here are examples of parameters that can be tracked:
It has to be fun (i.e., yoga, pilates, Zumba) or you'll likely become bored and lose interest.
Remove any and all obstacles that would dissuade you from exercising.
Buy a movie ticket, do some clothes shopping, or indulge in some ice cream.
Understand how exercise can improve quality of life, improve posture, instill confidence in yourself, improve health, get stronger, etc.
This will stimulate your nervous system and increase your endurance.
This may enhance your motivation due to more proficient oxygen consumption.
This may lessen the strain you feel and increase your endurance.
When nothing else seems to provide the motivation you need, go with a personal fitness trainer. A personal trainer can provide feedback, positive reinforcement and the support you may need to build confidence and become compliant in making exercise a lifestyle habit. A good trainer will ensure your prescribed workout program contains exercises which are fun as well as effective. He or she can also provide guidance on how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy eating plan indefinitely. Ultimately, the trainer may become a role model for you. A good trainer has done his or her job when you feel good and believe the sessions are worth your time.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle or increase strength, implementing any or all of these tips will help you succeed on your journey to accomplishing your fitness goals. Remember this:
Exercise to stay healthy and enjoy life!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.