In case you’re wondering “How can I motivate myself to exercise?” But you haven’t got a clue where to start, or even just how to pick yourself up off the couch, here are a few handy tips to give you the kickstart you need.
The Three D’s
This is what sport psychologist, Dr. Jim Taylor from psychologytoday.com, suggests to get the best physical performance out of any athlete – According to him they need something called ‘prime motivation’, which he breaks down into the 3 Ds:
Direction – Before you can achieve prime motivation, you must first recognize the various directions you can go. You can choose to quit while you’re ahead, continue at your current level, or aim to be the best athlete possible.
Decision – The above represents the various choices you have, and ultimately they are yours to make, none of them are right or wrong, but they are indicators of the amount of time and effort you’ll put in and the rewards you’ll reap.
Dedication – Once you’ve made your decision, stick to it! Only by being dedicated to your sport will you ensure that you achieve prime motivation, and the same could be said with regard to your exercise regime.
8 Exercise Motivation Tips
So you’ve lost motivation for exercise, but luckily all hope is not lost – Here are some easy ways you can get back into the swing of things:
- Set Small Goals for Yourself
Setting discernible goals of what you’d like to achieve from your workouts and how you’ll go about it is vital, and you’ll start to see that your hard work will lead to results which you can use as further motivation to keep going. Instead of trying to achieve everything all at once, try boiling it down to a smaller goal, perhaps one that you can accomplish in 3-7 days.
- Workout When You Wake Up
Let’s face it, when you leave your workout for the end of the day, a myriad of excuses can suddenly manifest in your mind, but when you exercise first thing in the morning, there’s nothing standing in your way. A study shows that early workout sessions can boost decision-making throughout the day in older adults.
- Give Yoga a Try
If you find yourself wondering how to motivate yourself to work out at home, yoga may in fact be everything you never knew you needed. Most people don’t see it as a workout, but some types of yoga are in fact cardio, and your muscles will get stronger so it also counts as weight training, your flexibility will also increase, and certain poses, such as Tree and Dancer’s Pose, may help to improve your balance.
A review shows that yoga is a great lifestyle therapy for high blood pressure, so it really is an all-rounder form of training. Simply doing a quick online search will open up a world of yoga instruction videos for you to try, you don’t even have to leave home – Try an extra grippy yoga mat by Mocana to improve your yoga practice.
- Walk for Just 15 Minutes
It’s recommended that we do at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week. If you’re just starting out, or trying to get back into it, try a 15-minute walk every day. Even if you’re really busy, you should be able to squeeze a quick walk into your day.
- Get a Workout Buddy
Giving yourself the push you need is often easier said than done. Enlisting a workout partner can prove to be your secret weapon because even when you’re not feeling up to it, having an obligation to someone else will help you to get up and exercise.
- Take a Stand
We do a lot more waiting than we realize, we wait for dinner to cook, and we sit and wait at the dentist’s office, so instead of sitting, that time could be used to stand up and get a few extra steps in for the day, especially if you do sedentary work. A review suggests that by simply choosing to stand instead of sitting for 6 hours per day, a 70kg person can burn about 54 extra calories.
- Track Your Steps Daily
Measure the number of steps you take in a day. Set a goal to increase this amount by perhaps 500 extra steps every day for a week, and bump it up when it starts feeling comfortable. Try parking further away from your work so you’ll naturally get more steps in every morning and evening.
- Pick Yourself Up Again
It’s easy to give up on your routine after you’ve already missed a few sessions, and sometimes taking a break can be a good thing, but don’t simply throw in the towel, ease your way back into it by holding yourself accountable to your small daily goals.
One Step Closer
Exercise motivation is something that you have to culminate from within yourself, you simply have to want it badly enough, and hopefully trying the ‘three Ds’ and some of these helpful suggestions will get you that one step closer to your fitness goals.