Our latest post is from Andy Reilly, another of our Operation Bare Food personal trainers (he’s working with Claire) who has over three years experience in the fitness industry. Andy aims to make your workouts fun and energetic while at the same time making sure you work hard and have a knowledge about what exercises you’re doing and using the correct techniques. To get in touch with Andy simply ping him an email.
Staying motivated when you’re trying to get fit isn’t easy, but there are different ways to make it easier. Here are eight tips…
1. Set goals
Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.
For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day five days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.
Also, aim to incorporate strength training exercises of all the major muscle groups into your fitness routine at least twice a week.
2. Make it fun
Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be boring, and you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.
3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine
If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk during a break at work. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night.
4. Pre-determine how to deal with flagging motivation
This is not defeatist thinking. It’s inevitable that at some point along the way, whether because of temporary setbacks or sheer exhaustion, you will need a little boost. When that happens, think of what others have endured to reach their targets and to quash even the beginning of a pity party. I invoke the most hardcore endurance models I can think of: friends fighting serious diseases, friends that for some reason physically can’t do any exercise such as walking.
5. Get the help you need
If you could theoretically accomplish your objective alone, there’s inherent value in sharing your plan. It’s why people get married in front of witnesses. Announcing your intentions sends a strong message to the world and, more importantly, to your unconscious mind, which can sometimes sabotage our best efforts. Also, we often overestimate our abilities.
6. Schedule a regular workout time
Some of the most committed exercisers do it every day before the sun comes up or late at night when the kids are in bed. Sit down with your weekly schedule and try to build in an hour each day to be good to your body. If you convince yourself you’ll fit in a workout sometime after that last meeting, once the kids go down for a nap or when your spouse arrives home on time, failure is certain. Chances are a last-minute invitation will come along – the weather will ruin a bike ride or the kids won’t nap. Write your workout on your calendar, set up a babysitter, and rearrange things around this one hour as if were any other important appointment you have to keep
7. Shake up your weights routine
Start your workout with a different exercise than usual. Simply switching around the order of your regular routine can stimulate both your muscles and your mind. Save your favorite move for last – you’ll be a lot less likely likely to quit midway through a workout if you’re looking forward to an exercise you enjoy
8. Keep a workout log
I can’t stress the importance of keeping a workout log of some sort. Using a physical book or just your smartphone/tablet to track measurements like weight and body fat percentage as well as progress made in your workouts will keep you much more motivated than looking in the mirror every day. Just being able to see in print (or on the screen) that all your hard work has paid off can be the motivator you need to keep you working out on a regular basis.
Just remember, there’s no such thing as ‘can’t’ or ‘that’s too hard’. There is always a way to make exercise work for you. If you still have a complain, just go by the motto I always use – ‘No pain, no gain.’