In part one of Getting Back to Exercising we looked at finding the best place to do our workouts, whether that place was where you lived, a park or a gym of some sort. To finish out the two part Getting Back to Exercising, we’ll discuss how to motivate yourself and staying motivated. I am going to give you 10 tips on getting and staying motivated.
- You need to create an exercise mindset and let your body dictate your program
If you’re like me and basically starting from scratch (again), you’ll already know that starting over is the hardest part. You’ve done this before and maybe succeeded in losing weight and toning your body, but something happened and you stopped. Maybe you fell off because life got in the way, or whatever, but you stopped and now after a period of time you’re getting back to it. We’re all human. If you feel guilty or have self-pity, stop it right now! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start the program again!
When you start back up, don’t expect yourself to be at where you were when you stopped. Don’t go gung-ho back into your program as you may do damage to your body and in turn to your psyche. Start back slowly and work your way back to where you were when you stopped. Listen to your body. I know you’re motivated and want to be back to where you were, or were you want to be, but remember that jumping in feet first and pushing hard is not always best in this situation!
- Set Realistic Goals and Reward Yourself When You Hit Them
As you get back into the swing of training, set realistic goals for yourself, and make sure you have short, mid and long term goals to help motivate you. Again, keep them realistic. If you haven’t lifted weights in a good while, don’t set a short-term goal of lifting heavy; make that a long-term goal. If you’ve never run before, don’t set a goal of running a 10k race in two months! Make it a mid-term goal. And when you reach a goal, reward yourself! Buy some new clothes, or something you want to do. Just don’t go out and splurge on your favorite dessert!
- There is No Such Thing as A Stupid Question
Going back to your workouts, especially if you’re going to the gym, you may find yourself up against equipment you’ve never used before, or a particular exercise you’ve never done and wonder how to do it. Most people will skip that part and move on to other parts of the workout they do know how to do. Don’t be one of these people! Get over the embarrassment and find someone who is knowledgeable and ask! Every person in a gym at one time or another has found themselves in this predicament; so, will you. So, don’t skip part of your workout if you don’t know something. Ask! There is no stupid question other than the one not asked.
- Get to bed and make sure you get enough rest
Let’s face it, when you start working out again, and you throw in your work and personal life, maybe even school, you start neglecting sleep. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. We go from maybe getting seven to eight hours of sleep to six, then five or perhaps even less. Make sure you get adequate sleep and rest. Being tired can impact your desire to work out, especially if you like to work out in the mornings like I do. You hit the snooze on your alarm, then again and again and before you know it, you’ve lost your time to work out and it’s time to get ready for work or school. So go to bed sleepyhead and get some rest!
- Hop on the internet and start reading
Yes, you read that right. when you’re not training at your location of choice, hop online and start looking at other people who work out. Look at blogs of those who work out and see what they’re doing and how they’re doing. Go to the fitness websites we’ve mentioned in past posts and past podcasts and see what new things you can learn and implement into your workout routine. Which leads us to…
- Learn something new and do it
Maybe you want to start aquatic running or learn yoga; now’s the time to do it. Start your research in your downtime, learn how to do what it is you want to do and then do it! Perhaps you make it a reward for reaching a goal. But do something you haven’t done before. Get out of your comfort zone and do it.
- Write it down
Remember how I’ve talked and written about keeping a journal of what you do and when you’ve done it? Well, this is now the time to start doing that! Imagine your surprise as you look back two to three months ago, and thinking about how you couldn’t lift a certain weight, or run a certain distance, but now you can! Keeping a journal of some sort, either physical, which I prefer, or keeping one online, is a great motivational tool for you. Use it to see how far you’ve come in this journey.
- Share your workouts on social media
Yes, I said share your workouts on social media. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell the whole world how you’re doing! Don’t be embarrassed with the fact that you may not be doing as well as you used to, or as well as the toned, well cut person working out on the treadmill beside you in the gym! Be proud of yourself for getting off your butt and exercising! You’re losing weight! You’re losing inches! You are lapping the couch potatoes watching T.V.! Be proud of the fact that you’re doing something to make this a new year new you! So, don’t be shy, be proud of this and share it with the world on Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler or whatever! Just share!
- Mix up your workouts
If you do the same workout routine over and over again, it eventually becomes boring to you and you start to dread working out. Introduce new parts to your routine and mix it up. Perhaps you stay on the treadmill all the time. Mix it up and try the rowing machine or stationary bike. If you’re doing a leg routine with one set of exercises, then change it up and do a different set of leg exercise. Don’t be bored with your workout.
- Choose one fitness goal and sign up for it
Say you want to run a 10k race in six to nine months as your fitness goal. By all means, find one that intrigues you, or you’ve read lots of good review on and then spend the money and sign up for it! Put it on your calendar and make sure you know it’s there. Do a countdown to it. Don’t want to run? Perhaps you want to do a bicycle race, or go hiking and camping. Whatever it may be, spend the money and then prepare for it and do it!
- (Bonus) Find a workout partner
So, I said ten when I should have said eleven. Here’s a bonus one for you that I feel is very important for motivation. If you can, find a person to workout with you, especially when it comes to weight training. Doesn’t matter if that partner is your significant other, a friend, or whatever, find a partner to work out with. Nothing says motivation more than your partner urging you on to finish one more set, or another lap around the track, or gleefully watching your partner try to catch up to you as you urge them on!
And that’s it. Ten Eleven tips to help you stay motivated. Once again, thanks for reading and I hope you have a healthy and happy day!