When you start a new workout regimen, the excitement alone will often be enough to propel you through the first several weeks. As the novelty wears off, you might need to dig a little deeper to find your motivation. Check out these 10 tips to keep your enthusiasm high even when your blankets seem more tempting than that early morning run.
1. Try something new.
The old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt” is especially true when it comes to your workout. Getting in a routine rut can leave you feeling bored and unmotivated. Instead, enroll in a new class, check out a new studio or bike a new route. Switching it up also offers an added bonus for your brain: It stimulates your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain responsible for memories and keeps your mind as active and healthy as your body is.
2. Set Goals.
Clearly stated goals and a well-defined strategy for reaching those goals can help you maintain your focus. Determine exactly what you want from your workout routine, and then create a roadmap to get there. Make sure you note not just your final goal but also all the smaller stops along the way. Keep your goals healthy and realistic to keep yourself from getting discouraged.
3. Treat yourself.
Reaching those big goals can be a reward on its own, but sometimes, you need to reward yourself for reaching smaller goals. Giving yourself small rewards when you reach smaller goals can keep your motivation high and help you stay on track. Some great non-food treats include a new single from your favorite artist, a mani-pedi or some bright, fun new workout gear from Fabletics.
4. Keep things fun.
A dreary, punishing workout might whip your body into shape quickly, but it is unlikely to keep your enthusiasm high for long. Just like you want a diet that you can maintain for life, you also want an exercise routine that you can stick with week after week. Whether you enjoy dancing, biking, climbing, lifting or jumping, there is a workout routine out there that is perfect for you.
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5. Fuel your furnace.
“Hangriness,” or that notorious bad mood caused by hunger and blood sugar dips, can destroy your workout motivation. Plan a healthful diet to fuel your body and your workout. Eat small snacks before you hit the gym or the trail, and keep fresh veggies, cheese cubes, nuts, almond butter, Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on hand for fast and easy nibbling. Stock your fridge with prepared, ready-to-go food in clear containers. Stay well-hydrated, too, since dehydration often masks itself as hunger.
6. Add a soundtrack.
Music can have a powerful effect on our moods and our motivation. Choose music that gets you pumped for your early morning workout or soothing, mellow tunes for your afternoon yoga routine. Keep a variety of music on your playlist, and change it regularly to keep your energy high. Whether you like pilates, wind sprints, HIIT or spinning, there is a soundtrack for your favorite fitness routine.
7. Partner up.
Workout buddies can be one of your best motivators. A partner can keep your workout fun and interesting, but he or she can also keep you accountable. One or more workout partners can give you a little bit of friendly competition. Plus, surrounding yourself with people who have healthy habits helps normalize those behaviors, which can help you stay on track with your own healthful behaviors.
8. Be mindful.
When life gets crazy-busy, your daily workout can be the one hour you have to yourself tp recenter. Be mindful, and block out the stressors that can rob you of your focus and your energy. Listen to your body, and follow it wherever it takes you. Sometimes, that might mean that you need to get deeper into your workout while other times, you might need to back off and take it easier.
9. Take breaks.
Schedule regular rest days along with your workouts. This gives your muscles a chance to recover and your mind a chance to decompress. It also helps you avoid overuse injuries, and after a day’s break, you will be ready to dive back into your workout with plenty of vigor and renewed motivation.
10. Bask in the benefits.
Exercise can keep your body fit, but the benefits extend far beyond looking great in your favorite jeans. Each workout results in a blast of mood-boosting endorphins that silence stress and send your self-esteem soaring. Over time, you can expect to enjoy healthier bones and joints, easier-to-manage weight, and a lower risk of depression, metabolic syndrome, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. What’s not to love?
Losing weight, staying on track with your fitness plan, or fulfilling your goals to eat healthy meal choices can lead to burnout over time. It is important that you stay motivated along the way so that you can reach your end goal of leading a healthy lifestyle forever. Just like any other routine, it takes dedication, perseverance, and determination to stay motivated with your workout routine. When you start a new workout routine, it is usually a bit easier to follow because you have the right motivation and desire to meet your short term goals.