Staying on Track with Exercise…6 ways to self-motivate!

1) Find a GREAT Reason

If you don’t know WHY you need to work out, likely you will not stick with the goal. Here are some great reasons to consider:

  • To reduce stress that is making you sick or fat.

  • Remember…to love yourself well first can help you love others better. (Think about it. I could write a novel about this!)

  • So you’ll be fit to ______ (perform- sport or other), get married, for the next reunion, to play with grandkids when your old, to go skiing next winter, etc.)

  • So you won’t feel like a burden to anyone in your family because of poor health (i.e. to love your family well).

  • So the small things you do around the house or work won’t be so difficult. (stairs, carrying boxes, luggage, holding children, even getting out of a chair!)

  • So you’ll have more energy at night.

  • So you can sleep better.

  • So your body can activate that “internal” pharmacy (i.e. less dependent on drugs).

2) Bring Your Workout Clothes to Work

The night before work make sure you pack your gym bag with your workout clothes and take them to work.  The effect of this is really powerful on your subconscious mind.  It helps you develop the mindset that you will go to class/gym straight after work.  Create the habit.  It’s best to avoid sitting down before you work out, you do not want to give yourself to engage in any thoughts about whether to work out or not to work out!

3) Schedule Your Workouts

Put your workouts in your diary/calendar and treat them like a business meeting.  By having them scheduled in, you are thinking about them and mentally preparing yourself for them, making exercise a priority.  Try to work out at the same time on the same days to create a habit!

4) Get a Class Buddy

Personally I’ve seen this work in my class. Working out with other people can help keep you motivated to exercise. When you’re alone, you really need that inner motivation, but exercising with a group of people will help you push much harder.  The great thing about my Zumba class is the friendships that have evolved from it, not only does it give people group support but there is also a social aspect to it!

5) Create a Rule

Make a rule and stick to it!  Create a workout target, make sure it is realistic.  If you plan to workout 3x a week make sure you have a rule that no matter what the week throws at you, you “will” complete your workout.  You’re not going to “try” to workout, or say you “should” workout, you “must” workout!

6) Reward Yourself

Reward yourself for your hard work, maybe it’s going to the cinema, buying some new clothes or a massage.  Rewarding yourself can help you stay motivated.  While you certainly can reward yourself with treats without working out, the reward feels much better and more deserved after a good workout.

People often quit working out is because they choose the wrong class or they try to do too much too soon, or perhaps they aren’t fueling the workout properly! Remember the best exercise is the one you’ll do! If you’re just beginning, choose classes that don’t involve quick sudden movements, a lot of jumping (high impact) or require a lot of weight like barre, yoga, pilates, or Zumba.  Go at your own pace and build up to trying out those higher impact/heavy weight resistance classes. Keep it real! Finally, be sure to fuel workouts for success to supply the energy to perform and to allow for better recovery and less soreness from the workout!

–Stacy Shannon is a CPT, Cancer Exercise Specialist, and passionate Fit Barre and Zumba instructor.

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