Motivation to get moving can be tough after the holidays. If you’re ready to make a change but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few pointers to steer you in the right direction:
If you’re starting a new training programme, don’t knuckle down and shoot for hour-long, daily workouts. This will only overwhelm you short-term, and leave you more likely to throw in the towel. Ease in with a reasonable schedule, aiming for three 30-minute sessions a week. Once you’ve locked in this healthy habit, you can think of extending it further.
Remember the mood boost
Chances are, you aren’t chomping at the bit to get sweating. If you’re low on motivation when it come to training, remember the guaranteed endorphin rush exercise brings. One never regrets a workout, and knowing with 100% certainty that you will feel better after you train can be a powerful tool in nudging you towards the gym.
Add some humans
Interacting while you train adds an attractive element to your sessions. A great deal of habits are formed because of the human connection they form, whether it’s visiting your favourite salon or choosing certain fitness classes over others. Including friends or even just general company into your training sessions will likely up the motivation factor when its time to train.
Skip TV time
Many of us consider ourselves low on extra hours, yet don’t identify gaps that could be used more constructively. If you watch TV but don’t have time to train, you might just have found your gap. I’m not saying throw all TV out the window, but swapping out one or two hours a week for self-improvement will guarantee you more joy than screen-watching over time. Better yet – train in front of the TV! Home workouts and series make a perfect pair.
Set a weekly – not daily – target
If time alludes you, skip the specifics and aim for an overall weekly amount of exercise instead. Committing to 180 minutes of exercise each week may be more attainable than three hour-long sessions, and you’ll be able to squeeze in incidental exercise, like a brisk 5-minute walk or taking the stairs each day.
Move to the beat
If your earphones haven’t featured at the gym yet, it may be time for their debut. Music blocks out all the other noise in your head that could be slowing you down in your session. Also opt for earplugs versus speakers – you’ll be surprised how much ambient noise and activity has been distracting you when you switch.
Get new gear
It could be as big as a shiny as a new fitness tracker, or as small as a new headband, but I always find that new stuff gets me excited to use it. Treat yourself, and you’ll probably clock more gym time as a result.
Try something new
Boredom and lack of results are two chief reasons that training programmes fail, and both come with doing the same exercise day in and day out. If you want your body to change, your routine will need to! Try a new class, sign up for a running or tennis club or take your indoor workout outdoors – your body (and motivation levels) will thank you.
Give in to the tracker craze
Fitness trackers are popular for a reason! I love my Fitbit and am fully aware of how much it motivates me to stay on track. I am always subconsciously considering my step-count, and it serves as a visual reminder to make better decisions when it comes to meal times or temptation to skip the gym.