Get motivated to begin or improve your workout routine! These simple, science-backed tips will help you stay in the game. Even pro-level fitness gurus aren’t hyper-motivated 24/7. We all need to set our intentions and find ways to stick to them. Maybe you’re considering starting a new fitness routine or just want to get back to the gym on a semi-regular basis. Whatever your health goals and motivation level, we can all be a little more active. Now, how do we get started?
- Set Goals: They can be as small as taking a ten minute walk during your lunch break or as aggressive as breaking the Top 5 in your favorite Strava segment. Giving yourself something to work towards can be a seriously effective way to motivate. Bonus: the satisfaction of completing a goal is sure to motivate you to set more!
- Schedule It: Make time for exercise just like you would any other important task. Include it on your weekend to-do list or schedule yourself as “busy” for an hour during the work day. One study found that when people were asked about their future exercise plans they were more likely to follow through than those who didn’t plan. So whether you need to make sure everyone in your office knows that you are going to that noontime spin class (want to join?), or you’re simply adding it to your Wunderlist, exercise deserves just as much commitment as any other event in your calendar.
- Don’t Overthink It: If you spend a lot of time thinking about your workout and dreading those first few steps, you’ll likely be able to talk yourself out of going altogether. “Just do it” is more than a brilliant marketing slogan, it’s based on science! Rather than spending that time imagining how hard the start of your workout will be, think about how you’ll feel after, and consider it a reward for your efforts.
- Jam Out to Your Favorites: Listening to your favorite tunes can not only make exercise more enjoyable, but it may actually help you to work harder and go further. Research has shown that when people listened to their preferred music, their performance increased compared to those listening to music they didn’t care for. Good music may also reduce the amount of discomfort you perceive during your workout. So make yourself a playlist or queue up that Cardio Pop and get to work.
- Eat well: We can’t highlight this enough. A proper diet, filled with clean, quality nutrition is absolutely key to keeping your motivation up. If you’re feeling sluggish due to bad eating habits, you’re already fighting a losing battle when it comes to squeezing in a run or trip to the gym. Good food is a great reward after a heavy workout, but remember to keep it delicious AND healthy. Remember, you’re always fueling your next workout!