10 Ways to motivate yourself to exercise
So you want to get fit, tone up, or lose weight, but how do you keep the momentum going? Here's some top tips...
1. Exercise with a friend
Exercising alone can be hard, but exercising with a friend is a totally different ball game. Friends can support and motivate you, and it's much less harder to shirk on exercising when you've made a date with your friend to do it.
2. Set yourself a goal
You may want to tone up for a special occasion, fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans (that may well be five years old), or simply get fitter so you can keep a more active, healthy lifestyle because you've got young kids or grandchildren on the way. If you've got a reason to exercise you're much more likely to find exercise rewarding and beneficial.
3. Buy an item of clothing in a size you want to achieve
So you're not happy with your clothes size, and you'd much rather be a dress size down - we've all been there. So buy that fab new dress in a size down and use it as your raison d'être to exercise. It's a bit like the old 'carrot on the stick' that dangles just in front of the horse's nose to keep them walking.
4. Make a plan and stick to it
Work out an exercise plan around your lifestyle and make sure you slot it in when you've got enough time to dedicate to it. Whether that's 20 minutes on an exercise bike, a stint at the gym, or a run round the park, work it into your daily schedule and stick to it.
5. Reward yourself when you achieve your exercise goals
We all need treats and rewards to keep ourselves going. Whether that's a holiday or a day trip to a favourite place, or a meal out with friends to congratulate yourself on your achievements, if you've got something to look forward to it's easier to keep the momentum.
6. Allow yourself a break
Quite simply, don't overdo it. Take it nice and slowly and build up to longer exercise sessions, that way you'll have increased your strength and stamina and won't crash and burn too soon.
7. Don't set your goals too high
Be realistic about your goals. Exercising to achieve an unrealistic body image just won't keep you motivated as you'll never be able to reach it.
8. Look at the smaller picture first
If the bigger picture is too far away, keep your focus smaller. For instance, focus on reaching your exercise goals for the week - not the month.
9. Join a class
Sign up to a class and you'll meet new people working towards the same goals, burn off those calories, have fun, and get fit all at the same time.
10. Change your routine
Boredom is a real motivation killer, so make sure you mix your exercise routines up a bit. The old saying, 'variety is the spice of life' certainly applies to keeping you motivated to exercise.
Why exercise alone? Find a companion with Reader's Digest Dating.