Increasing activity levels and including regular bouts of exercise is something that we can all do. What we specifically choose to do though will of course depend on our mobility levels, age, gender, social situation, time constraints and personal preference. There is no right or wrong way to becoming more active; as long as you are not sitting you are on the right track!
But once you’ve started to become more active, how do you stay enthused to keep it up? Here are some of my top tips on how to stay motivated to workout.
Set SMART GOALS & Celebrate your Achievements
Setting goals isn’t about saying ‘I want to get fit’, it’s about setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound both short and long term goals. Your aim may be to ‘increase your fitness levels’ but your goals should be behaviour change focused i.e. based on how you are going to get fit. A SMART goal based on fitness could be:
- S = I am going to go to the gym 3 times a week for 60 minutes at a time
- M = At the gym I’m going to follow the programme card written for me by an instructor
- A = I’m going to go on my way back from work on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday as I don’t have other commitments on these evenings
- R = I’m going to include at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activities e.g. interval training on the cross-trainer to improve my overall fitness
- T = I’m going to start on Monday and track my progress for the next month
Write down your SMART goal(s) in a diary or a journal; this is one of the first steps to remaining accountable.
Next, Brainstorm the Benefits of Working Out out Relevant to you
Write down all of the positive changes that being more active will bring you. It could be to do with energy levels, health or even how you look and feel. Look at your list every time that your motivation levels start to waver.
Do Activities that you Enjoy
The most important thing when it comes to activity and exercise is to do something that you enjoy. From going to the gym to following a workout DVD; you should only start a form of exercise that you know that you are going to take pleasure in. See if a friend wants to take up a new hobby or sport with you; If you have somebody else to go with then you may be more likely to keep it up (and not let the other person down!).
Nic has so many more tips on how to stay motivated to workout in the rest of her blog post here.
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Read the first in our series of articles on interval training here.