How to Maintain Exercise Motivation

I have seen it too many times. People sign up for fitness programs or join a gym, full of enthusiasm and hope. Faithfully, they follow their regime, stick to a healthy diet, moderate their alcohol intake and get plenty of sleep. At least for a few weeks.

Then, something happens. Perhaps, you have a party to attend, perhaps you are getting bored, perhaps you are not sufficiently challenged and perhaps you have just lost all your enthusiasm. Anyway, you stop. You miss one workout session, and another, and another and by the time the week is out, you convince yourself that it is too late to go back.

Slightly annoyed that you have wasted money on a fitness program or gym membership, you bury your head in the sand and resign yourself to the fact that you are just not meant to be fit. It’s not in your nature, or so you say!

I Say, Stop and Go Back! Now!

Let me help you get back on track, even if it’s been weeks since you crossed the threshold of your gym. For starters, don’t be afraid of your fitness trainer’s reaction. She/he won’t berate or scold you, she/he will understand and be glad to have you back.

Here are a couple of tricks to help you stay on track:

  • Keep in Touch With Your Coach: Speak to your coach on a regular basis, even by phone. She/he will support and encourage you and get you going when you feel like spending the day in front of the TV. Fitness coaches know a lot about motivation and can provide you with the necessary motivational tools.
  • Use and Online Fitness Tool: Register with an online fitness community. This way, you will be sent alerts and be rewarded with points for your achievements. You can also compete against others or mutually support each other. Some fitness software is connected to your mobile phone via a fitness app and your app will in essence keep you on track. If you miss a session, you receive extra support to get you back on track.
  • Exercise With a Friend: Starting an exercise training program with a friend is a great idea. It becomes a social occasion and you are less likely to miss a session.
  • Reward Yourself: Whenever you reach a target, reward yourself. Buy yourself something nice, book a weekend in a posh hotel or have a slice of cake. Rewards like that work and sharpen your focus.
  • Vary Your Workouts: If you find yourself getting tired of the same old routine, talk to your coach and vary your workout. Go for a swim instead or cycle to work if possible. You may also wish to join a football team or start playing tennis. The most important thing is to keep moving. Once you have broken your boredom, you may go back to the gym.
  • Join a Sports Club: If possible, integrate an element of team sports in your routine. The team will provide you with a different type of regime, however, the motivation you will receive from other team members will be invaluable.
  • Motivational Mantras: Think yourself positive! Ask your coach for motivational mantras and use them on a daily basis. Positive thinking and encouraging self-talk can work wonders.
  • Drop the Guilt: People feel bad when they don’t persevere with their workout routine. Don’t! These feelings and thoughts can make you disengage from your exercise regime completely and you end up just giving up.
  • Allow Yourself a Lazy Day: Every once in a while, allow yourself a day in bed or in front of the TV, go shopping instead of working out or pursue your favorite activity. We all have lazy days and we probably need them.

It’s Never Too Late to Go Back

Even if you’ve missed countless sessions, don’t ever think it’s too late to go back. At some stage, you will feel the need to try again and you might as well just stick with what you know. Your coach will know exactly what to do, so go and take his advice.

Seeking support is ultimately the best way to maintain your motivation or to regain it.

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