We’ve all been there – you’ve decided to start going to the gym and get healthier. It all starts off well, but your enthusiasm soon wears thin and then before you know it, your fitness motivation all but disappears.
You’re not alone. Which is why in this post I’m going to try and help you beat the fad phase with a look at how you can stay motivated and on course with your fitness goals.*
*This post contains some affiliate links.*
It’s important to understand how normal it is to find fitness motivation slipping. Especially when it’s absolutely freezing in the depths of December, you’ve had a rough day at work and you just want to watch TV. Totally, completely normal. To be honest, it’s totally normal even when you’re at your peak fitness! Motivation can peak and trough all the time, so it’s completely normal to feel 100% one minute and then really lazy about it the next.
The thing is though, how often do you give yourself a hard time about not dragging yourself up and out afterwards? I know I do. Now, I’m no exercise guru, but having made my health more of a priority over the last year or two, I’ve learned a few things about ways to maintain that fitness motivation when you need it most.
So how do you keep your fitness motivation once the initial fad phase has worn off? Let’s look at some ways to keep yourself on track.
How do you maintain motivation for fitness?
Timing is key. The time of day you choose to do exercise is really important. Some people prefer to work out in the evenings, but for me, that time is crucial for winding down and trying to get my mind to switch off.
With the exception of my rugby training, which happens on a Wednesday night, I aim to do any other exercise I can first thing in the morning. I know, it sounds ridiculous, especially when you have kids.
However, I’ve found that doing a morning workout as soon as I get up actually makes a huge difference to my fitness motivation in general. After I’ve done something active, I feel like I’ve got it over and done with for the day. Then I know that I can relax and do whatever else I need to without feeling like I need to find time to fit it in.
A few years ago you’d never have caught me running about in the frost-covered field near my house first thing in the morning, but sticking to this routine and making sure that my workout or run doesn’t last too long has made a massive difference to my ability to maintain the motivation for fitness.
Should I work out on my own or with someone else?
It’s entirely up to you! Some people prefer to work out with a partner or with other people around them. Others find that it’s more effective for them to train alone. Personally I’m a bit of both, but on the
I enjoy doing strength training on my own, or with my personal trainer when I can work with him, but there’s definitely motivational power in working out as a group.
Find out what works best for you, but make sure that if you do organise to work out with a friend, that you choose someone reliable and who will actually work out instead of just chatting with you. There’s nothing more sure to drop you back into the fad phase than a partner who can’t really be bothered deep down.
In the next post I’m writing on fitness I’ll be looking at how you can even include the kids in your keeping fit efforts! Fitness goals can be achieved a lot more easily when you’ve got supportive people encouraging you. Plus, we all know how much kids enjoy any form of running about.
What’s driving your motivation to get fit?
Try to remember the point of doing all this. At the end of the day, it’s not all about how you look and feel about yourself. Your real main fitness motivation should be the health benefits that you’ll gain as a result.
The thing that keeps me going with fitness is the thought of having a longer, healthier life. I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer, and so it’s important for me to try and break that up with periods of movement throughout the day, to decrease the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Keep moving to keep healthy. That’s the bottom line. Remember what’s driving you during the moments you feel like giving up.
Stay motivated by treating yourself to some new kit
That’s right, a legitimate excuse to buy new clothes! Yes, it might be gym gear or exercise clothing, but even a new pair of trainers can totally help you to keep that motivation in check. Activewear is way more accessible these days than ever before, and with such variety available online then you’ve really got no excuse. Treat yourself to a new pair of trainers, especially if you’re going to start running or jogging.
I’m the kind of person who feels like if I’ve bought new clothes to train in, then I have to use them, or I’ll have just wasted my money. It’s a strange, but effective incentive!
Focus your fitness motivation on your future goals
Another key point about keeping up your fitness motivation is the thought of what you can achieve. I never imagined I’d ever
I can also lift weights that I never thought I’d be able to, and I’ve learned that my body is able to do things I’d never thought it could. There are times when I think that I can’t actually do any more, but my body is still managing to surprise me!
Fitness can create goals for you as often as you can set them for yourself. It’s when you realise you’ve achieved something you thought impossible, then that has an impact on your well-being too.
Staying motivated is a form of self-care
You might feel a bit awkward at first, running around outside on your own or going to a new class. However it’s key to remember that it doesn’t matter what you might look like to others, you’re doing something for you. You won’t feel awkward for long, especially not when you’re beating your own goals!
Maintaining your motivation for fitness is a way to look after yourself. We’re so bad at looking after our minds and bodies these days, usually because we’re caring for other people. Staying fit is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Not to mention it’s a great way to ease anxiety and stress.
Don’t feel like your fitness time is selfish. You need to look after yourself in order to function well in the first place, and exercise is one of the best ways to keep yourself strong, healthy and motivated.
What’s your fitness motivation?
Have you started a fitness journey? What are your top tips for keeping on top of your fitness motivation? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve ever felt like your motivation has been starting to slip.
Pop a comment in the box below or you can send me a tweet over on Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my ‘Fit And Strong‘ board over on Pinterest too for more ideas on how to keep on top of your fitness goals. Please do give this post a share if it’s been helpful for you.