There are many factors that lower our motivation to exercise, whether that be a hectic work schedule, the cold weather or a major life change. At times it can be hard mustering up the motivation to put on those tennis shoes. If you find that your motivation has been lacking lately, here are five ways to boost your exercise motivation!
1. Sign up to Walk or Run a 5k, Half Marathon or Marathon: One way to find your motivation is by signing up for a race that requires physical training. If you have never ran or are a beginning walker or runner, research upcoming 5k’s in your area and sign up. 5k’s are 3.1 miles in length and are fun and informal races. If you are an intermediate walker or runner who is looking for a challenge, sign up for a half marathon in your area. Half marathons are 13.1 miles in length and are usually held in conjunction with a full marathon. If you are an advanced runner, sign up for a full marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles in length and require the highest level of training. Each type of race will require prior training and goal setting. Signing up for races is a great way to boost exercise motivation. Plus, after the completion of each race you are typically reward with a medal for your hard work and accomplishment.
2. Change Your Workout Routine and Location: Thinking about the same old workout and gym will suck the motivation out of anyone. Try creating different workouts for each week. Then start performing those workouts at different locations. If your week’s focus is cardio and endurance, spend one day at the gym on the elliptical, one day going for a walk or run outside, and one day in a group spin class. Changing up your routine is not only good for combating muscle memory, but also for boosting your motivation. Changing up the location of your workout can be an exciting and fun experience. Cheat on your gym membership and take advantage of the free trials at health clubs and yoga hotspots.
3. Reward Yourself With TLC: Exercising is always easier when you have something to look forward to. Create little rewards for yourself after you complete a workout. Whether that be going shopping, seeing a movie, or getting a message, rewarding yourself is a great way to boost exercise motivation. Avoid rewarding yourself with food or eating, as this would defeat the whole purpose of your workout.
4. Combat Low Energy with Low Intensity: Any exercise is better than no exercise. If you are consistently avoiding your workout because of low energy, try participating in low intensity workouts. After a long day at work, all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch your favorite show. Instead, hop on the stationary bike and ride along while you watch your show on the built in T.V. You won’t even notice that you are working up a small sweat until the end of your program. A University of Georgia study found people who reported persistent fatigue found that those who rode a stationary bike three times a week at low intensity got a bigger energy boost than those who didn’t exercise.
5. Create an Upbeat Workout Playlist: Nothing pumps you up like your favorite song. Create a playlist complied with all of your favorite songs to increase motivation and energy. iTunes, Spotify and Pandora all have a variety of workout playlists to get you started. Listen to your upbeat workout playlist right before you exercise to get you in the mood.
To learn more about easy ways to exercise, check out our Fitting Exercise Into Your Daily Routine blog.