Some Great Tips on Finding and Maintaining the Motivation to Exercise
How will you ever find the motivation to exercise unless you are actually looking for it?
Maybe it'll hit you in the face in the form of a taunting comment..."Hey, Chubs!..."
...or from your doctor..."Unless some changes are made you can expect...(pick one)... another heart attack, stroke, insulin dependent diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, etc."
Or maybe you recently found yourself being single again and want to look your best before entering the dating arena. A new phase in your life can provide the motivation to create a new you.
Something that will convince one person to put down the bag of chips and get off the couch might not have any effect whatsoever on someone else. Realizing the benefits to be gained is good enough for some whereas others must be scared into doing something.
Starting a new, active, healthier lifestyle is something you do for yourself, like making an investment in the future that will ensure first, that you live to see your senior years and secondly, that your senior years are spent actively doing what you like.
I'll bet you know someone, as I do, who dropped dead within a short time after retirement, having spent their whole life working and saving and looking forward to the 'Golden Years' but ignoring their most important asset... their health.
Or someone, having reached the so-called 'Golden Years' only to suffer a stroke or other debilitating illness and finding themselves biding time in front of a crossword puzzle waiting for the end rather than off enjoying the world now that they have the time to do it.
Read through these 'motivators' and if you have a motivation to exercise idea that works for you, a tactic that gets and keeps you fired up,
please take the time and...
Click here... to share with us what makes you exercise when you'd rather be doing anything else.
If it's a good idea that could be of use to others, I will add it to this page with thanks.
"The truth is what motivates me. People just don't understand that they "really know what to do" but they just don't want to accept the fact that a lot of dedication and hard work always pays off and if you take all the short cuts along the way the gains are not impressive and then 'depression' sets in which causes overeating etc. Just accept the 'truth' and DO IT."
Delene, South Africa
I have divided the motivation to exercise tips and ideas that follow into two categories...'The fear factor', and 'Positive Motivation to Exercise'.
Fear Factor: Statistics
Fear Factor: Poor Health and Disease:
- Two in every three adults in the U.S. are overweight, that's 127 million people, not counting the fat children!
- One of three adult Americans is obese (that's 60 million!) and nine million are severely obese!
- Obesity is responsible for as many as 300,000 deaths annually.
- The cost of health-care related to obesity runs at about $100,000,000,000 (that's $100 billion!) per year.
Have a look in any senior citizens home (there's one just down the street from us) and you will find people who cause you to wonder whether they are better off alive or not. Unable to go to the bathroom by themselves, tie their own shoe laces, get dressed by themselves or to even walk, and driving is unthinkable. Dimentia and Alzhiemers have robbed some of the ability to think clearly. Many of their friends and relatives are either dead or no longer enjoy visits with the invalids. Their lives have become a lonely, boring wait. A wait until death.
Of course, not all seniors are like this but you certainly could become one unless you do something to prevent it, and it is definitely preventable.
"I am 17 years old and I had been smoking for 2, since the age of 15. I could never stick with an axercise program because cigarettes made me SO unhealthy! I was unhappy with the way my body was proportioned, so I was stuck in a very unhappy place. Working out made me quit smoking and now I feel healthier than ever."
Sara, address unknown
Fear Factor: An early grave:
When you reach 40, sometimes even earlier, sometimes later, your body is not as forgiving as it once was. You used to be able to eat anything and drink more than you should and not have to worry about gaining weight or your health. You were able to get up the next day and do it all again.
Now all of a sudden, friends your own age are having heart attacks, even dying. It's becoming tough to get up from the couch, the legs don't work like they used to and your wardrobe must be updated to include more stretchy materials. You have no energy and just want to collapse at the end of the day. You simply can't play those sports anymore that involve more movement than checkers. Even going for a walk is a chore to be avoided.
Well, of course you have two choices, resign yourself to the downward slide or get off your duff and turn it around! You can regain the energy of youth, at any age.
For further motivation about aging well, visit the age-well.org website, or more specifically this page on developing smart habits as you age.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Results!
The ultimate cure for lack of motivation is results. Of course you have to actually start something first (like this award winning program ) but it won't be long, less than 2 weeks, and you will become excited by the changes you see and feel. Having a happier, healthier life and watching the body you have always wanted developing right before your eyes can be incredibly motivating and empowering.
Braden emailed this message to me about his results...
"I get my motivation from the difference I have seen in my life before and after high school graduation. In high school I wasn't the "ladies man." But after I dropped 40 pounds and muscled up it all changed. I am 6'6" and a solid 225 pounds, and I get more attention from girls than I have ever have."
To get results like this though you must make the time to get started!
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Setting Goals
So how can simply setting a goal be motivating? Setting a goal, for example...'to lose 15 lbs by the middle of next month takes you from merely wishing and dreaming to heading toward a specific, reasonable target. The deadline will push you to get the most out of your exercise and nutrition program. When you reach your goal, and you will, set a new, specific goal to take you to the next level.
"One foot in the gym!"
"My goal is a simple one. Get one foot actually on the gym floor. If it's an off day, or I feel tired, getting that one foot in the gym... usually means both feet get in, and I do SOMETHING rather than nothing. Once I start warming up, the rest is easy! It becomes natural to push myself when I'm in the moment."
Greg Campbell, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
"I have three types of goals. One long range goal (fit @64)followed by a shorter goal (something than I can achieve within a yr) and finally my little weekly goals. Those are the most fun. One is to add a variation or eat better for that week. Really anything that I will be able to see within a week. That keeps me going into the next week."
Jo, United States
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Take a Picture
Place a picture of how you currently look and place it somewhere you can't miss seeing it everyday. Now carry on with your program and hang up a new picture every 4 weeks. The changes you see and the positive comments from your supporters will provide gobs of motivation.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Write down your Reasons
"I am 42 years old and just starting to regularly exercise for the first time in my life. I always had excuses not to exercise. I am a single mother of 3 and really didn't feel that I had time to do it. So I joined a gym right across the street from my work and I go there everyday when I get off of work. I have only been doing this for about 2 weeks and have yet to see a difference, but I am so anxious to see a difference I just keep going. I think about being in a bikini in the summertime and feeling comfortable and that is what keeps me motivated!"
Tina, United States
Sit down now and write a list of all the reasons you are following your new program along with your specific, reasonable goal and time-frame. You might post this beside your 'before' picture and read it every morning. This will provide much reinforcement and motivation to exercise. Your new lifestyle must be constantly in your mind, especially during the first, habit forming, 3 weeks.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Think of all the benefits of exercise!
Increased energy, increased mental focus, increased self-esteem, increased sense of control over your life, reduced chances of heart attack, osteoporosis, breast cancer, increased strength and stamina, reduction of stress...etc...etc...
See more here...
"Living life as intensely, vividly, and creatively as possible! Exercise benefits the mind and emotions as well as the body. Allow yourself do be able to do and to enjoy more of everything!"
Leslie, United States
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Keep a journal
Track your progress daily including the exercises, weights used, and sets and repetitions. This idea is related to the one above on results, because you will quickly see, all on one page the progress you are making and how fast it is happening. Nothing gives you motivation to exercise like results and you will see them in your journal even before your picture looks any different.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Read!
This is a personal favorite form of motivation for me. I regularly read health and fitness magazines and books with pictures and advice all related to getting and staying in shape. Try out something like 'Shape' or 'Womens Fitness' magazines and get a subscription to the one you like the most. This not only provides more knowledge but keeps the subject fresh in my mind and teaches me new techniques and inspires me to try them out.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Find a Buddy!
Meeting and working out regularly with a friend, especially one who is at about the same stage as you, will improve your attitude immensely! This is one strategy that has helped many to stick to their program. Watch each other, help and encourage each other, rejoice and commiserate together and enjoy the company. You will begin to rely on each other for moral support and accountability.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Exercise in the Morning, at least 6 days per week!
Studies have shown that those who exercise 5 to 6 days a week, in the morning are much more likely to stick with the program and reap the benefits. Morning exercise awakens the metabolism and senses and kick starts your day.
Positive Motivation to Exercise: Do something you like!
The gym isn't for everyone, so if you like bike riding or roller blading or tennis or skiing or...(you get the idea), go for it as part of your regular plan. Make it fun and it won't seem like a chore, but be sure to do something everyday.
This could work for you too...
My husband is a prime example of someone with intermittent motivation to exercise.
He will sometimes go a long time without working out in our home gym. It usually starts (or rather stops) as a result of getting extra busy at work, and once he has missed several sessions, he has a hard time getting himself back to exercising.
At 53 years of age, Bruce now has a tendancy to gain fat around his middle if he isn't careful. Even though he knows how much better he feels when he exercises regularly, he still has trouble with motivation.
Though I have designed workout routines for him in the past, he usually creates his own program. After working at it for a few weeks, increasing weight or resistance as required, the results are very good, but long before reaching his goals he gets bored and has no idea how to vary the routine to maintain progress and interest.
As he is reluctant to consult me, I suggested a series of workouts he could follow on the iPod by another top Canadian fitness trainer and fat-loss expert.
You don't need a fancy home-gym to use these workouts and the variety and intensity are proven to burn fat while maintaining and building muscle.
Yuri Elkaim, the creator of 'FitterU' has been featured on television because of this unique approach to fitness and weight loss that can provide the motivation of a fitness trainer at a much lower cost.
You can learn more about 'FitterU' here.