Motivating Your Way to Regular Exercise

Good morning and Happy Sunday! We are having a VERY rainy weekend here in Knoxville. I am getting as much done as possible while still resting and recovering my leg. I plan to go back to work full-time tomorrow and I will have a busy week ahead of me. I cannot believe that May starts on Wednesday. 2013 is flying by.

I am very excited to bring you a guest post about motivation today. Enjoy!

Motivation for Exercise

Motivating Your Way to a Regular Exercise Regime

Exercise can be a drag. Not all of us have the gene that makes regular workouts a pleasure. There are various reasons why many people decide to forgo a regular exercise regime despite being familiar with the benefits that can be garnered from regular fitness.

Exercise Benefits

We know for example that establishments like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend weekly exercise. We probably aren’t aware that they suggest at least 150 minutes of regular cardio activity a week, but we are aware of the potential health benefits.

We know for example that working out will prolong our life span. We know that exercise will ward off unsightly weight gain and the type 2 diabetes that might follow. We know that regular exercise often leads to a lower number of sleepless nights and a healthier mind.

The Excuses Begin

I would just like to begin by saying I’m too busy to work out. Why am I too busy? Well…

  • I have work.
  • Did I mention that the new show is starting today? I have to see it.
  • And I have to watch the kids. I can’t hook them to a leash and drag them behind me. Well I could, but it wouldn’t be healthy for them.

On top of all of those reasons, I hate how sweaty and painful the process is, so no I can’t work out.

Getting Past the Excuses

Let’s face it when it comes to working out all of the excuses can be overcome.

  • 150 minutes a week is only about 20 minutes a day. If you tried, you could fit the weekly suggestion into your schedule with ease.
  • Television shows can be recorded, watched at a different time, or viewed online.
  • Working out from home will allow you to work out even if anyone else isn’t available to watch the kids.
  • And the sweat can be washed right off after the 20 minute period.
  • As for the muscle pain that lingers, proper stretching and time will alleviate these symptoms.

Methods of Motivating

Once I realized that my concerns where valid; I also realized that they could be overcome. At the beginning my attempts to overcome my excuses were spotty at best, I would begin that shiny new exercise regime and then stop a week later. The key to start an exercise regime and see it through is to come up with the proper motivation.

Set a Goal

Goals can be a strong motivator. Running for the sake of running can seem inane and useless. The idea is to make the goals tangible and achievable like losing 5 pounds or running the mile in 7 minutes. If you set yourself an unachievable goal, you could give up, but an achievable one can spur you on. It works as the light at the end of the tunnel. Once the goal has been achieved, set a new goal.

Rewarding Goals and Exercise

Don’t be afraid to reward yourself for achieving a goal. The people at my work do it all the time. When I do a good job, I get a candy bar or lemonade. It’s exciting and yummy. And it makes me want to do even better, so I can continue getting rewards.

You should be sure that the rewards are not too easy to achieve or you might get bored. If you are working out to lose weight, it might be counterproductive to reward yourself with candy. You can choose an alternative that is just as likely to motivate you.

Group Work Outs

Another method is to arrange to work out with a friend. Working out with a friend leaves you accountable to the friend. Your attendance at the work out session is more important and harder to break. If you do feel like skipping you’ll have to call someone who gives you more time to think about your choice. I find that I do my best work and more consistent work when I am accountable to not only myself, but to another as well.

Working out with friends also allows a distraction from your own misery. You can chat, watch your friend struggle, or chat between pants about how crappy running is.

Exercise and Fun

The last tactic I offer is to turn the exercise into a fun activity. Exercise does not need to be work. Here are some methods to spike up the fun factor in your workout regime:

  • Take part in a sport or game
  • Play a video game that requires move technology
  • Watch television or listen to an audiobook

Exercise is a vital part of a healthy life. Unfortunately exercise can be a low on our priorities and desires. In order to get past our hang ups about exercising, goals and rewards, group workouts, and fun activities can be used to motivate us into the healthy lifestyle that regular exercise promises.

Author: Melody Reed loves to make her own chia seed drinks with kombucha tea and write about healthy living. She currently works with Eden Pond who promotes healthy weight loss.

What motivates you to workout? Do you reward yourself? If so, with what?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


7 Responses to “Motivating Your Way to Regular Exercise”

    • Glenneth

      Thanks! Congrats on your impending wedding! So exciting!

    • Glenneth

      I think we all go through periods where our exercise habits or eating habits aren’t consistent.

  1. This is such a great post! I just started a new fitness routine this week and these tips will definitely come in handy 🙂

    • Glenneth

      Thanks Michelle! Enjoy your new fitness routine!