How to Stay Motivated and Inspired to Exercise
Starting and sticking with an exercise program can be very rewarding. Exercise brings a sense of accomplishment and provides many health benefits. Yet, finding the motivation and inspiration to begin and keep exercising can be challenging. Past experiences and competing priorities can get in the way of leading an active lifestyle and reaping the benefits.
Make it a Priority
A good first step is to evaluate your priorities. Is your health at the top? Are you placing enough value on accomplishing your needed recreational activities with ease? By thinking of exercise as something you “get to do” to help you create a better life instead of what you “have to do” helps frame exercise in a positive and inspirational way. Be honest with yourself and evaluate where you place exercise and its benefits in your value system.
Also important is being realistic in your expectations. It can take several weeks before you start seeing results in strength, endurance or other goals. Focus on the process and how each exercise session feels. Compare how you feel mentally or how your energy level and sleep are affected both before and after you exercise. Looking at daily results will help maintain your habit; before long, you’ll have reached your longer term goals, too.
Another important strategy is to embrace your successes. Focus on your wins and what went well, rather than what didn’t work. Learn from your wins! Focus on what you enjoy about exercise. Recognize that you took time to invest in yourself and honor that sense of achievement. These positive thoughts and feelings will propel you to continue.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your exercise and progress helps you keep it at the top of your priority list and helps you see your successes. Checking your progress on a regular basis will keep you inspired. Working out with a buddy is another great way to stay motivated. And change it up. A variety of exercises will help keep it fresh, engaging and fun.
When you’re purposeful and thoughtful with your exercise, its benefits and value in your life will make your life more enjoyable and gratifying.
“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.” - Anonymous