Finding the Motivation to Get Fit (and Stay that Way)
By Jenni Upton (15/02/14)
What can motivate you to get up off the coach, and get into your local gym? It’s a question most people who shun an active lifestyle need to ask themselves. Is it being healthier? Looking better? Perhaps it even takes fully immersing yourself in the fitness world and studying to become a fitness professional to gain the passion for staying fit that seems to infect other people.
Whatever it is, finding that motivation is key. People often cite three main factors as excuses for why they don’t (or can’t, in their mind) workout:
1. They don’t have the time to fit gym stops or workout routines into their busy schedule.
2. Working out is too hard or too boring to do.
3. They have no motivation to do so, often as a byproduct of one or both of the first two points also applying to them, but also because they don’t see the benefits, or the benefits just aren’t important enough to them.
Because lacking motivation can stem from the first two points, let’s first tackle them.
I don’t have the time to workout
This can be a legitimate concern for many people, particularly for those raising families. While even a busy career leaves most single people with enough free time to engage in other pursuits, a family life often absorbs whatever free time a person has away from their work.
In this case it’s important to work with your situation, rather than work against it or simply give up when you can’t do so. Since much of your free time revolves around your family, work fitness time into your regular family activities. Instead of a board game night once a week, have a fitness night where you work out together.
People with families are quite blessed to have a powerful motivational tool at their disposal in their family members. Not only can you help motivate them, they can do the same for you. And if you can’t get motivated to keep yourself fit, perhaps doing so to inspire and motivate your partner and children to be fit and healthy will work where other motivation fails.
Working out is too hard or boring
If you consider working out too hard, it can be that you’re pushing yourself too much once you get going. Many people go into a Tasmanian Devil-like frenzy when they workout, and are of the mind that they should push themselves to the point of exhaustion for it to be considered a quality workout. This is not the case, and you should work to find a balance that is right for you, where the workout is strenuous enough that it’s producing the desired effects and benefits for your body without leaving you lying in a huddled mass on the gym floor in a pool of your own sweat afterwards.
As for boredom, one of the easiest ways to combat a yawn-inducing workout is to keep things fresh. Vary your routines, try new things, and always have something else to occupy your mind when the workout itself isn’t enough to keep you going; having headphones on or a TV to watch is a great distraction while you build up a sweat.
Finding your motivation: quality of life
When being fit or healthy isn’t a tangible enough reward to motivate one into action, exercise provides benefits beyond just the general fitness of the body. For men, several studies have proven an undeniable correlation between exercise (or lack thereof), and the onset of erectile dysfunction, with women suffering from a distinct lack of labido. The good news is that the damage can often be mitigated and improved by exercising after the fact. Likewise, working out solely for the sake of having a great body is often not enough to motivate many people, just as long term benefits often aren’t enough to motivate many others. Fitness has innumerable short-term benefits, however, that begin to positively effect your life almost immediately. You’ll achieve better sleep, your self-esteem and confidence will increase, and with that, your mood will be considerably better. Stress will wash away, and you’ll have more energy to do other things, and subsequently keep yourself motivated to work out.
For many, it’s just a matter of taking those first steps into fitness to get caught up in the positive cycle of what fitness provides. And often all it takes is a little motivation to do so.
Find yours today and get started.