Sometimes, when the couch is calling and your favorite TV show is on, the last thing you want to do is get up and get some exercise. I get it. Especially after a long work day, or an emotionally draining situation, there are plenty of days that beg for R&R in the bath and not speed-walks in the park.
It’s okay to take a day or two off every once in awhile, but spending too much time on the couch is bad for your body and your mind. Exercise is incredibly good for the human body and releases “happy hormones” that make us more emotionally balanced and even decrease our stress levels. When you are reluctant to get moving because you’ve had a stressful day, you are pushing away something that will likely help you relax and put things into perspective.
Bringing yourself to terms with having to exercise on a regular basis comes down to motivating yourself. Here are some helpful tips to keep up your motivation (and, as a result, your health).
Make a Pact with a Friend
There is no doubt that having a support network is an important part of being successful in almost anything. There are many studies that show the benefits of having the support of a friend or family member when it comes to weight loss.
Even if you don’t want to lose weight, though, having somebody to exercise with is very motivating.
When you aren’t feeling up to it, you’ll be more likely to follow through if you are accountable to somebody.
Track Your Progress
Try to improve on something fitness-related, and track your progress. There is nothing more motivating than success. Once you see yourself improve after a certain amount of time, you’ll want to continue to improve.
If you are a runner, make a goal to run a certain distance in a shorter period of time. If you lift weights, increase the weight slightly until you reach a goal. Tracking progress is very motivating.
Join a Team
There’s something about being on a team that makes exercising much more enjoyable. I’ve heard many runners say that they hated running before they joined a running group. Even if you join a beer league soccer team, at least you are getting out and moving every once in awhile, and you will be less likely to skip it because you won’t want to let your teammates down.
If there isn’t already an established team or group for your favorite activity, round up a group of people that also want to stay active and join forces.
Find Some Inspiration
I was recently discussing staying motivated to stay active with a friend, and she told me that when she’s struggling with the thought of getting up and going to the gym, or feels sluggish or tired and begins to make excuses, she logs on to Pinterest and looks up some inspirational quotes and photographs that help her get into gear.
I find that having a conversation about fitness with my active friends and family members inspires me to get off the couch.
Find what inspires you to get moving and make a habit out of it.
Take Baby Steps
If you aren’t motivated to work out, convince yourself to just go for a walk around your neighborhood. Once you’ve walked for five minutes, you may find that you want to keep going and stretch it out to a ten minute walk.
Just getting your blood pumping can give you an adrenaline rush and help your body release endorphins to your brain. This will, more likely than not, increase your desire and motivation to keep going.
Always try to remember that exercising will almost always be a positive influence in your life.
How do you get motivated to stay active?