Exercise has been linked to increased physical and mental health and improved quality of life.
Despite this knowledge, many of us still have difficulty adding exercise to our daily routine. Stepping out the door is the hardest part of committing to exercise, so if you can get out the front door, you’ve won more than half the battle.
Here are four tricks to stay motivated and committed to exercising:
We typically excel in tasks that we enjoy, and underperform in those we dislike. When you’re picking the type of exercise, look for activities that seem fun to you. Don’t be afraid to try a bunch of sports and activities until you find something that you love. Try classes, join groups or teams, or try solo activities to find your zone.
Humans have always excelled when we have set goals. If you reflect on your own life, you’ll notice that your successes have likely been tied to your goals. Remember that your own fitness goals are unique to you – you don’t have to shoot for the moon – but it is important to set a goal that presently seems just beyond your reach. It will give you something to work towards, and when you achieve it will provide a deep sense of satisfaction and usually a hunger to chase down bigger goals.
Coaches and trainers exist for two reasons – guidance and accountability. If you are new to athletics or a particular sport don’t be afraid to seek out this mentorship. For new athletes, the best coaching is hands on, face to face as opposed to online. You don’t have to do this alone – we all do better when we are held accountable for our actions. Coaches can guide your training to help maximise your progress, and help you avoid injuries related to poor planning. Runners, in particular, are prone to chasing speed and often ramp up volume and intensity too quickly – leaving them injured and disillusioned.
We should all be able to find time to get active each day. If you find your schedule too full, just remember that the best version of you is one where you take time to nurture yourself. Ignoring your needs to cater to those of others (family, friends, work) is not a strategy for long term success. Can you sneak away at lunch for a workout? Can you skip your favourite show and replace it with a workout?