The key to a successful exercise program is perseverance. You need to commit to it for the long haul – meaning, for the rest of your life. Certainly it can be difficult at times, but in the end, it’ll definitely be worth the effort.
To get motivated, start by setting some tangible goals, both long-term and short-term. An example of a long-term goal could be to run a 5k in 3 months; a short-term goal could be to walk for 30 minutes a day.
Some tips to get and keep you motivated:
1. Start an exercise log
Record any and all movement you do so you can see and calculate all you do daily, weekly and monthly. Remember, all movement counts: stair climbing, cleaning, shopping, walking, hiking, dancing, etc… The point is Just Move – all day, every day.
Seeing how well you’re doing can be truly inspiring, and can keep you going when you find it difficult to go on.
2. Join an exercise group
Exercise with others that enjoy the same activity as you. Look for local groups to keep it close and simple; think mall-walking, hiking, golfing, square dancing, softball or even ping-pong teams. The fact that you are part of a social network will help to keep you motivated.
3. Post inspirational messages everywhere
Try psyching yourself out by using a computer screensaver which says, “Get Moving.” Or you might post a “Just Move” sign on your refrigerator to constantly remind you of the value of exercise. You might also invest in home exercise equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or free weights. The amount of money you spend could be a powerful incentive for making sure that you use the equipment on a regular basis.
4. Try an online exercise class, program or challenge
Look for fun and easy to follow exercise videos or online classes. Many are available 24/7 with unlimited access so you can walk, dance, stretch, or zen out whenever and wherever you are. Some also offer an electronic “exercise buddy” who can help keep you inspired even on rainy days when you don’t feel like moving at all.
5. Be prepared
Have your gym bag and exercise shoes ready by the door so no excuses! Set yourself up for success and being prepared is the first ticket there.
6. Celebrate the milestones!
Celebrate the mini wins as well as the big goals. Reward yourself for keeping with your exercise program and hitting set milestones. Your reward could be as elaborate as a cruise or as small as a treat from the dollar store. The idea is to make sure that your accomplishment is celebrated and shared. This in turn can help to motivate you to continue your physical activities.
Follow these simple steps to get your exercise routine in gear and help you stay the course for life. Remember, just move! Find something you enjoy and that fits your schedule. And Just Do It. Yes, you will face setbacks from time to time, but don’t let them stop you from working towards your exercise goals.