Boosting Your Exercise Motivation
Do you find exercise challenging or difficult?
Like many people, I also struggled with exercise at the beginning of my journey to lose weight. I wasn’t an athletic person and for a long time I believed that exercise somehow ‘chose’ people and not the other way around.
Of course, my assumptions were wrong because after the first few weeks of working out, something amazing happened: I started enjoying exercise! Many people feel that they would never arrive at this point in their journey, because let’s face it: exercise is hard.
Doctors have yet to find an activity as medically beneficial as exercise.
Exercise wouldn't be effective if it didn’t challenge the body and the mind. The things that people dislike about exercise are actually the reasons behind countless weight loss successes.
The nature of exercise harmonizes with the main goals of healthy weight loss.
Exercise burns fat, optimizes your metabolism and irons out the little kinks that came about because of excess weight. Exercise also helps repair the liver and other vital organs. There are even medical studies that link better brain health with exercising!
Do you skip exercise regularly?
Avoiding exercise will only slow down your progress in weight loss. If you want a firm, sexy body, you need exercise, period.
I know that there are many women out there who are very slim and say they never exercise. They might look attractive but chances are, these women inadvertently sacrificed their lean muscle mass to lose weight.
Loss of lean muscle mass happens when a person’s diet is very restrictive and is not focused on balanced nutrition. When you lose weight by severely reducing your calories, you actually end up with less muscle and more water and body fat.
Does body fat and water sound sexy?
I personally don’t think so. If you want to be shapely and fit, proper diet and exercise will always be there to help. However, you need to stay focused on the prize. You need to stay motivated even if your muscles are sore from intense workouts.
How can you stay motivated with exercise?
Here are some easy ways that you can improve your outlook on exercise:
1. Take Baby Steps – You may have read books or magazines about people who lost weight because they work out several hours a day, seven days a week. YouTube may have shown you that there are actually people who toss around large truck tires to burn calories.
However, you are not these people and to set difficult fitness goals in the beginning will only demotivate you. Instead of focusing on what other people are doing, focus on what you can comfortably accomplish with your current fitness level.
Set smaller goals and aim for consistency. When exercise starts feeling good and natural, that would be the ideal time to set higher fitness goals. If you are still a complete beginner, take your time and acquaint yourself with exercising first.
2. Start a Fitness Journal – Journaling is an excellent way to stay motivated with exercise. You can log the different exercises that you’ve completed for the day and you can also freely express your thoughts and emotions on paper.
Do you have new workout ideas? Write them down on your journal! You can even use your fitness journal as a food diary so you can see if your food choices are improving as you push on with your weight loss journey.
3. Stop Being Guilty – Being realistic is important when you are shedding the pounds. Don’t feel guilty if there was a day or two when you just couldn’t do it. The important thing is you pick yourself up after and continue accomplishing your weight loss goals.
4. Be Your Own Fitness Star – It would be a big mistake to compare oneself to other people who are stronger/fitter/faster.
Focus on making yourself stronger and enjoy your workouts even if they are not perfect. Exercise is not about perfection – it’s about burning calories and making your body fitter and stronger than before. These are the real goals of exercise.
5. Create a Sturdy Support Network – Having a support network of family and friends that understand your needs and limitations can be invaluable to your weight loss efforts.
Remember: weight loss is an “emotional rollercoaster.” You will sometimes feel like quitting - permanently. If you are feeling this way already, reach out to your support network and share your problems with family and/or friends. Chances are you will hear exactly what you need to hear and that will help keep you on the upward track to weight loss success.