The comfy sofa calling, tired after a hard day’s work, struggling to resist episode 128 of season 14 of your favorite show… or just can’t be bothered. These are just some of the 1001 (more or less) good reasons not to exercise. However, as the days go by, you’ll feel your fitness dropping, you’ll be short of breath, just going up the stairs will get you panting… It’s a sign! A sign that maybe it’s time to start exercising regularly again. We’ve listed some things that may help you in motivating yourself to get back on your fitness journey.
Set achievable goals
When you take up sport again after a long period of inactivity, it’s quite challenging to stay motivated for the long run. Some generally tend to aim too high and soon. This even sometimes becomes a setback if the goal is not achieved. Obviously, it’s crazy wanting to run a marathon after you’ve been jogging for 15 days, or trying to bench press 100 kg when you only joined the gym 5 days ago. The key is gradual progression! First, draw up a plan that’s adapted to your current level, so that you don’t lose your motivation. By progressing little by little, you’ll keep the flame burning and you can move slowly towards your goal.
Make time and take time to exercise
Don’t have time? The usual false excuse. Assess your situation (calmly): how many hours a day do you spend on your smartphone, watching TV, or in front of your computer? All these time could easily be devoted to sport. It’s time to gradually change your habits. Optimize your days by a schedule. Start by allowing yourself 30 minutes in the morning before going to work, or in the evening before eating, to do the exercise that appeals to you the most. Walk or run around the block, work your core, relax with a yoga or pilates session. It’s just some choices from a long list of possible actions. A little hack is to disconnect all your multimedia devices before your session at home or at the gym: that way, you won’t be tempted by the slightest excuse to ogle your screen.
Record your progress
Daily, and after several weeks of exercise, you might feel like you’re not progressing, and like all your effort is for nothing. Don’t let this thought be your one way ticket to losing your motivation and giving up. To stay motivated and see your progress, arm yourself with a little notebook that you can use to write down everything you’ve achieved in each session. When you re-read these entries days or weeks later, you’ll soon realize how far you’ve come. What could be more motivating than realizing that just 3 months ago, you could only run for 20 minutes at a time, and now you can do 10 km without stopping?
Define your goals
One of the most important things when you want to stay motivated for sport is quantifying your progress. Love running? Try to improve your time for running 5 or 10 kilometers. Drawn to strength training? Beat your record for push-ups or pull-ups. Tennis player at heart? Try playing a set against an opponent who seemed unbeatable a few months ago. The closer you get to your goal, the more satisfied you’ll feel.
Buy some new sport equipment
Buying the latest sports gear often makes you keen to try out your purchase as soon as possible! Leave your equipment where you will see it: on your bed, in your lounge… this will make you want to use it as quickly as possible.Don’t forget your budget though.
What could be a bigger commitment than promising your partner, your friend, your colleague or a family member that this time you mean it, you’re going to start exercising and stick with it? Why not draw up a contract on paper and sign it in blood (okay, we’re exaggerating slightly, but you get the point). You’ll have no choice and this”moral pact” will mean you’ve given your word. You can also make this promise to yourself. Just verbalizing your commitments will push you to achieve your stated goal.
Break up your training
When you go back to exercising, don’t try to completely transform your habits. You shouldn’t see sport as a constraint, but as a pleasure that will adapt gradually to your needs. Initially, to shake up your routine gently, why not break up your training?If you’re struggling to fit an hour of sport into your day, there’s no reason not to do 2 x 30 minutes, to suit your timetable. It’s best to exercise regularly (3 or 4 times a week) in small doses, rather than doing one long, 2-hour session. Regularity is the key to long-term success.
Have confidence in yourself!
Does that seem like a silly thing to say? In any case, it’s useful to remember: the only person you can count on is yourself. So be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other people as each story is written uniquely. The good news is, progress is accessible to everyone, and results will follow. Progress isn’t even an obligation. Keeping things constant is already an achievement!
We hope these tips will be useful to help you finally take up and stick with exercise.Don’t hesitate to share your tips and tricks for staying motivated!