Exercise- How to get Motivated and Keep at it

By Nonkululeko Nxumalo

“I can’t exercise, I don’t have the time.” “I’m tired.” “It’s cold.” “It’s too hot.” “It’s wet outside.” Sounds familiar?

Exercise Motivation- Man running up stairs
Clique Images- Unsplash

Let’s be honest; it’s tough to get started, let alone be consistent. I’ve seen too many people I know start a fitness program and then quit. Either because they get bored, they don’t enjoy it or they get discouraged along the way. Then there’s our worst enemy, that inner voice that comes up with every excuse under the sun to keep us from getting started. Whatever your reason is, here are 10 ways to motivate yourself to get off that couch and get moving.

Mindset is everything

Exercise Motivation- Boy pointing at cup
Nathan Dumlao- Unsplash

First things first, redirect your mind. Getting started and staying committed begins in your head. Start by looking at exercise as a benefit rather than an inconvenience. Exercise combats health conditions, boosts energy, promotes better sleep and improves your mood (thank you endorphins).

Set goals and revisit them often

Remind yourself of your goals by writing them down and constantly revisiting them. Start small and then later move on to bigger goals, instead of overwhelming yourself with too much. Begin with 10-20 minute exercises 2 or 3 times a week. Do minor stretches or simple exercises.

Track your progress

Track your workouts and your results. Seeing improvements motivates you to keep going. No matter how small your progress, progress is still progress.

Have fun

If you get bored, change the routine, pick something you like the most. Go for walks, look for workout videos online, join a dance class or play soccer with the kids. Exercise doesn’t only have to happen in a gym.

Team up with others

Exercise Motivation- Group Weight Training
Sven Mieke- Unsplash

Find people with similar goals and work out with them. Join a fitness challenge on social media or a group in your area. You can even start your own and invite people. I’ve found that working with a personal trainer helped me be consistent. It also assisted me with fixing some workout mistakes I never knew I was making and I’ve had amazing results so far.

Focus on you

So what if the girl warming up next to you is thinner? Or if Tumi lifts heavier than you? Comparing yourself to others might discourage you. Focus on you and on your goals.

Stop eating unhealthy food

Unhealthy and high-processed food often sets you back. A poor diet makes you feel sluggish and halts results. Eat according to your fitness goals making sure that it’s a balanced diet (i.e. consuming protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water on a daily basis).

Related article: “Healthy” Foods to Avoid

Make it convenient

Exercise Motivation- Looking at watch
Solen Feyissa- Unsplash

Find a time that is most convenient for you. Workout in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, it’s totally up to you. Do stretches at your desk during those coffee breaks. Do a few squats, push-ups or crunches before bed. If you’re joining a gym or a fitness club, make sure it’s not out of your way. There’s no use spending 45 minutes driving to a gym on the other side of town. The long drive might discourage you to go.

Get rid of the guilt

Go easy on yourself. Don’t feel guilty for missing a day or two, you deserve a break. Avoid taking long breaks though, you might find it harder to get back into the swing of things.

Did someone say reward?

Treat yourself. Get a massage, get yourself a new workout outfit or reward yourself with your favourite dessert (be careful not to overindulge).

Now that you’ve pushed past the excuses and set your mind to smash those fitness goals, let’s get moving! Have fun, do you, eat healthily and pat yourself on the back every now and then. Remember, “Results happen over time, not overnight- work hard and stay consistent.”- Lauren Gliesberg

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DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and should not be relied on as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professionals with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


5 Responses

  1. Yoh! I think I’ll start with afternoon walks, your articles will really turn me into a health fanatic. HEALTH IS WEALTH. Thank you dear for the inspiration and motivation

  2. Sticking to an exercise routine really is tough. I start and give up along the way and then back to square one… Thanx cuz, I’ll definitely be trying this approach.

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