We all lose motivation now and again. Staying motivated can be difficult when life gets in the way. Something as simple as a difficult day at work can leave you wanting to skip your evening run, whilst one bad result on the scales can make it feel like your efforts are
worthless. Hard times are inevitable, but giving up is not. Getting back into exercise may not be the easiest thing to do, but your body and your mind will thank you for it. Here are five easy ways to get back into exercise, when even leaving the sofa feels difficult:
Buy some new exercise clothing
A new pair of running shoes, or a new exercise outfit, can make your self-esteem soar. If you look like a fitness fanatic, you’ll feel like a fitness fanatic. If your existing clothes aren’t making you feel good about yourself, then find an outfit that does. Buying ethical sportswear can make you feel even more confident, so look out for brands like JD Sports that avoid child labor and pay a living wage to their workers.
Don’t be afraid to start simple
Even if you were effortlessly running 10k races last year, it’s important to accept that any break in your exercise routine will have set you back. That’s not something to be ashamed of. Don’t make things even more difficult by trying to get straight back into exercise at the level that you once were. If you start small and exercise regularly, you’ll soon be back at the top.
The Couch to 5k running program is ideal for beginners, but also suitable for people getting back into exercise.
Make a mountain into a molehill
Often, people build unnecessary mountains. They start with unachievable goals, telling themselves that they’ll go to the gym “every day after work:, or that they’ll go out and run for 30 minutes. Turn your mountains into molehills, so that they feel a lot easier to tackle. Go to the gym twice a week, instead of aiming for five times. Run for 10 minutes, instead of half an hour. Setting unrealistic goals and not achieving them can make you lose all motivation. If you’re too tired to go to the gym five days a week, you might stop going altogether. If you can
manage to visit two days a week, that's better than nothing. With smaller goals that are easier to reach, exercise won’t feel so daunting.
Try a whole new activity
There are so many ways to exercise and stay healthy. If your existing exercise routine wasn’t enough to keep you motivated, then why not try something new? Find a new exercise class. Take up a new sport. Go to a different gym. Try something a little more obscure, like rock climbing or kayaking, instead of your usual visit to the swimming pool. Make exercise exciting again. If you are a runner, signing up to an official run or race could provide ongoing motivation. You’ll have a specific goal to work towards, with an end in sight. Then, sign up to another
once the first one is over!
You might like to boost your motivation by asking for sponsorship to compete in an organized event. Earning money for a charity is a very worthwhile reason to get your running shoes on and step beyond your front door.
Bring a friend
If you’re struggling with self-motivation, then a friend could be the perfect addition. Having an exercise buddy will keep you exercising, even on those days when you’re feeling like you’d rather not. Your exercise partner can provide you with motivation and encouragement, and a
regular commitment to meet with them is something that is harder to break.
If you can’t find someone to be your regular exercise buddy, then sign up to a local running club or a regular exercise class. Once it is in your diary, it is a lot harder to ignore!
Remember that occasional time off is not a problem, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing. Staying motivated often means that you need to fight through your negative thoughts on the days when you want to give up. Nobody ever arrives home regretting their exercise, though many regret not trying.
*This is a contributed post written by Alison Rogers*