My On-Going Struggle with Exercising and Tips for Staying Motivated

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Hi. My name is Sheila, and I'm a yo-yo exerciser. I have been for years, but I'm hoping not to always be one.

For me, the desire to workout comes and goes in waves. There are weeks that I want to work out on a daily basis. Then there are weeks when I just want to forget that I belong to an expensive and exclusive gym.

This winter after a 2-month break from the gym, I sat down and and jotted down some reasons why I had lost my motivation. While I was pin pointing my lack of motivation, I came up with a few tips to avoid that pitfall in the future.

Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

1. Know your purpose.
Are you working out for weight reasons, health reasons, or because it's what all your friends are doing? Have a solid reason for working out, and you'll be likely to stick with it. After I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol over 3 years ago, my cardiologist recommended that I exercise to help keep my numbers normal. For me, my health is a huge motivator.

2. Change up your workout routine.
I am guilty of falling into the treadmill trap. Every day I hop on, and every day I do more or less the same routine. Well, of course, that's going to become boring after about 2 weeks. Find what you love, whether it's a sport or a piece of equipment and vary your routines. Keep them fresh and challenging so you won't become bored. Because I love the treadmill,  I've focused efforts on finding new routines that are challenging, and I've started running again, using this app.

3. Don't overdo it!!!
I am sooo guilty of this. I am blazing saddles when it comes to starting a new exercise routine. I go to the gym everyday. Hit the equipment hard. And then I hit a wall. The key to establishing a successful and long-term exercise pattern is to take it slowly. Every other day or every 2 days to start and increase after a few weeks. You will be more likely to stick with it if you approach it slowly and consistently.

4. Set goals.
Goals should be challenging yet attainable. If they aren't attainable, you'll feel like a failure and immediately give up. I like to set a long-term goal for the near future and set short-term goals that help me reach my long-term goal. This way, I feel as if I am making progress up until I reach my end goal.

5. Buy some new workout gear!
This is one of my favorite motivators!! Go shopping for some new sneakers or new workout gear. I am seriously motivated by new workout clothes.

6. Reward yourself!
All work and no play is no fun. Give yourself a pat on the back or treat yourself to something when you reach an exercise milestone. Everyone needs that dangling carrot!

I don't know about you, but I am so ready to hit the gym after writing this post. I hope you are after reading it!

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