When and how to motivate yourself to exercise is one of the biggest obstacles that people face when working out. I hate working out. There I said it. I like to exercise after it’s done. The sheer thought of dragging myself to the gym doesn’t put a big grin on my face. What motivates anyone to go to the gym or run or just move?
I signed up for an 8-week boot camp in May thinking that would motivate me. It was a little depressing the first two weeks, mainly because I was with people (half my age) that could run (yes run), squat, and do burpees (don’t ask). My original goal in signing up for the boot camp was to increase strength, lose a little weight and make my legs stronger. You see I had done these exercises where you step up on a bench and I could only do two. Pathetic.
The first group workout was at the beach. I should have quit then, but I’m not a quitter. The second group workout was in a 4 story parking garage. Can you just picture that? Up and down ramps, mountain climbing, backward lunges, up and down 4 flights of stairs and one-handed push-ups. Heck, I can’t do a push-up with two hands, what was I doing there?
After 2 weeks, we were measured and I lost 5 pounds and 2.5% body fat. Okay, I was suddenly motivated. Maybe I will never be able to jump on a bench or do one-handed push-ups, but I suddenly figured out something super important.
It’s not what I can’t do, it’s what I can do. (Light bulb Moment)
Suddenly I was motivated to exercise, not crazy like. I was just determined to be in better shape, have more energy, and feel strong. Why? Because feeling strong was giving me more confidence. When you feel more confident, things seem to go better in your life. So with that being said, here are some ways to motivate yourself to exercise.
How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
- Eat. Exercise and eat right for you. (Not for anyone else, or you will never stick with it)
- Be Realistic. Find something you can do. Don’t pick running if you’ve never run before. You have to walk before you can run.
- Start. Realize it doesn’t matter if you have never exercised, you can do something.
- Shop. Get some gear (pants, shoes, etc) that helps you feel or look better working out. (I found some awesome bright tennis shoes that screamed neon.)
- Monitor. Invest in a heart rate monitor. There are tons of them – some connect to your phone, others to a watch. Whichever, it’s really important to see how hard (or not) you are working out.
- Don’t skip eating. You must eat, but eat right. Cut the sugar, cut the dairy, cut the bad carbs. One person on our boot camp team decided she was going on lemon water cleanse. She lost weight all right – she lost 9 pounds and 8 pounds was a muscle loss. You don’t want to lose muscle. You want to build muscle.
- Move. Just get moving. Swim, bike, walk or dance. Do something.
Life is too short. Motivate yourself, because your health depends on it. Muscle dictates metabolism. Have a #bellafit day!