Trying to get into an exercise habit, but finding you’re more in the habit of making excuses? You can break out of that pattern with these tips from fitness experts on staying motivated and sticking to your fitness routine. Our Fitness Together trainers and studio owners recommend these three strategies to help you stay inspired to work out regularly.
1. Keep your eye on the prize.
You must have a very strong “why” you are doing it. Always connect to that “why,” especially when things get tough or you get busy. If your goal is to get back into your favorite jeans, hang them on the outside of your closet where you’ll see them every morning when you wake up. For an extra nudge, pin up an old photo of yourself wearing them.
Or, if you’re working toward a health goal such as lowering your blood pressure or relieving chronic back pain, mark your improvements on a chart posted on the fridge. Or tape a photo on your bathroom mirror of someone who’s achieved a goal you’re striving toward. Think fit, healthy-looking people your age playing tennis, climbing a mountain, training for a triathlon, running a 5K, or skiing with their kids!
2. Schedule a consistent workout time.
Set a regular time that fits into your daily and weekly schedule, and prioritize it just like you would a meeting with your boss or a top client.
Think of it this way: Skipping out on your commitment to take good care of yourself means sooner or later you’ll start feeling depleted and run-down, with nothing left to give to those who count on you. Sticking to your fitness regimen not only helps keep you healthy, but also refills your well of physical and mental energy. So you’re more likely to be there and be “on” in your job, relationships, family and others who matter to you.
3. Use the power of a pro to keep you on track.
You’re much less likely to be a no-show for your workout when someone’s waiting for you at the gym, track, pool, court …. Agree on a time and place to work out with a trainer. When someone’s there, waiting, and holding you accountable to your exercise commitment, it’s a mighty motivator.
Scheduling sessions with a personal trainer creates an especially powerful incentive to work out: You’ll feel a natural desire to make your trainer proud, and to respect the time commitment he or she blocked out to work with you. That’s powerful inspiration when you’re mulling whether to pull the sheets back over your head or pull on those gym shoes!