Usually, I hear a friend or colleague talk about wanting to exercise simply to lose some weight. He or she might be depressed that they gained some weight, and think that the desire to lose a few pounds is enough to fuel their motivation to exercise.
Unfortunately, that is not enough to sustain your drive for the long run. You have to want to exercise, and weight loss and other fitness aims will just fall into place.
My first suggestion is to make healthy living YOUR priority.
On top of that, you also need to pay attention to your diet, by slowly eliminating junk and oily food. Remind yourself that you are striving to make a positive impact on your life.
When you start to see improvements in your health and fitness, like having more energy, it will help fuel your long-term motivation to exercise.
Recording down what you did helps to remind you of what you have achieved, and will give you a drive to push yourself further. When I first began to regularly exercise, I made a note of how many repetitions I did, and as time passed, I felt great seeing the improvements I made!
Having a fitness diary also helps you if you (unfortunately) slip. We, as humans, are not perfect. There will be times that you feel demoralized and refuse to stick to a healthy diet. When this happens, turn to your diary and remind yourself of all the things you have achieved!
It will be a great boost to your motivation to exercise.
Engaging a good friend of yours to join you for workouts or regular runs can be great! A friend can push you on when the going gets tough. Also, when there are two people, there are twice as many ideas as to spice up your routines.
This brings me to my next suggestion...
Variety can be a great help to your motivation to exercise. Sticking to the same routine over and over again can be really boring. You would lose interest in working out after a while.
Try changing your workouts every few weeks. This can keep you excited to work out and you won't feel bored as easily.
Telling yourself to train and be able to do 20 push ups in two weeks, is more reasonable than aiming to do 50 in two weeks. This is especially important if you just started working out.
Set achievable goals and work hard to achieve them. Once you do, you will feel great! This brings me to my next suggestion!
To be honest, I believe that giving yourself a treat from time to time is expected of you. You deserve a reward for a job well-done. It also helps to keep you focused to work hard to achieve your future goals.
A treat can be anything. You could reward yourself to your favourite chocolate bar or maybe a cute tee shirt that you have always wanted.
Remember, I am not suggesting that you burn a hole in your wallet on expensive apparel. Just invest in a decent top, track pants or shoes and a pair of shoes and you are good to go.
I used to hate running, until a friend of mine got me a lovely pair of Nike running shoes in red, which is my favourite colour! I started blazing (well, maybe not blazing, more like running) around my neighbourhood because of the opportunity to wear those shoes.
You can experience the same thing!
You might think that your desire to change your body is enough to motivate you. Trust me, it's not. In fact, you will hate exercising even more because you're doing it just to shed a few pounds or become stronger.
Therefore, the moment you lose a few inches, you stop working out, pay no attention to what you eat, and gain what you have lost in no time at all. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Trust me, when you find ways to enjoy exercising, the other pieces of the puzzle (wanting to lose weight, gain muscle, have better stamina, improved strength) will fall into place.
I hope this has helped you understand the importance of being motivated and staying motivated. With the right mindset and attitude, there is no way that you can fail to achieve a wonderful, healthy lifestyle.
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