It’s the constant theme a trainer hears when clients bemoan the thought of exercising: “I can’t get motivated” or “How do I motivate myself to get to the gym?” or something along the lines of “ I was doing a great for about a month and then my mom got sick, my dog died, work took over, etc.”
Sometimes it’s not about the gym, it’s about your personal understanding of what will keep you active. The listed motivation hacks below will help you keep that workout appointment with yourself when you’re walking down the “I need motivation” alley.
The Total Gym is a fun piece of equipment that will keep you challenged to get better at exercising and even designing new exercises to keep you going. It’s like a big toy calling you to play with it because it’s fun and challenging. Investing 15 minutes into a series of exercises will allow you to accomplish working almost every muscle group and if done at a quick pace, will provide a heart rate boost.
Getting Exercise to Motivate You
A study done at Humboldt University in Berlin studied aspects of recreational sport and exercise, which lead to positive emotional reactions in people taking part in regular and long-term exercise. Three factors were identified which are associated with the emergence of positive emotions in recreational sport and exercise.
Finding an activity that you can improve at improves your emotional attachment to it. On the Total Gym increasing the intensity and reps of a workout through various positions can be a challenging motivator that provides emotional reward for improved competence. If you are new to an activity are you motivated to get better?
Perceived social interaction was another factor including being part of a group and creating close relationships or friendships.
The third factor was the activity’s novelty experience in contrast to other none-sporting activities such as work, family or other leisure activities. Can this physical activity provide a distraction respite to everyday life issues?
If you’re trying to begin an active regime to get healthy and/or lose weight, take appropriate, measured steps that will provide results that motivate you to go on. Take the case of this grandmother from Williamsburg who was diagnosed with a lung condition that made it difficult for her to successfully workout in a gym. Her resulting depression led to more weight gain and hopelessness until her granddaughter gave her a pep talk. She went from barely being able to walk one block to walking 20 miles. It was the slow steps that led to big accomplishments. Of course she’s lost weight and feels wonderful.
Identify an inexpensive reward for your exercise efforts to keep you motivated to keep your appointments. For example: “If I work out twice this week I’ll get a manicure.” or “If I work out twelve times this month, I’ll get a massage.” It’s a personal commitment you have to keep and hold yourself accountable.
Meetup with Likeminded Individuals
Active Meetups and social communities are another exercise hack. Finding likeminded individuals who want to walk, hike, run, bike, swim, roller skate, line dance, etc. this provides a sense of community and belonging that will have you looking forward to the next meeting! Groups like GirlTrek, Black Girls Do Bike and Stroller Strides provide an opportunity to not only exercise, but perhaps find a new group of friends!
On a business trip? If you’re staying in the city, choose a hotel a half to one mile away from your destination and then walk to your meeting(s). Not only is this a great opportunity to exercise, you also get to explore the city.
Set up several alarms during the day to remind you to take a walk, perhaps with light dumbbells. This way you won’t let the day get away from you without some activity.
These hacks are just a start that will put you on the journey to discover more ways to hack exercise and activity into your life and provide balance. Happy holidays!