How Do I Keep Myself Motivated To Exercise?

Submitted by Allan on July 24, 2013

Exercising is good, and we all know that. Even people whose only physical activity is walking to the car and back know this. We all have made resolutions to start exercising, and many of us would have even started with some of us having spent good money on equipment to help us train.


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Yet, we would not have gone through with our resolution, and the biggest hurdle is a lack of motivation. Some people actually stick it out for months or even a year, and then let go for the same reason.

Now, while it is easy for us to give you steps to exercise, giving you steps to get motivated for exercising is not as easy.

The reason is that different people have different motivational factors and each person is best served by finding that which motivates them best.

Don't think too much

Before you start exercising, you need to plan it out. You need to plan the time and even the place where you will be working out, and unless you plan well, you won't be able to fit your exercise schedule into your hectic work day. This is what invariably leads to a failure to exercise. So don't plan too much. Start doing something. Get off the couch, but be flexible. You don't have to stick to the same time every day or have an exercise routine. Whenever you get time, do your exercises. Many times people plan themselves out of exercising so don't fall into the trap.

Find something that suits you

This is very important. Some people like running, while others prefer working out with weights, and still others like aerobics. You need to choose an activity that you like if you want to see it through. Taking something up when you aren't too interested in it is only setting yourself up for failure. Also find something that suits your age. If your age permits you to jog, do so by all means. If not, walking will have to do.

Motivate yourself

This is the biggest problem with exercising. Don't lose motivation. People aren't machines, and all of us have our bad days. Sometimes, you may actually stop exercising for a week. That's not important. What's important is that you start over again. Try again and again. Run or walk every day, become active, start with few exercises, set weekly goals. Do something.

Nobody knows yourself better than you, and you need to find what motivates you. Psychologists say that there are two kinds of motivation – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation where they are motivated by extrinsic factors. It's always better to be motivated by intrinsic factors than extrinsic ones. Intrinsic motivational factors are those that motivate you from within, such as you wanting to know something or exercising because you want to get fit. Extrinsic factors are external sources, and these aren't as good. For example, if you are going to motivate yourself by saying that you've got to reach a certain weight goal, what do you do once you reach it?

There are many sites that offer ideas on how to motivate yourself, but usually none of them work. This is because they are all extrinsic factors, which mean that they will motivate you for only a certain amount of time. Exercising is not something that you're going to do for the next few months or years. It's got to become a part of your daily routine, much like brushing your teeth and eating. So the only way you are going to do this is if you change your way of thinking. You need to be convinced as to why you're doing what you're doing. That's the only way you can sustain motivation for years.

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