We don’t need an expert to tell us that the more we enjoy doing something, the more of it we will do. If you are pursuing a health or fitness goal and the journey becomes unpleasant, you run the risk of burnout. So how do you stay the course and keep the fire burning? Here are some tips to keep you motivated:
- Gradual is better than obsessive! Instead of forcing yourself to do 60 minutes of intense cardio, try 15 minutes at a moderate pace and feel your energy start to build. After those 15 minutes you might notice that your thinking is clearer, and you might even start enjoying yourself. Now that’s motivating! Even if you decide to stop after 15 minutes you are still creating a habit of fitting in exercise. A new healthy habit, that over the next few months, will grow in duration and ultimately get you to 60 minutes. The gradual climb of active minutes each week ought to grow and grow. With growth at a steady pace your body adapts along the way. This can prevent not only burn-out but also prevents injury.
- For the sake of those around you…think about all the roles you play in your life. Are you a partner, parent, care taker, leader, team player? Whether at work or at home you will be better in your role if you are healthy. Taking time for yourself allows you to give more to others. The more fit you become the better you are able to handle all the roles that you must be each day. Plus, you go into your roles with better health and even some mental clarity, creating the best you.
- Prioritize what matters. Make your workouts a priority each week no matter the length or intensity. Whatever time of day works best for you, make a commitment to move for at least 15 minutes and build from there.
This motivation to be the best you can be is a practice that you can enjoy along the way. The workouts that you felt guilty about making time in your schedule for, that you devoted chunks of time to, that you even said “no” to something else important for will pay off. It could be the smartest investment you ever made. Remember, if you’re not healthy and happy it will be difficult to give that same amount of healthy and happy to others.
Article Written by:
Bethany Reynolds, AFAA-CPT, CI-GEL
Health & Fitness Professional