Contributed by Jaklyn P.
I struggle to get myself to work out consistently. I give myself 100 reasons why I don’t have time, distract myself with other chores or just avoid the issue altogether. But, when I do exercise, I feel so good I know that it is important for my emotional, mental and physical health. So, here are some ingredients that motivate me to work out even when I don’t want to.
Ingredient 1 – Get rid of the perfect workout mentality. I used to think that working out was about going to the gym, spending 20 minutes on the treadmill, pumping iron for another 20 and then swimming for the final 20 minutes. For some, such a workout plan is bliss; to me it’s a nightmare. So I rethought exercise and spiced it up a bit. I made an exercise plan out of things I enjoy doing. Now, my exercise program includes walking my dog for 90 minutes a day; doing vigorous squats on some days and, at other times, dancing!
Ingredient 2 – Think of the benefits. Instead of focusing on why I don’t want to exercise, I think of what is bad if I don’t: I feel tired, sluggish, my body will be weaker, etc. and how I feel after I exercising: I feel stronger, I feel better about myself as I know I’m taking care of myself, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I did what I said I would, etc.
Ingredient 3 – Support/partners. I don’t work out all the time with someone but from time to time when I need that extra boost, I make a workout date with a friend. We take hikes or go swimming or briskly walk then treat ourselves to a healthy meal afterwards. In essence, on these occasions, my workout is also a social event. With a partner it becomes more fun and I feel more responsible for showing up for my friend.
Ingredient 4 – Stress relief. A walk makes me feel better, each and every time. It takes me away from my stress and gives me some time to take care of myself. Also, I have found that some of my best ideas, solutions or insights come to me while I am walking.
Ingredient 5 – Get a trainer. I include a workout with a trainer a couple of times a week. This helps me push myself further and rounds out my weekly exercise plan nicely.
What do you do to motivate yourself to exercise? We’d love to hear from you! So, please get in touch at Food For The Soul