Written by Sarah Loker
We all know how important and beneficial being active is for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. But even though we are aware of this, it can sometimes feel extremely difficult to motivate ourselves to exercise. And this is completely normal! We are human beings, and motivation is ultimately extremely fickle - even professional athletes and coaches have days where they lack motivation. In those moments, healthy habits and processes can step up to the plate when our motivation has decided to take a holiday. We’ve listed below some habits and practices that can help boost your exercise motivation and make it that little bit easier to get your workout done - so you can continue to feel the best possible version of yourself.
Schedule your workouts
The number one reason given for not exercising is lack of time. This is why it’s important to prioritise working out and schedule it into your week, just as you would a work meeting or call.
Prioritising it means you’re less likely to miss or skip a fitness class or training session. As Dr Katie Heinrick, an exercise scientist from Kansas State University, states - “you have to make a decision to put exercise into your day, it’s not just magically going to happen.” Booking exercise into your day and week like this helps to keep you accountable.
Movement is movement
If you really feel like you don’t have time to commit to a workout, remember, a workout can be as simple as moving. Walking is a wonderful way to gently exercise the body, and can be just as beneficial for your health and wellbeing as smashing a sweaty high intensity workout.
It’s important to remember that even 5-10 minutes of exercise is better than none. When we are getting started on our fitness journey, it’s common to get caught up with our end goal, leaving us feeling intimidated at the thought of working out continuously for 45 minutes+. But one push up is better than none, one minute of exercise is better than nothing. It’s far better to do less than you hoped for than to do nothing at all. So next time your motivation is lacking, set a 10 minute timer and challenge yourself to get moving for just 10 minutes (you can always keep going after the timer has ended if you feel like it!)
Move to feel good
Exercise can feel uncomfortable - after all, we are pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, adapting to new movements, and all of this can feel strange and a little scary! This is why moving to feel good is a great way to ensure you stick to a regular exercise routine. Exercise does not have to be a chore, so choose a workout that you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick to it if you are having fun!
Exercise with a workout buddy
Exercising with a friend or loved one is a wonderful way for you both to stay more committed to your workout regime. Having the support of a friend means it can feel less intimidating stepping foot into a new studio or workout space for the first time. Once you’ve made a commitment with a friend to go to a class or to workout together, it can be easier to resist the urge to throw in the towel when you are lacking motivation.
Create a supportive environment
Exercising in a dedicated space is a great way to stay motivated. Creating a sacred space in a quiet corner of your home for a yoga and meditation practice, going for a run outside in nature, or finding a fitness space that has an inviting and welcoming atmosphere, can make all the difference when it comes to getting that workout done.
Another great way to set up your environment for success is to make it as easy as possible for you to exercise! This could be laying out your gym kit the night before so it’s ready for you when you wake up, ensuring you get that exercise in at the start of the day. It could mean taking your gym kit to work with you, so you can head straight off to a fitness class or workout once you have finished your working day.
Remember, the first 5 minutes are always the worst!
It’s important to note that the first 5-10 minutes of a workout are normally the hardest. You might find yourself avoiding workouts altogether because the first few minutes of exercise feels like wading through quicksand (remember this is the same for elite athletes!) It takes a while for your lungs and muscles to respond fully to the sudden demands made on them. Until then, every step is a mountain, so go easy on yourself and don’t give up when you’ve just started. It will get easier!
Our focus at The Studio is to support and nourish you on your fitness and healing journey. Our group fitness, yoga and pilates classes are a fantastic way to keep your health and exercise goals on track, in a friendly and supportive space where you can get out of your comfort zone and try something new with likeminded people. Private personal training sessions and 1:2:1 yoga classes offer you a bespoke and targeted approach to your health and wellbeing, with personalised and tailored guidance to help you succeed. Our wellness workshops and events encourage a holistic approach to wellbeing, exploring the power of creativity, mindfulness, and more. Whatever your fitness goals and aspirations, The Studio is here to support, guide, and nurture you to become the best possible version of yourself. Check out our website at www.thestudiobartlow.co.uk or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out all of the ways we can support you.
The science of living: 219 reasons to rethink your daily routine, by Dr Stuart Farrimond, p148