Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Born to be ….
with apologies to Steppenwolf
We have all heard it—some form of daily or almost daily exercise is recommended to keep both your mind and body healthy. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But why isn’t it happening? And how do you convince yourself you can make it happen? The answer may be in finding the motivation that works for you, both to get started and to keep it going. Motivation and incentives are uniquely personal, but the following tips may inspire you to make that plan and stick to it.
- Set realistic goals
If you haven’t exercised in a while or deal with a physical issue, fast and furious out of the gate is not for you. Start out slowly and work up to where you want to be. Maybe a short walk every day or one class a week is enough to get your body on the path to healthy. As your strength and stamina improve, you can always reset your goals. And don’t forget to listen to your body as you move. Not only will you come to know your limits, you will reduce the risk of injury by being aware.
- Mix it up
Doing the same routine all the time gets boring. Maybe taking a different class will help or perhaps taking a different route or path on your daily walk. Finding exercises you like both indoors and outdoors gives you options that will break up the monotony plus you will be motivated to be active all year long not just when the weather is nice.
- Build your day around your exercise
Staying focused on a goal requires commitment and putting your exercise time on your calendar or daily to-do list may just be the thing that does it for you. Meeting up with a friend to exercise together reinforces that commitment and provides support on those days you may be leaning toward letting it slip. Signing up for a scheduled class or walking the dog every day at the same time locks in that time so you aren’t distracted from getting it done.
- Eat breakfast
Yes, it is the most important meal of the day. Starting the day with a breakfast that contains a little protein with vegetables give you the energy and mental awareness that will stay with you all day and fuel your daily routine. Check out the HealthWellth blog on this website too for other eating tips and tricks.
- Get the right equipment
For most exercise, shoes are probably the most important piece of personal equipment you need. Make sure they are comfortable and provide support where you need it. Clothing too should be comfortable and non-binding to give you the freedom to move. And it doesn’t hurt to look good which makes you feel good while you are doing your body good!
- Reward yourself
After setting a goal, putting it on your daily calendar, eating right, looking good, and doing that workout, you have earned and deserve a payoff. Self-encouragement and self-actualization are great ways to keep yourself motivated. Plan small rewards to thank yourself for all the hard work you’ve put into being a better you. Is it watching a favorite TV show? A bowl of fresh strawberries? A cup of tea on your back deck while watching the sun set? Maybe a long luxurious soak in the bathtub? Make it something special. You’ve earned it.
So, what gets your motor runnin’? What do you do to motivate yourself? And how do you reward yourself? Share in the comments below. It just might inspire others to start an exercise plan or join in with you.