According to a recent survey, 42% of Americans say they gained weight during the COVID-19 pandemic. During a year of turmoil and stress, we packed on extra pounds with comfort food and alcohol.
Our country is opening up. That’s the good news. The bad news?
Your body is probably not beach-ready. It’s time to put down the macaroni and cheese, turn off the TV, and get to work!
After a year of lockdown, you may wonder how to stay motivated for your workouts. Don’t fret. Follow these six strategies to help you get and stay in shape.
1. Set Reasonable Goals
Most people fall victim to unreasonable weight loss goals. It’s easy to start exercising. After a few weeks or a month, the progress might not be what you expect.
Too many anticipate a transformation.
Start with small incremental goals. If you’re new to physical activity, don’t set your goals for a specific number of pounds to lose; set goals for the exercise. For example, start with 20 minutes of walking five days a week.
Once you get into the exercise habit, you can then start to adjust your goals. The 20 minutes becomes 40 minutes. From there, you can set long-term distance goals that make sense.
You’ll be surprised at how much weight you can lose and the fitness motivation you can summon if you ignore the pressure of the scale and focus on the activity.
2. Make it Routine
People think routines are boring. If you’ve ever been stuck in an undesirable one, you know how important it is to break free every once in a while.
Routines aren’t always detrimental, though. Daily routines are how you create good work and life habits, and exercise is no different. You can’t exercise only when you feel like it or have extra time.
You have to make the extra time and include it in your daily routine. Once you do that, workout motivation becomes a cinch. It’s no longer something you have to do.
It’s something you do.
3. Have Some Fun
For all the tips for staying motivated to exercise, making it fun is the best. Yes, half an hour or so on the stationary bike each morning is ideal.
Though routines and habits are vital for long-term fitness goals, even the best of us get bored. Exercise doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, nor should it always be a chore.
The key is to find fun ways to make physical activity part of your life. Here are some suggestions:
- Take a martial arts class
- Walk the golf course instead of renting a cart
- Play squash or racquetball
- Join a recreational softball or basketball league
- Explore yoga or dance
Finding ways to make physical activity fun will help you meet and exceed your weekly requirements. Weight loss comes so much easier when it’s fun.
4. Keep a Journal
Most fitness tips revolve around how to lose weight and lose it fast. Weight loss is a primary goal for most people who begin a regiment, but too few people are aware of the added benefits of exercise.
Frequent physical activity brings many mental health benefits. Studies show that exercise helps boost your mood. It also decreases stress, mitigates anxiety and depression, and improves your sleep.
The best way to keep track of these benefits is to keep an exercise journal. Aside from tracking weight goals, describe how you feel after a workout.
Do you notice any sleep changes? Are you feeling less anxious or depressed? Are you better able to handle stressful work situations?
Write all of it down, and keep close track of your mental health. Once you experience the holistic benefits of exercise, you’ll worry about how to stay motivated to work out far less.
An exercise journal provides the road map to constant motivation. When you become aware of how exercise makes you feel, you’ll have no trouble finding the will to sweat.
5. Make the Perfect Playlist
Music and exercise are like peas and carrots. Making the perfect exercise playlist is almost a science. You have to find the music you love, but music that pumps you up.
Crafting the right playlist transforms your workout. Music influences your body’s perception of fatigue, and it can also increase your heart rate.
For the perfect workout playlist, you have to focus on beats per minute (BPM). More BPMs mean a higher tempo, and increased tempo helps you burn the calories.
It’s best to think about your workout as an arch. Start with lower BPM songs and gradually increase. The middle part of your work out should coincide with intense songs. Then you gradually reduce the BPMs as you cool down.
There are other ways to stay auditorially stimulated. Podcasts and television shows are handy tools to keep motivated during exercise.
6. Reward Yourself
Exercise and discipline aren’t easy. Reward yourself for a job well done. If you meet your goals for the week, make sure to do something nice for yourself.
Give yourself a night off with your favorite television shows. Book a massage or spa day, or buy yourself new exercise clothes.
A little reward at the end of an intense week will help keep you motivated to start the next. Exercise is all about treating yourself well. Keep that in mind and give yourself a little boost when possible.
How to Stay Motivated
The beaches are open, and the pools will follow. It’s time to break the bad habits of this past year and replace them with a fitness routine.
For too many people, learning how to stay motivated to exercise the most daunting barrier to long-term exercise success. Don’t let that happen.
Focus on your short-term goals and keep going. Once you form new habits, you’ll see results!
Are you ready to start? Contact AWATfit today for the best mobile outdoor fitness training.