There are many motivation strategies out there to help you stay on course with your home workout program. They range from listening to up-tempo music to hiring a personal trainer. But for this discussion, I want to dig into some of the deeper, fundamental ones – ones you do not want to ignore. Take a look.
You Need to be “Internally” Motivated.
Without getting too deep here, let’s just say that you should have reasons that are important to you for sticking with your home workout routine. If your motivation for exercising is solely to make someone else happy (such as a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend), you’re setting yourself up for a hard fall. There are plenty of good reasons to exercise and you need to identify what yours are, even if it’s just one. It’s good to remind yourself of them from time to time, especially when you don’t feel like exercising.
Have Realistic Expectations.
Expecting lofty results in a short period of time from your home workouts is a road that ultimately leads to failure. And unfortunately, it’s a road well-traveled. Ridiculous claims in the media by diet “gurus” and home workout equipment companies have led many people into this trap.
Top that off with TV “reality shows” where people quit their jobs and leave their families for months so they can exercise all day long while starving themselves, losing 10 -12 pounds per week. Reality? . . . Who’s able to do that? What a crock! Reality (for most people) is losing up to one pound per week and making steady, modest gains in strength and aerobic capacity. Believe me – if that’s the case, you’re doing just fine.
Set Attainable Goals.
Another way to avoid becoming frustrated with your home workout program is to make sure you set goals that are within your reach. This includes goals for the amount of time you plan to spend exercising and the results you hope to achieve. For example, if you’re just starting out, you may want to set an initial goal of walking for 15 minutes, 3 days per week. You can then gradually build that up to where you’re walking for 30 minutes, 5 days per week. Doing too much too soon typically leads to soreness and fatigue, which will quickly damper your motivation level.
The same goes for the actual fitness goals you’re looking to reach. When setting exercise goals (see post), make sure they’re achievable so you don’t become discouraged. Trust me – setting out in late October to lose 25 pounds for your high school reunion a month later will end in disappointment. Exercise goals need to be challenging, but if they’re not feasible from the start, you’re pretty much doomed.
Vary Your Workouts.
Changing up your workouts is important for many reasons and staying motivated is one of them. Let’s face it – you’re bound to get bored and lose interest if you keep doing the same exercise routine over and over. Your body adapts to the same old movements and you’ll eventually hit a plateau, causing your progress to come to a screeching halt. This is the point where many people “jump ship” on their home workouts. Switching things up regularly not only keeps your workouts fresh, but helps you stay physically challenged as you push towards your goals.
There are many ways to inject new life into your workouts. One way is to simply raise the intensity of your activities. For example, if you walk, try adding some intervals of jogging or take a route that has a few more hills. With resistance training, be sure to incorporate different exercises into your workouts at least every couple of weeks. (Don’t be afraid to increase your weights either!) Most importantly, find activities you enjoy doing – swimming, tennis, racquetball, biking, hiking, ballroom dancing – the list is endless. Remember, your workouts shouldn’t be drudgery – it’s ok to have some fun too!
Have a Support System.
Having a friend (or friends) to exercise with might be exactly what you need to stay on track. One thing’s for sure – you’re much less likely to be skipping workouts if you know someone else is waiting for you to show up. However, if do you choose to recruit a workout partner, make sure it’s someone who is as driven as you are (or more) to meet their goals. Keep in mind that you want someone to lift you up, not pull you down.
Besides a workout partner, there are other ways to be held accountable to your exercise goals. Joining a group like Weight Watchers might be the level of motivational support you need. They have meetings both in person and online. Then, or course, you can always hire a personal trainer. They should not only provide you with accountability, but also help keep your home workouts fresh and challenging. Just remember: If you do reach out to others for support, make sure they provide nothing but positive vibes!
I honestly believe that if you employ these strategies, your chances of reaching your fitness goals will increase exponentially. On the other side of the coin, discount them, and I think you’re in for some tough sledding along the way. Constantly getting frustrated is not the way to go with anything you do, and your home workout program is no exception. So why not avoid it?
I hope that helps,
PaulShare With Friends: