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In the 21st century, people are struggling with obesity in epidemic proportions. The number of people who are overweight has been rising since about 1980, and the proportion of people who are obese is over 30 percent in most industrialized countries. In addition to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, there are also social issues that come from being overweight such as low self-esteem and discrimination.
One way to try to combat this problem is by starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine. However, for many people, getting started can be the hardest part. Here are 13 ways to motivate yourself to workout:
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Table of contents
- 1. Make a commitment
- 2. Set a goal
- 3. Track your progress
- 4. Find activities that you enjoy
- 5. Find a working-out partner
- 6. Have a goal outfit
- 7. Go for quality over quantity
- 8. Create a playlist
- 9. Take before and after pictures
- 10. Learn to delete guilt
- 11. Ignore the past
- 12. Invest in good gym clothes
- 13. Have some basic workout equipment at home
- Visualization Techniques: Creating Mental Images of Success
- The Power of Music: Crafting the Ultimate Workout Playlist
- Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Make a commitment
If you have never worked out before, start with small goals. Commit to working out three times a week for the next month. This is much more manageable than committing to going every day, and if you feel yourself losing motivation after a week or two, you can just switch back to 3 days per week. Once that becomes a habit, you might want to increase the number of days you work out.
2. Set a goal
Whether it is to lose weight, run a marathon, or just be able to fit into your old jeans again, having a goal gives you something to strive for. When you are feeling lazy or don’t want to get out of bed, you can think about how great it will feel when you have reached your goal.
3. Track your progress
Keep a record of your workout progress over the first couple of weeks. Write down how many days you worked out and what activities you did so that if you feel like giving up, you can look back and see all the progress that you have made. Seeing how far you have come should motivate you to keep going. You might even try posting these on a calendar so you can look at them every day.
4. Find activities that you enjoy
There are many different types of exercise from yoga to swimming, but not everyone enjoys the same thing. Figure out what types of workouts you really enjoy and branch out from there. You might find one or two things that you love and decide to go with those. This way, you won’t dread working out and it will be more likely to become a habit.
5. Find a working-out partner
A great way to find workout motivation is to have someone else hold you accountable. Find a friend or family member who wants to start working out with you, and then set a schedule for when you will work out together. This method has two benefits: the first is that you will be less likely to skip workouts because your partner will expect you to show up, and the second is that it can be very fun to exercise with someone else.
6. Have a goal outfit
Just like rewarding yourself when you reach other milestones in life, it helps if there are rewards for your hard work at the gym. For example, buy a new outfit that you can only wear when you reach your goal weight or look for activewear with inspirational phrases on them to remind yourself of why you workout and what you are working towards.
7. Go for quality over quantity
Many people suggest that you have to exercise every day in order to see results. However, this is not always the case. What matters most is how strenuous your workout is rather than just going through the motions. So instead of committing to working out for an hour or more a day, try splitting up your workouts into smaller sessions spaced throughout the day. This will help to make your workouts more manageable and less daunting.
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8. Create a playlist
Working out is not always the most fun, but it can be a bit more enjoyable if you have some good music to listen to. Music can help to set the tone for your workout and make it feel more like a party than a chore. So choose your favorite songs and put together a playlist that will keep you moving.
9. Take before and after pictures
Taking pictures is a great way to see your progress and will be an incredibly rewarding experience. A week, two weeks or even a month may not seem like much when you look in the mirror, but over time, these small changes can add up and lead to some pretty big results! Take pictures and compare them every so often so that you can see how far you have come.
10. Learn to delete guilt
One of the main things that can hold people back from working out is feeling guilty about not being active enough. However, this does not do anyone any good. If you miss a workout, it is okay! Just make sure that you don’t let that keep you from working out the next day. Try to forgive yourself and then refocus on your next workout.
11. Ignore the past
Similarly, do not dwell on past workouts that you may have missed or were not as successful as you wanted them to be. This will only discourage you and make it harder to get back on track. Just because you had a bad day yesterday does not mean that today has to be the same. Start fresh each day and give yourself the best chance to accomplish your goals.
12. Invest in good gym clothes
It is much more motivating to work out when you feel good about yourself. One way to do this is by wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. When you look good, you will feel better, and this will help to push you through your workouts. So don’t be afraid to invest in some good-quality activewear that makes you feel great.
13. Have some basic workout equipment at home
Imagine if you could work out anytime, anywhere without having to leave your house. This is a possibility if you have some basic workout equipment at home. This can include things like a yoga mat, resistance bands, and a jump rope. This will allow you to take advantage of those times when you may not have time to go to the gym or when the weather is not cooperating.
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Visualization Techniques: Creating Mental Images of Success
Visualization, also known as mental imagery or mental rehearsal, is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your workout motivation and performance. By creating vivid mental images of success, you can tap into the potential of your mind to drive positive outcomes in your fitness journey. Let’s explore the art of visualization and how it can transform your exercise experience.
- The Science Behind Visualization:
Visualization operates on the principle that the brain cannot always distinguish between imagined experiences and real ones. When you vividly imagine yourself achieving a fitness goal or performing a workout flawlessly, your brain activates similar neural pathways as it would during the actual activity.
- Creating Your Mental Movie:
Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and imagine yourself engaged in your desired workout or fitness activity. Picture the setting, the environment, and your own actions with as much detail as possible.
- Engaging All Your Senses:
To make your mental imagery more potent, engage all your senses. Feel the sensation of your muscles contracting and releasing, hear the sounds associated with your chosen activity, and even imagine the scents and tastes that might be present.
- Embrace Positive Emotions:
As you visualize your success, infuse your mental images with positive emotions. Feel the excitement, satisfaction, and pride that come with achieving your fitness goals. These emotions will amplify the impact of your visualization.
- Use Specific Goals:
Be specific in your visualization. Instead of simply imagining “working out,” focus on a particular exercise or goal. Whether it’s completing a challenging yoga pose, lifting a certain weight, or running a specific distance, clarity enhances the effectiveness of your imagery.
- Repetition and Consistency:
Just like physical training, the more you practice visualization, the more impactful it becomes. Dedicate time each day to engage in this mental exercise. Over time, your mind becomes conditioned to align with your visualized successes.
- Boosting Confidence and Motivation:
Visualization helps build self-confidence by allowing you to experience success in your mind before manifesting it in reality. It can also increase motivation as you envision the rewards of your efforts and see yourself overcoming challenges.
- Applying Visualization to Different Scenarios:
Visualization isn’t limited to workouts alone. You can use it to prepare for various situations, such as managing pre-workout nerves, tackling a difficult exercise, or even navigating a race or competition.
- Mindfulness and Flow State:
Visualization encourages mindfulness by focusing your attention on the present moment and the task at hand. It can also help you enter a flow state, where you’re fully absorbed in the activity and performing at your best.
Aligning Your Thoughts and Actions:
By consistently visualizing success, you’re reinforcing a positive mindset and programming your subconscious mind to align with your goals. This alignment between your thoughts and actions can drive you toward tangible results.
Incorporating visualization into your fitness routine can be a game-changer, offering a mental edge that amplifies your efforts. Whether you’re aiming to conquer a new personal record, perfect your form, or achieve a specific fitness goal, visualization can be your secret weapon to turn your aspirations into reality.
Working out does not have to be a daunting task. By following these tips, you can make it more manageable and less stressful. And remember, Rome was not built in a day. So don’t expect to see drastic changes overnight – be patient and stay focused on your goals. You will get there in the end!
The Power of Music: Crafting the Ultimate Workout Playlist
Music has a remarkable ability to energize, motivate, and enhance your workout experience. Crafting the ultimate workout playlist isn’t just about selecting catchy tunes—it’s about curating a collection of tracks that sync perfectly with your fitness goals and rhythm. Discover the transformative impact of music on your workouts and learn how to create a playlist that propels you to new heights.
- Rhythmic Synchronization:
Music’s rhythmic qualities have a profound impact on movement. When you choose songs with a tempo that matches your exercise pace, you naturally sync up with the beat, making your workout feel smoother and more enjoyable.
- Boosting Energy and Focus:
Upbeat and energetic tracks have the power to instantly boost your mood and energy levels. They can propel you through challenging moments and help you maintain focus and determination.
- Elevating Performance:
Research shows that music can enhance performance by diverting attention from fatigue and discomfort. The right tunes can help you push through those extra reps or run that extra mile, reaching new levels of achievement.
- Creating Emotional Connection:
Music has the ability to evoke emotions and memories. Select tracks that resonate with you on a personal level, as they can elicit positive emotions that translate into motivation and drive.
- Mind-Body Connection:
The mind-body connection is essential in workouts. Music can enhance this connection by putting you in a flow state, where your movements feel effortless and natural, leading to optimal performance.
- Personalizing Your Playlist:
Crafting the ultimate workout playlist is a personalized endeavor. Choose songs that reflect your musical preferences and energize you. Whether it’s high-energy pop, rock anthems, or even soothing instrumentals, the key is to create a playlist that speaks to you.
- Building Momentum:
Begin your playlist with tracks that get your heart pumping and set the tone for an energetic session. As you progress, intersperse high-energy songs with slightly slower ones to maintain a sustainable pace.
- Matching Intensity Levels:
Tailor your music to the intensity of your workout. Pump up the tempo during high-intensity intervals and opt for more soothing tracks during cooldowns or stretches.
- Discovering New Favorites:
Use your playlist as an opportunity to explore new music. Discovering fresh tracks can reignite your excitement for workouts and keep your playlist feeling dynamic.
- Updating and Evolving:
Keep your playlist dynamic by regularly updating it with new songs. This prevents boredom and ensures that the music remains as invigorating as your workouts.
- Creating Playlists for Different Activities:
Consider crafting playlists for different types of workouts or activities. A high-intensity playlist for cardio sessions and a more calming one for yoga or stretching can cater to your diverse fitness needs.
- Using Music to Set the Tone:
Beyond enhancing performance, music can also set the tone for your workout environment. Upbeat tracks can create an atmosphere of energy, while calming melodies can encourage mindfulness and focus.
Crafting the ultimate workout playlist is an art that involves aligning the power of music with your fitness goals and preferences. Let your playlist become a reliable companion on your fitness journey, motivating you, boosting your spirits, and making each workout session an exhilarating experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to start working out depends on your current fitness level and goals. However, a good place to start is by gradually adding more activity into your day-to-day life. This could include taking a brisk walk in the morning or evening, biking to work, or doing some basic bodyweight exercises at home.
Exercise gives your body a chance to release endorphins, which are chemicals that have been shown to improve mood. It can also help you to find balance and take time for yourself. Taking care of yourself physically through exercise is just as important as taking care of yourself mentally.
Working out for 30-60 minutes per day is a good place to start. However, it is important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. If you are feeling overly tired or sore, it may be time to back off a bit and give yourself some time to recover.
There are countless workouts that you can do to get started. However, this is a list of three great workouts that you can start with today:
a) Jumping Jacks-Get into an athletic stance and then jump out while spreading your legs into a wide stance. Without pausing at the bottom, jump back up and repeat.
b) The Plank-Start in a pushup position and then hold your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Make sure that you engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
c) Burpees-Begin in a standing position. Then drop down into a pushup position. From the bottom of the pushup, bring your feet up toward your hands and jump at least 6 inches off of the ground. Repeat!
Not feeling motivated or excited is completely normal and happens to everyone. However, there are ways to motivate yourself and get back on track. Here are a few tips:
a) Take a look at your schedule for the week and plan to work out at least three times each week. If you only have time one day per week, then that day should be your “priority” workout where you do your best to stick to it.
b) Write down your fitness goals and post them in a visible place. This could be on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Seeing your goals each day will help to keep you motivated.
c) Think about the reasons why you want to work out. Maybe you want to lose weight, have more energy, or feel stronger. When you focus on the positive outcomes of working out, it can be easier to push yourself.
- Psychology Today – How to Get Motivated to Exercise: Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/intrinsic-motivation-and-magical-unicorns/202104/how-get-motivated-exercise
- American Heart Association – Get Motivated to Exercise: Link: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/get-motivated-to-exercise The America
- “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness” by Michelle Segar: Michelle Segar, a behavioral scientist, explores the science of motivation and how to create a sustainable exercise routine that aligns with your personal values and preferences.
- “The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter” by Martin Gibala: This book introduces the concept of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and how brief, intense workouts can be effective and motivating for time-conscious individuals.