From time to time all of us need a little boost to keep working out. Going to the same gym five times a week for months on end can lead to boredom and boredom leads to eventually giving up. But there are things you can do to keep motivating yourself to continue. Living a life of fitness and health is challenging yet it is not impossible. The truth is, with self-discipline and dedication, it is possible to improve your habits and finally remove those habits that affect your health.
You’ll notice with experience a great motivator for your action plan
Here are five ways:
1) Change it up
All of us do it, get stuck doing the same routine or workout over and over. But eventually our body gets used to doing the same thing, and it becomes more efficient at what we do. It is then that you’ll notice you are not losing as much weight as you once did. .. and that is why you’ve hit a plateau.
To motivate yourself mentally and your body physically, change your routine every month or so. It will stimulate your mind and body. You’ll notice that you will start losing weight again.
Competition is the best workout motivation, study finds
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 69% of Americans 18-24 years of age failed to meet the federal guidelines for physical activity in 2014.
To remedy the situation, researchers and governments have tried to uncover key motivators for people to maintain a schedule of physical activity, as well as cost-effective strategies to increase motivation.
Teaming up with friends and engaging in physical activity routines together is thought to be good for starting a new fitness routine, as the psychological costs of changing behavior are easier to bear in companionship.
But how does social media affect our motivation? Does a friendly, supportive environment help promote physical activity? Or might competition be more effective?
The study involved 790 graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania who signed up for an 11-week exercise program called “PennShape.” The exercise program consisted of weekly exercise classes that included running, spinning, yoga, and weightlifting.
The program also included fitness training and nutrition advice, which were all managed through a website created by the researchers. At the end of the program, those who attended the most classes won rewards and cash prizes.
In order to see how social media affected the participants, researchers divided them into four groups of six persons each: support team, competition team, a combined team with both support and competition, and a control group.
All the groups had access to online leaderboards, but for each group, leaderboards showed different things.
The competition team could see a leaderboard of how well other teams did. Competition-driven teams were rewarded based on the average number of classes attended. The competition-driven individuals in the combined group could see how well other anonymous program members performed. They also earned prizes based on their class attendance.
In the team support group, participants could chat online and encourage their teammates to exercise. The support group did not know how well other teams performed.
The control group did not know about any social connectivity on the website.
Competition motivated participants to exercise overwhelmingly more than social support. In fact, attendance rates were 90% higher in the competition-motivated group and the combined group, compared with the other two groups that had no competition.
2) Exercise with a friend
Exercising with a friend is a great motivator. When you don’t feel like practising, you will anyway so that you don’t let your friend down. And if the truth is known, your friend might not felt like exercising either, but your commitment to each other keeps both of you going. Plus it gives you someone to talk to while exercising.
3) Set a goal
All of us are goal-oriented to one extent or another. While it is not a bad thing, keep in mind that a goal should be SMART:
• Time Bound.
If it is not all these things, you’ll soon give up.
4) Rewards yourself
That “carrot on the end of a stick” is a great motivator. What is it you want? Perhaps a new workout outfit in a smaller size, a new designer purse, or how about a new piece of exercise equipment. Whatever it is, it has to be something worthwhile and that you can afford to buy. Visualizing your reward for completing your goal will keep you going until the end. Try it!
5) Make a contract with yourself
Once you put a goal “out there” whether that is putting it in writing and hanging it on the frig or by telling your friends, family members or co-workers, you will be motivated to complete it; fear of failing is a strong motivator itself.
As part of your contract, make sure you address a particular goal and an action plan on how to accomplish it. Your action plan can be a to-do list or one with milestones or checkpoints along the way. You need some form of being able to track your progress, so you know you are still on track.
Regular exercise is a vital part of our health, and the Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. However, as pointed out by Mental Floss, there are also a lot of misconceptions about when and how you should get in this exercise. For example, although it’s widely believed that it’s best to work out first thing in the morning, Mental Floss explained that there is no ideal time to work out, and exercise in the afternoon or evening can be just as effective.
In addition, the quality of workout can also differ depending on your gender. For example, as explained in the video, although men on average finish marathons quicker than women, women are better able to keep a consistent pace throughout the entirety of the race. In addition, gender differences can also account for differences in your workout soundtrack. Studies have shown that women tend to opt for Lady Gaga and Rihanna when breaking a sweat, while men prefer the rap lyrics of Eminem, Mental Floss reported.
If you have trouble sticking with a workout plan, incorporate these five tips to motivate you to continue to completion. You’ll be surprised just how effective they are!