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However good your fitness intentions, sometimes real life does a great job of getting in the way of them and your fitness motivation slumps. Whether yours have been waylaid by the fact that your usual fitness locations like the gym or swimming pool have been out of bounds, or because you’ve just been too busy adding ‘home-schooler’ to your growing to-do list, try these tricks to get you back on track…
1. Treat it as ‘me time’
When you’re exercising, there are no kids saying “Muuuuum”, no partner asking you what’s for dinner, and no boss asking you where that report is.
It’s just you. Enjoy it.
After your workout, treat yourself to some extra time to yourself – that might be a phone call with a friend, or upgrading your post-workout shower with your favourite sweet-smelling shower gel, shampoo and conditioner so it feels like a little quiet-time treat.
2. Set manageable targets
When thinking about goals to set for yourself, focus on feeling better rather than setting rigid goals for weight loss. Your weight can fluctuate depending on the time of day or time of the month, so start ignoring the scales and go for what makes you feel good. Instead of setting a goal weight, make feeling good in your favourite jeans your workout goal.
3. Don’t just focus on the outside
You’re likely to reach moments when you feel frustrated because the hard work you’re putting in seems to have few physical results, but it takes patience and perseverance to see a real change on the outside – and you will get there.
In the meantime, focus on how much good the exercise and healthy eating is doing for your vital organs, brain and wellbeing. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins too, so you’ll generally feel happier, have more energy and will feel better about yourself.
4. Try something new
It’s important that you enjoy the exercise, otherwise it will feel like a chore. Even if you’re happy with your current routine, don’t stop trying new things. There are so many online tutorials out there, from aerobics to Zumba, so you could try something different each time!
5. Find an exercise buddy
Some people can find it so much harder to motivate themselves to exercise if they have to go it alone. Your buddy could be an online tutor, who makes sure you turn up to class, or you could FaceTime a friend while you’re both lifting weights to motivate each other!
6. Buy some fancy fitness gear
You’re not going to feel very inspired to exercise if all you have is an oversized old T-shirt, some black-turned-grey leggings and a pair of battered old trainers.
Treat yourself to some gear that’s colourful, breathable and comfortable. You can buy some decent budget leggings and tops, but you should invest in a good pair of trainers. Buy ones suited to your exercise of choice (i.e running trainers, or ones with flatter soles for stability when doing weights) – and don’t forget to buy a decent sports bra!
If you can stretch to it, have three outfits you can wear on rotation and throw them all in the wash on your rest day.
7. Listen to your body
We are all unique and what works for one person may not work for another.
While your friend may have achieved the body of her dreams by hitting the treadmill every day, your body may shape up more quickly doing resistance training.
As you experiment with what you enjoy doing, also pay attention to how it makes your body feel and how it responds. If you learn what works for you and your body, you’ll see results more quickly – and enjoy the exercise more too.
What are your tips for keeping yourself motivated to exercise?
Let us know in the comments section below.