Do you start the year off full of good intentions to lose weight and get fit, only to find yourself back on the sofa in your comfies come February?
Us too. But with the help of a few motivational tricks, you’ll start to see exercising as something to look forward to – yes really!
Try these seven tips and let us know how you get on in the comments section below.
1. Treat it as ‘me time’
When you’re exercising, there are no kids saying “Muuuuum”, no husband 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 time in the sauna or go for a fruit smoothie with someone from your class.
When you grab a post-workout shower, bring your own sweet-smelling shower gel, shampoo and conditioner so it feels like a little quiet-time treat. Also make sure you slip a Venus Snap razor with portable case in your gym bag so you can treat yourself to silky smooth legs too.
2. Set manageable targets
If you want to lose weight, have a goal in mind and break it down into monthly targets. For example, if you want to lose two stone, that can feel like a lot. But if you break it down into manageable chunks, say 5lb a month, it will feel a lot more achievable.
And don’t forget to make a plan for after you’ve lost the weight. It’s tempting to feel like you’ve ‘done it’ once you’ve reached your goal, but it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle afterwards too in order to maintain your healthy weight.
3. Don’t just focus on the outside
While it’s likely that you want to get slimmer or more toned (who doesn’t?), your main goal should simply be to get fitter and healthier.
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. Try a different class at the gym each week and see what fits; think of what sports you enjoyed playing when you were younger and join a local club; go for a run and focus on how it helps you clear your mind; hit the weights at the gym and take your stress out on the equipment.
Keep it varied so you don’t get bored. For example, Zumba class Monday, netball Wednesday and a run in the park on Saturday morning.
5. Find an exercise buddy
It’s so much harder to motivate yourself to exercise if you have to go it alone. If you have a friend you can work out with, you’ll pep each other up when you’re not in the mood and won’t want to let each other down by bailing. Of course you can also use it as an opportunity for a good gossip – but don’t forget to work out while you’re at it!
6. Buy some fancy fitness gear
You’re not going to feel very inspired to exercise if all you have is your husband’s 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.