We all know that regular exercise is good for the mind and body. The problem is that it is just so darned hard to stay motivated. How many of us have embarked on exercise programs in earnest, only to give up a few weeks in?
At the Mcycle indoor cycling studio in Salt Lake City, they rely on a combination of trained instructors and high-energy music to motivate riders. They have an advantage in that people who have paid for classes are already motivated – they do not want to waste the money. But what about people who exercise at home?
Whether you prefer indoor cycling, running, walking or any other form of exercise, your biggest hurdle to doing it might be motivation. If that’s the case, here are five ways to better motivate yourself:
1. Exercise for a Cause
In these troubled times, some people have discovered that getting involved in causes offers a dose of hope and purpose. If that sounds like you, why not combine exercise with a favorite cause? It is not hard to do. Most locales offer a full variety of charity events on a regular basis. You can exercise and simultaneously raise money for suicide prevention, Alzheimer’s research, cancer research, etc.
For the time being, live events are being postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. But no worries. Many of them are being converted to virtual events. You exercise on your schedule and report the results through a mobile app. You still get to help the cause and you get a medal to boot!
2. Start an Exercise Group
Some people find motivation in the company of others. If that sounds like you, consider starting your own exercise group. Contact friends and family members and invite them to join you a few times per week for a group run or walk. Or commit to going to the gym for daily indoor cycling.
3. Join a Workplace Challenge
There are some workplaces at which employees get together and issue exercise challenges. They might challenge everyone to use the lunch hour for a brisk walk around town. If any such challenges are ongoing at your workplace, join up. And if not, start one. Workplace challenges have a habit of motivating people out of a sense of competition and workplace loyalty.
4. Schedule Your Exercise
Some people are not as easily motivated as others. They don’t respond to challenges and group exercise. But they do live and die by a schedule. If that sounds like you, the best way to motivate yourself might be as simple as scheduling exercise into your day. If you see it on the schedule, you are bound and determined to do it.
5. Create Some Sort of Incentive
Most of us are more motivated to do things we dislike when there is an incentive involved. There are lots of ways you could create an incentive to exercise. One example involves leaving the car at home and riding your bike to and from work.
Commuting by bike will actually save you money by reducing fuel consumption. You can incentivize yourself by taking the money you would otherwise spend on gas and setting it aside for something else. Maybe you can save up extra spending money for this year’s vacation. Maybe there is a new restaurant in town that is normally too expensive for you. The money you save could pay for a romantic dinner with your significant other.
Motivation is the number one problem for a lot of people who fail to get regular exercise. Perhaps some of the suggestions offered here could make the difference for you.