It's recommended that Americans get about 20 minutes of exercise every day. It may not sound like a huge undertaking, but nearly half of adults currently fall short of that goal.
We all know that exercise is good for the body, and if we are brutally honest with ourselves, we probably have 20 minutes a day to do some form of it.
So why don’t we? What holds us back? Is it really those precious 20 minutes; is it the fact that we think exercise only counts if you're on a treadmill; is it the fear of being judged by others at the gym; or are we just that exhausted?
If you’re nodding your head right now, then you understand. However, we can overcome all of those reasons listed above. With a few strategic efforts, we can gain the motivation to get moving!
Tip # 1
Start small and slow. Do not give yourself unrealistic, unattainable goals. For example, your first exercise goal could be to take two walks each week. You can choose the days, you can choose the times, and you can choose to walk alone or with company.
As you walk, you may find that you enjoy it. You start walking several times a week, then jogging, maybe even running. You decide to try a 5K, then a marathon, then an Iron Man. Small goals can build into huge achievements!
Tip # 2
There are countless forms of exercise. If the treadmill isn’t your thing, don’t use the treadmill. Honestly! If you try to force yourself into a workout that you despise, you’ll never succeed long-term.
Find some type of physical activity that you enjoy. Surfing, kayaking, yoga, swimming, jump rope, skiing, anything! You’ll be much more likely to stick with it if you enjoy doing it. Check out this article of 10 Fun Ways to Get Fit Without a Gym!
Tip # 3
Goals help you get excited about fitness, and you are more likely to achieve those goals when you have help. Choose a work out buddy. This should be someone who has similar goals, who you know is dependable. This person can be a motivator and accountability partner for you.
Not only do you get the benefit of their participation, they get the benefit of yours! Victories, defeats, successes, and challenges, all are made better when they are shared.
Even if they don’t join you in your workouts, family members and friends can be wonderful motivators, as well. Never underestimate having your own personal team of cheerleaders!
Tip # 4
Don’t forget a healthy dose of competition! Even if you don’t have a competitive nature, seek out an individual or a group that is just a little better or faster than you. By identifying people that have already met our goals, when can better learn how to achieve those goals. Seeing someone else succeed at a task you want to accomplish, makes you that much more driven to win.
That competition doesn’t have to stop when you leave the gym. Social media is an incredibly powerful platform you can utilize to get closer to your goals. For example, create a group on social media and invite friends to post their fitness goals to the group board each week.
Everyone then reports back to the group on how they did. Fitness milestones can be celebrated as a group, and if you’re lagging, your group will call you on it and push you to improve. You don’t have to belong to the same gym, let alone the same state, but are still supporting and encouraging one another.
Tip # 5
If all else fails… put your money where your mouth is! Bet on your success – literally. There are fitness accountability apps you can download and attach to your bank account. You set your goals, then attach a monetary amount to each one. If you do not achieve your goal, the app deducts the wagered amount from your bank account. If you achieve your goal (verified by the app’s fitness tracker,) you earn your money back, plus an achievement bonus!
When it comes to fitness, there are many ways to get motivated and stay that way. It all comes down to finding what works best for you. No one else is going to set your goals for you, and no one else is going to achieve them for you either. It’s up to you… and you can do it!