When starting your exercising routine, it’s common to have an abundance of enthusiasm. You’re excited to begin and eager to see results. But that eagerness can quickly give way to discouragement if you don’t see immediate changes or feel as though progress is taking too long. Feeling stagnant can lead individuals to exercise less and less due to seeing their work amount to very little, but knowing fitness tips on how to stay motivated to exercise can prevent this feeling.
By having strategies to turn to, you can maintain your motivation levels to keep you going, even during weeks where you see less progress than you would’ve hoped. Consider these when starting your journey into exercising to prevent discouragement or burnout.
Give Yourself Goals
Every weight loss journey begins with having a goal in mind that you must reach. Without any concept of where you want to end up, your efforts can be unfocused, leading to stagnation in weight loss. But these goals that you set do not have to be long-term ones. They can also be milestones that you want to achieve from week to week or even from one day to the next.
Always Show up With a Plan
Regardless of whether you go into the gym or do exercises at home, you need to know what you’re doing on that particular day. You need to have a plan regarding what machines you’re going to use, how long you’re going to use them, what intensity you’ll set them at, and how many sets or repetitions you’re going to do. Having this plan will keep your efforts focused and ensure that you’re exercising the necessary parts of the body for maximum effect.
Keep Your Goals Realistic
Having high standards for yourself isn’t necessarily bad, but there’s a fine line between having high standards and unreasonable expectations. You need to know how much exercising your body can realistically handle from day to day; otherwise, you run the risk of sustaining an injury or experiencing fatigue. Start with smaller, more easily attainable goals and follow those up with more challenging ones to push yourself further. Just be sure not to push yourself too hard.
Keep Records of Your Progress
Having goals may not always be enough to keep you motivated. You may also need to keep track of what you’ve done to truly have an idea of the effort you’ve put in and the progress you’ve made. After you’ve complete an exercise session, write down what you’ve accomplished on that particular day, and at the end of every week, record how much weight you’ve lost.
Physical Evidence of Your Accomplishments
Exercising and reading numbers off of a scale can be too abstract to find much meaning from, but having your progress written down serves as a physical copy of the growth you’ve achieved. It reminds you that what you’re doing is working and that you’re better than you used to be. Even when you feel you haven’t made the progress you want, you can look back to see just how far you’ve come.
Fit Exercise Into Your Day-to-Day Routine
There may be days when you don’t have time to dedicate to full exercising sessions, but it’s still important to get in some physical activity. This can take the form of walking to the store or riding your bike. You could also take time during your lunch break at work to do some light exercises or go for a walk.
Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle
While these little additions to your day may seem as though they do not offer sufficient exercise, they add up over time and are far more beneficial than remaining inactive and sedentary. Even if you’re at home and watching the television at the end of your day, try doing some activity instead of being stationary on your couch. Sitting and remaining unmoving for long periods of time is unhealthy for the body, so you should intersperse idle moments with physical activity, no matter how light and mundane the exercising may be.
Have a Support System
Surround yourself with loved ones that will support and encourage you on your journey. Have people who will keep you accountable if you haven’t been meeting your goals or have neglected to go to the gym. Having someone who will accompany you to the gym and exercise with you can help you get more out of your workouts since you can work together.
Make Your Activity Fun
A gym’s environment can at times feel sterile, boring, and unfulfilling. These feelings can be enough to drive you away due to the monotony of regular exercising sessions. This is why it’s important to mix up your physical activity with activities that you find compelling, enjoyable, and stimulating. Whether you find excitement from doing sports like soccer and volleyball or activities like dancing, martial arts training, and outdoor running, finding ways to exercise while also having fun will keep you driven.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Variety
Getting out of your everyday routine of going to the gym can refresh you and renew your dedication to your exercising plan. Spending time away from the gym to try other activities can rejuvenate you and give you a new source of motivation that will get you out of a potential rut. Spending too long in one place can make you feel stagnant, which makes variety a necessity to maintain motivation levels.
Know What Your Body Needs
Knowing how to stay motivated when exercising is one of the most vital skills you can have on your weight loss journey. However, there may be other issues you need to deal with that can prevent you from seeing the progress you want. For instance, you may have chemical imbalances in your body that slow its fat-burning rate, resulting in very little weight loss despite your hard work.
Dr. Philip Rabito is an endocrinologist in New York City who helps patients navigate their way through their unique chemical issues to get them on track with their weight goals.