It used to be the freshman 15, but now it’s the Zoom 15. The seemingly endless COVID-19 crisis has literally weighed people down, even when they know weight gain is bad for their health. You know you have to get moving but just don’t have the gumption to get off the couch after a long day at the computer. For the sake of your health, we offer these tips on how to motivate yourself to start working out. As always, get the OK from your doctor before pursuing any exercise program.
Believe That It Will Make You Feel Better
Exercise releases endorphins—the “happy” neurotransmitter that contributes to upbeat feelings. Although starting a work out feels like a chore, once exercising is a habit, it will be a tough one to break. Your brain wants the clarity and the surge of satisfaction you get when you exercise.
Identify a Reward
Ambitious goals are terrific but easily disappointed. Instead of blasting off with unattainable expectations, set yourself a realistic reward for getting through a goal of 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. It can be an extra episode of your favorite TV series or ordering a new bestseller to read.
Mix It Up with a Program
Online fitness coaches and personal trainers offer a variety of programs tailored to different ability levels. Choose a program that offers a progression or a variety of different routines to keep you interested. Doing the same movements over and over is boring, and sometimes doesn’t provide the mix of cardio (aerobic) work with strength (resistance) exercises that benefits the whole body. After a free sampling of beginner workouts , you’ll probably have to subscribe to access additional workouts at higher intensities. For many people, committing some cash is motivation enough—failing to follow through is throwing money away.
Identify and Address What’s Holding You Back
Ask yourself why you want to start working out. Visualize the outcome you’re seeking. According to Dr. Gabrielle Oettingen, a psychologist at New York University, to truly motivate yourself, you must couple your fantasy outcome with a realistic assessment of what’s standing in your way. If you recognize the obstacle, you can come up with a plan to overcome it. If you need more sleep, change the time of day you work out. If you have a problem with junk food, figure out what causes you to crave it, and find a healthy substitution when that craving hits.
Once you succeed in motivating yourself to start working out, you should see benefits in many parts of your life—a more positive attitude, a fitter body, and more energy. If you’ve been diligently exercising and you aren’t getting the results you hoped for, consult your doctor. You may get a recommendation to see an endocrinologist to determine if hormonal imbalances are affecting your success. As a top endocrinologist in New York City , Dr. Philp Rabito can identify hormonal issues and help with nutrition and diet to help you reach your goals.