Whether you’re starting a new program, coming back after a long time off or going to the gym for the first time, starting a fitness routine can be daunting. Sometimes it seems easier to just give up on it. Below are some tips to stay motivated and keep your fitness goals on track.
Going from never running a day in your life to training for a marathon is a recipe for disaster. You could get injured, but more likely you’ll get burnt out and discouraged trying to take on too much and end up quitting. Start with more manageable goals, like completing a 5K race or doing ten perfect pull-ups. Starting with more short-term goals makes them a little easier and quicker to reach, which can help you stay motivated to push for those bigger, long-term fitness goals.
Say you hate indoor swimming pools. Lap swimming obviously wouldn’t be your exercise of choice. To ensure you stick with your exercise program, pick an activity you enjoy doing. Too many people try to force themselves to be runners, spinners or yogis, even though they hate it. There are a million ways to exercise, so choose activities you can look forward to doing. If you’re excited about it, you’re more likely to keep at it.
Track your progress
Sometimes seeing the benefits of your hard work –such as increased endurance, strength or weight loss—can take a long time. Record your victories to remind yourself how far you’ve come, no matter how small they might seem. Even if it’s just five more minutes on the elliptical or a 6-pound dumbbell instead of 5 pounds, all those little achievements mean you’re making progress toward your larger goals. If all you do is just mark off workout days on a calendar, it’s a lot more fun when you can actually see your progress!
You’re not alone
When you’re a newbie, going to the gym and working out surrounded by super fit gym rats can make you want to walk right back out the door. Don’t! The truth is, no one at the gym is judging you. Everyone’s there to exercise and take care of their bodies—just like you! Plus, even the fittest, strongest person in the gym had to start somewhere. No one is born bench-pressing 250 pounds. Stick with your program, and soon the newbies will be admiring you.
Treat yo self!
It takes time, effort and dedication to stick to and complete a workout program. Maybe you’ve run your first race or finished your first competition. Maybe you’ve worked out every day for a month. Either way, you’ve probably skipped happy hours, favorite TV shows and opportunities to sleep late so you can get your workouts in. Reward yourself