Your alarm goes off early in the morning and you lay there while the voices inside your head argue about getting out of bed and fitting in a daily exercise routine. Everyone experiences this fight in decisions about exercise regardless of the time of day. More often than not, the voice that is telling us it is easier, less exhausting, and less stressful to skip exercise wins. The worse part is the voice is lying to you. An astounding 85% of Americans are still not exercising on a regular basis and their health and well being are suffering. They are more likely to be tired, obese, stressed, depressed, and more at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure just to name a few.
There are so many ways to get yourself motivated other than waiting until January to make your annual New Year’s resolution that you’ll never keep. So let’s get motivated and turn the table on the voice in our heads that is telling us to skip exercise.
First, make a plan and create a schedule
Choose the days of the week and the times on each of those days that you plan to exercise then add them to your calendar just as you would any other commitment or appointment.
Set a workout schedule that is reasonable and attainable. Remember, you want to create an exercise routine that you are going to be able to sustain long-term. Once you start to feel good physically and gain confidence in your ability to keep your current commitment, then consider ramping up your routine by increasing the frequency or duration of your workouts. If you are not currently exercising, start twice/week for 1 hour or 3 times/week for 30-40 minutes. Your end goal should be to exercise 3-5 times/week (combining cardio and muscular strength training) for 60 minutes at an intense level or 90 minutes at a moderate-low intensity.
Make exercising convenient
Engage in exercise that doesn’t require you to travel more than 20 minutes. If you can’t get to your Gaia Fit classes (or other fitness classes) or the gym, exercise at home. Walk or run in your neighborhood, do your Gaia Fit fitness homework, and if you have to, exercise along with your favorite fitness DVD.
Ask your friends and family to support you in your fitness goals
Even better, ask them to exercise with you. If you can’t hold yourself accountable, ask someone to text or call you on the days your supposed to exercise to make sure you are following through.
Set your fitness goals and track your progress.
Use something as simple as a journal or one of the great fitness and nutrition apps like My Fitness Pal, my personal favorite.
Reward yourself for sticking to your fitness plan and achieving your short and long term goals
I reward myself for sticking to my weekly exercise schedule with small rewards like pedicures. Make the rewards a little bigger for long-term goals. When I reach long-term goals like weight loss or improved strength, speed, and endurance, I reward myself with new workout clothes or a night out with friends.