There are certain keys to a healthy life and one of the major ones is exercise. We absolutely need it, there is no getting around it; our body is designed to move and work in order to achieve optimum health both physically and mentally. Despite this, for various reasons, it is one of the things that can fall by the wayside when life gets in the way.
Busy schedules lead to prioritisation and exercise can often get pushed to the back of the queue. It can also be really difficult to find and maintain the motivation to do it – we know we should – but sometimes you just can’t muster the get-up-and-go.
Whatever your drive happens to be, this blog is intended to help you find that motivation needed to kick start your fitness regime and keep it up.
Motivation is different for everyone. Some of us are moved to lose weight, some want to tone muscle, some just love the feeling after a good workout. A lot of us exercise for health reasons, for others it can be a social affair and for many it is just because we are supposed to! We often think about how to get fit, but we also need to consider how to maintain that fitness.
Personally, I really love it when I find my fitness rhythm, I feel energised, inspired, alive and empowered. I get so elated that I can’t wait to feel like that again. But it can be so easy to slip out of the routine and so hard to get back into it.
Writing this blog was part of a personal journey to help me regain that urge to get fit again and stay that way. Having researched into the psychology and a whole variety of methods, I have selected my favourites (which have worked so far for me!) which seem to be the most productive and achievable.
An average adult should exercise gently for 150 minutes per week or vigorously for 75 minutes per week, minimum. In addition to this we should also be doing strengthening exercises. First you need to figure out why you are doing this, what is driving you, and then consistently use this as a reminder when you have moments of deflation or lack of will power.
It is best to avoid an over-zealous start to your fitness routine. Don’t jump in all guns blazing and do too much, you wont feel any instant benefit and you may find it very hard to maintain something which is above your capability. Work towards your goals gradually, do a little every day and build it as you go.
Find a target and put it out there. Sign up for a 5K run, a triathlon, a 20K hike, a challenging bike tour. Find something you would like to achieve, and work towards it. Make sure it’s realistic and you can actually adapt your life around meeting the goal, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure. Find a fitness schedule that will help you meet the levels required for your goal online (there are plenty of resources available) and stick to it.
Make a date
It is all about the schedule. If you have set times and days when you are dedicated to your exercise you are far more likely to achieve your goals. Try to carve out an hour per day when you can be good to yourself. One day could be dedicated to a treatment such as a massage, another to vigorous exercise, another to yoga or a good stretch, another to a meditation session for example. You don’t always have to do lengthy, strenuous exercise sessions, you can work hard for fifteen minutes and spend the rest of the hour relaxing with a good book.
Variation or master
Try not to stick to one type of exercise, keep things varied and exciting and you’ll be far less likely to grow tired of it. However, if there is a certain sport or activity you really want to master this can be motivation in itself. Karate, for example, rewards those taking part by achieving new levels and actually receiving a belt for all your efforts. This psychologically encourages us to continue as, emotionally, we enjoy the feeling of reward.
Write it down
Studies show that people who keep a journal of their exercise routines, diet, weight, and appearance, etc. are far more likely to succeed and also maintain their fitness. Be sure to include how you feel, as positive emotional reactions will give you the motivation to keep going.
Get someone involved
Research shows that we are far more likely to continue an exercise regime if we have someone to share our progress with. Preferably not a close friend or family member but someone who solely relates to your fitness. Someone you can bounce all your feelings off before, during and after a fitness session. This is shown to boost morale, dedication and motivate you to show up as there will be someone there waiting for you!
The Four Day Rule
Never allow more than four days between exercise sessions. If you know you have a busy few days coming up make sure you get your fitness in beforehand and plan the next. If you stick to this and it works for you, perhaps eventually make it a three day rule, and so on!
And a little extra advice from me is: leave your phone in the locker, in a different room, or locked in the car – avoiding any distractions is key for me to keep focussed on the task at hand. It is so easy to stop and look at your phone and become involved in something outside of your exercise.
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows! Good luck!
Enrol with us and become a Holistic Therapist
If you’re thinking of getting serious with your stretching habits, we offer a diploma-correspondent course in Yoga which entitles you to teach anywhere in the world. If it’s exercise in general that fascinates you, try our Sports and Exercise Nutrition course, or our Sports Psychology & Dynamics course – both are the perfect complimentary qualification for any holistic practice. Whatever you choose here with us at The School of Natural Health Sciences, you can be sure that your CV, spectrum of knowledge, and outlook on life will be forever enriched.
- View our A-Z of Holistic Therapy Courses – there are 62 to choose from!
- View our 21st anniversary special course offers
- View our worldwide accreditations
- Contact us for more information, we’d love to hear from you!