Committing to an active lifestyle is often easier said than done. Unless you live and breathe fitness, it can be difficult to convince yourself to get out of bed and exercise.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies out there that can help you stick to a healthier lifestyle.
To give you a head start, here are five ways to stay motivated when it comes to your fitness goals:
1. Get the Right Gear
It might seem shallow at first, but getting the opportunity to wear cute workout gear can sometimes be enough motivation to get you through a session.
This idea is based on research conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, which shows that our brains are susceptible to a concept called embodied cognition.
Essentially, embodied cognition explains why what we wear can affect our perception of ourselves—and, more importantly, our capability to complete a task.
Put simply, getting dressed for a workout makes you more motivated to actually exercise.
The good news is that you’ll have plenty of clothing options to choose from, as athleisure has become a growing fashion movement in recent years.
Nowadays, most outfits that were once considered strictly for the gym can now be worn to a casual brunch.
You can even try putting together an ’80s-inspired ensemble with a sleeveless hoodie, some gym shorts, a pair of knee socks, and trainers.
2. Keep to a Routine
If you have trouble committing to your goals, try integrating a workout into your daily routine. This can help train your brain to expect certain triggers.
For example, you can teach your brain to shift to “work mode” after you’ve downed your first cup of coffee. In the same way, you can prime yourself to do a workout after your alarm goes off in the morning.
To pull this off, you’ll first want to decide on a specific time for your daily workout. Then, start doing your exercise routine at the same time every day for at least two weeks.
Before long, you’ll find yourself wanting to work out during a specific schedule, all without any external prompting.
If you have been religiously keeping to a daily routine and are worried about burning out, it’s okay to make changes to your routine.
For example, you can swap out your boring, monotonous exercises for new and exciting ones you’ve never tried before.
No matter how you switch things up, what matters most is that you make exercising a habit and stick to a regular schedule.
3. Gamify the Process
Gamification is the concept of incorporating game mechanics into non-game environments to increase engagement, allowing you to turn any kind of uninteresting task into a game.
That being said, the concept has already been applied to fitness routines in many ways. For example, some personal trainers assign points to different types of exercises.
Afterward, their client’s total points will be added up to show how well they performed for the day.
In the same manner, you can award yourself points for getting off the couch or heading to the gym. Then, after earning a certain number of points, you can go ahead and reward yourself for your efforts.
If coming up with your own points-based system isn’t your thing, you can also try video games designed to get you up and moving.
If you’re interested, you can pick from a variety of fitness- and dance-themed titles that can make you break a sweat while having fun.
4. Use Tech
We now live in an age where our wristwatches can give us easy access to our vital medical information anytime, anywhere.
Truly, wearable tech has come a long way from the rudimentary pedometers of old. In fact, many of these devices no longer just tell the time.
Now, they’re equipped with health and fitness-specific features such as monitors that track your heart rate, ECG, and oxygen saturation.
That said, most smartwatches and fitness trackers usually come with an app that lets you track your distances, log your workouts, and challenge your friends, among other features. With so many different models available on the market, you won’t have a hard time choosing one that’s right for you. Related.
And even if you aren’t into fancy wearables, you can still use other types of technology to develop healthy habits.
For instance, you can try downloading apps that turn your phone into a step tracker. There are also fitness-focused apps that offer at-home workouts to complement your existing routine.
5. Enlist a friend or a Trainer to Keep You Accountable
Sometimes, the best way to commit to a healthy lifestyle is to have someone make sure that you’re on the right track.
That’s why working out with friends is a great way to keep yourself motivated and accountable. Indeed, it’s hard to give up when you find yourself buoyed by someone else’s energy and enthusiasm.
And if you’re the competitive sort, you’ll likely do everything you can so that you don’t end up quitting. If you just need someone to tell you exactly what exercises to do, enlisting a personal trainer can also make you less likely to skip your workouts.
It’s not hard to see why most people view exercise as a chore. After all, the idea of physically exerting oneself isn’t fun on its own.
So try out these strategies to start viewing your fitness routines in a more positive light instead. With the right mindset, working out can be a great way to decompress, unwind, and release those feel-good endorphins. You can do it!
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.