We hear the messages that one of the pillars of good health is exercise. Studies have shown that exercise and movement can help minimise, improve, prevent and aid in the recovery of minor ailments to more serious illnesses.
So with all of this information about the benefits of exercise, why do some of us find it so hard to incorporate it into our lives?
I get so many comments and questions on how I stay motivated to workout.
I have always been into health and fitness and really got into it during the 1980’s when Jane Fonda hit the scene with her workout videos and cassette tapes.
I would don my swimming costume (never had a leotard and wished I did) leg warmers and prance across the living room floor taking every opportunity to catch my reflection in the mirror..Lol.
I remember taking over the sports hall at school, trying to set up a workout club, where I would lead workout sessions. For my 19th birthday I was given the best gift ever. .. My own set of dumbbells, barbels and a multi-position weight lifting bench. And throughout the years exercise has been an integral part of my life.
However, although I have always loved exercising there are sometimes I need a little motivation. Here are some things that I find helpful.
- Spend some time thinking about why you should exercise. Do you have a health condition that will improve with exercise? What will it mean to you and your loved ones if you were healthier and fitter. Would it mean you would have more energy to participate in family activities such as walks and trips to the park?
- Write down your health goals, be specific. For example make a note of what you want to achieve, by when, how will you achieve and sustain it.
- Even though I have mentioned working out. I am not just talking about going to the gym. I am talking about activity. Some people hate the gym or exercise classes. Find an activity you enjoy, brisk walking, running, dancing, skipping, cycling, water sports/swimming, aerobic classes, yoga. The list is endless.
- Make a date with yourself. Put it in your diary and stick to it! Some say ‘ I do not have enough time to workout. You can always find the time if it is important to you. You may have to get creative. Try at home workouts, lunchtime workouts, getting up 20 mins earlier to workout, or include your children in your workouts so that it is a family activity. Remember, the goal is a lifestyle change so you have to find an activity you will enjoy. It’s ok if you try something and you do not like it. Just keep trying different activities till you find something that feels right for you.
- Pack your bag in advance. There is a saying that prior preparation prevents poor performance.. Well, that works right here too. Most of my essential gym items live in my gym bag so all I have to do grab and go. This saves a lot of time when all I need to do is just get to the gym.
Below are some of my essential items that I always have ready in my workout bag. I also have a stash of toiletries packed so that I am always ready.
- Look for inspiration from others to keep you motivated. I love seeing pictures of women working out or who look healthy and I follow a number of them on social media.
- Music can be a great motivator. I have a dedicated playlists for my workouts. I choose tracks to match the tempo of the exercise that I am doing. Spotify is a great place not only do they have playlists already there for you, you can also create your own.
- Treating yourself to some new workout wear can help you feel not only more stylish and confident but more comfortable too.
- Tracking your progress can also be motivating, I believe every step forward is a step in the right direction. I don’t beat myself up if I do not see the progress I want. I just reflect, adjust and make improvements where necessary. It’s important not to give up!
- Working out with a friend can be both fun and motivational. You can share your fitness goals, tips and motivate each other. However, here is a word of warning. Make sure workout time is workout time and not a time to sit on your exercise mats catching up with all the latest gossip.
- I found when I was working towards a particular goal the support of my Personal Trainer was invaluable with helping me reach that target.
- I believe working out, being active and moving is a lifestyle choice along with healthy eating, hydration, sleep, mental/emotional/spiritual health and taking generally taking care of myself. And when I have those moments when I find it a little challenging I always go back to the first tip I shared. I ask myself why I should workout.
I hope these tips help you as much as they help me.
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Sonia supports women to get unstuck, jumpstart their lives and get their sassy back so that they can live the life of their desires.
Passionate about supporting women to live their best lives, Sonia’s is often invited to speak and contribute on a number of radio shows, speaking platforms and articles.
A housing professional, wife, mother of 4 and grandmother, Sonia believes that sometimes the simplest mind-set and lifestyle changes have the biggest impact on living a balanced and happy life.
Sonia offers life coaching tools, wellbeing tips and inspiration on her lifestyle blog.