Unmotivated to exercise, but really want to make that switch from procrastinating – to actually doing?
Chriss Tinslay – Personal Trainer shares her simple, yet effective tips to get you exercising today. They’re practical and realistic, just the way I like it. Over to you Chriss…
Exercise…It’s so good for our heart and lungs, our bones and brain, our energy levels, mood, strength and well being.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
We all know that we should be doing it regularly, but knowing and doing are often not the same thing.
As a fitness professional, one of the most common questions I get asked is…
“How can I get myself motivated to exercise?”
Before I give you my exercise motivation tips, I would like to clarify a couple of things..
- You don’t need to exercise every day in order to achieve health and fitness.
- Exercise is not punishment. Please exercise because you love and respect your body.
- The advice I give in this article is not about finding the “perfect” exercise plan. It is for people who are struggling to participate in a regular exercise routine that will last long term.
10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise
1) Ensure that you are properly fuelled and rested (and not ill or injured).
Eating enough food, consuming adequate nutrients and getting enough quality sleep are your foundation. Exercise comes on top of that.
This doesn’t mean that you need to eat directly before or after exercising, simply ensure that you are fuelling your body appropriately over each week to prevent burnout and/or injury.
2) Give exercise a re-brand (if needed)
If you have any negative feelings or associations with the word “exercise”… then my advice is to stop using it.
I advise my coaching clients to re-name exercise, Activity With Oooomph.
After all, that’s all it is you know.
3) Choose an exercise (Activity With Ooomph) that you enjoy.
Far too often we are so caught up with social media images and doing the perfect exercise program, that we forget that it can be fun and enjoyable.
How about roller skating, hiking, dancing, playing tennis?
The best exercise is the one you enjoy and will do regularly
4) Try something new.
After all, how will you know if you enjoy it, if you have never even tried it?
At least that’s what I tell my 12yr old daughter when she screws her nose up at trying new foods.
5) Forget about following any rules or regulations about the ‘best’ time to exercise.
Find the times of your week that suit you best and schedule your exercise sessions in then.
6) Focus on a TODAY benefit rather than a future benefit.
This one has been a game changer for both myself and my clients. (Yes I have days where I would rather stay on the lounge too)
I originally learnt about this idea from a fantastic book called No Sweat – Michelle Segar Ph.D.
Apparently us humans are not great at doing something now in order to achieve a future benefit. We are hard-wired to seek instant gratification (Who’d have thought?)
Example of a TODAY benefit = “My mood and energy will feel so much better directly after my exercise session”
Example of a FUTURE benefit = “I need to exercise now in order to be healthier or manage my weight eventually”
7) Record or write yourself a message directly after an awesome exercise session.
It will remind you of how great you feel. You can read or listen to it next time you contemplate skipping a session.
8) Link something positive to the activity.
Example – Listen to your favourite music or podcasts, meet up with friends, go to a beautiful scenic location, watch a TV program that you enjoy if exercising near a screen.
Some people like to say positive affirmations to themselves whilst exercising.
You can focus on enjoying the positive link and exercise comes along as a bonus.
9) Do the minimum Effective Dose.
If the thought of exercising for one hour puts you off, then simply exercise for 10 minutes. Sometimes that 10 minutes turns into more once you get started, but even if it doesn’t … It all counts, truly it does.
Alternatively, you could start by adding just one exercise session per week in, do this until it feels normal before adding in another day and so on.
10) Have you put all of the above steps in place, yet still not motivated?
Here’s a little secret for you.
Motivation usually comes AFTER action, not before.
Don’t sit around waiting for a burst of motivation to hit.
You may be waiting a very long time. Video lesson HERE
So there you have it, some simple and actionable ideas to get you motivated to exercise regularly!
Chriss Tinslay has been a fitness coach for over 20 years.
She doesn’t believe in strict diets, excessive exercise or ALL or NOTHING approaches.
Chriss coaches regular people how to live a healthy life by making one small habit change at a time with her revolutionary program Healthy, Happy Habits.
When Chriss is not teaching classes, she is listening to 80’s music, laughing out loud to Kath n Kim re-runs or posting regularly to her Facebook page