You’ve probably had moments when you felt a jolt of excitement about starting a new workout routine. A thought comes into your mind and you say to yourself, “I’m going to get in shape!”
If only that motivation would last, right?
More often than not, we never follow through on that thought. Or we start an exercise routine only to get off track within a few days or weeks. Here are simple tips that can help you break the cycle and empower yourself to get, and stay, moving.
How to overcome three common reasons we don’t exercise
There are three common reasons why we lack the motivation to start an exercise routine and stick with it.
1) It’s Difficult to Get Started
- Discover Your “Why” – A reason helps fuel your motivation. You just need to discover it and let it drive your success. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be healthier? Maybe you just want to get outside more often. Discover a “why” beyond “I’m supposed to exercise.”
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of Baby Steps – Tiny efforts add up and make a huge difference. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk somewhere instead of driving. Park your car further away. Moving more and sitting less throughout the day can help prepare your body for more structured exercise as you feel ready for it.
- Stop Trying to Do it Alone – It’s much easier to get motivated to exercise when you don’t have to talk yourself into it each day. Instead, call a friend and plan to jog, walk, or bike together. You can encourage each other and be there to support one another.
2) It’s Easy to Get Off Track
When you get off track, do these things and you’ll learn how to stick to a workout routine:
- Change Your Mindset – Shift your mindset to what you are doing instead of what you aren’t doing. Instead of minimizing your efforts by saying, “I only walked for five minutes today,” reframe it into a positive statement like, “I walked five minutes more than I did yesterday!”
- Give Yourself Something to Be Excited About – If having a Fitbit would help you want to take 10,000 steps, get one. Maybe new running shoes would make you want to go jogging. Or maybe you can create a fun incentive, something you’ll reward yourself with when you meet your goal.
- Write About It – When you’re lacking motivation, write about a time when you felt really good. This powerful activity can shift your mindset, spark up feelings of passion, and get you back into it.
- Go Back to Your Why – Think back to why you started your exercise routine and ask yourself if it’s still important to you. If it is, remind yourself that you can be certain you’ll never achieve it if you quit, but if you keep at it, you’re bound to reach your goal.
3) It’s Hard to Find the Time
- Be Flexible – What we often don’t realize is that we don’t have to find 30-45 minutes at a time to work out. Perhaps 10 minutes, 3 times a day would fit more easily into your schedule.
- Schedule It – If you don’t make exercise part of your regular routine, it’s sure to be the thing that never gets done. Instead, decide what times you’re going to exercise, and make sure your family knows you’ll be busy during those times. You might even want to use an app to help you schedule in activity breaks.
- Get Some Accountability – Tell a friend or family member about your fitness goals and ask them to hold you accountable. Make sure it’s someone who is supportive of you.
Extra tips to help you stick to a workout routine
- Create a support system to help you attain your goals.
- Share your progress and goals within like-minded social media groups.
- Listen to a motivating music playlist.
- Incorporate exercise into your daily activities like doing calf raises while you cook dinner or doing 10 squats when you enter your living room.
- Dance! It’s great exercise and it’s so much fun.
- Don’t take on too much at one time because small changes lead to other changes.
- Physical activity comes in many forms. Find an activity that is fun and do that!
When trying on your own doesn’t work, here’s the solution
Even with all these tips, the reality for some of us is that we often need a little extra push.
That’s where health coaching comes in. When you work with a health coach like me, you’re in the driver’s seat, but I’m here to guide you, support you, and give you some accountability. A recent study showed the benefits of coaching are long lasting, so it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
If you’ve tried cookie-cutter approaches and you want a customized plan that will work for you specifically, health coaching is just what you need!
Contact one of our health coaches today!
About Heidi Beer, NBHWC
Heidi Beer is a health coach at Vivacity Care Center and recently moved to Spokane from Alaska. Heidi is always striving to help patients learn, grow, and lead a healthy lifestyle. With a background in exercise science, fitness, and athletic coaching, she became a health and wellness coach over 13 years ago.
Meet Heidi Beer, NBHWC