Active-Steps-Find-Your-Motivation

Active Steps: Find Your Motivation

One of the hardest parts of creating a consistent workout routine is motivation. Staying motivated during the cold winter months, during busier times in our lives, or on a day-to-day basis can be a struggle. What are some tips for staying motivated when the last thing you want to do after a long day of work is work out? Here are some tips that should help even the most unmotivated among us.

1. Only 20 minutes
This is a trick many trainers have recommended over the years. When a full workout seems daunting, aim for just 20 minutes of movement. And usually, once you begin, and hit that 20-minute mark, you want to keep moving. If 20 minutes is still daunting, aiming for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. This can be just as meaningful if not more so than trying to schedule 20 to 30 minutes per day.

2. Schedule it
Just as you schedule important work meetings, schedule your workouts. Decide on Sunday or Monday, whenever you are planning your week ahead, choose a few slots when a workout is feasible. Don't aim to workout everyday if that is not realistic for you because you will be setting yourself up to fail. Maybe choose 2-3 days and write it into your calendar, as you would any other important meeting. Find a chunk of time that fits into your life – not too close to bedtime and not too tight of a fit between meetings. And do your best to make your workout.

3. Accountability Partner
It is much easier to workout when you are looking forward to seeing a friend you haven't seen in a while at your workout, so find yourself an accountability partner. Suggest meeting twice a week for a long walk with a friend instead of going for drinks. Mention that you want to get in shape; usually the people we love are very understanding when we are honest about taking care of our health. Or ask to join a friend who is in shape during her workout and let her motivate you. Either way, strength in numbers is key.

4. Make it Fun
This one goes without saying, but find ways to enjoy your workout and you will be more prone to stick to it. You're not going to make it to your spin class if you hate every second of it. There are so many choices for workouts today. Take a look at what is offered near you. You just might be pleasantly surprised. Have a background in dance? Try an African dance class. Need to get out that aggression? Try boxing. Don't waste your time on a workout that you don't enjoy.

By Esen Boyacigiller, MSc, Tulane Dietetic Intern
October 2017

(Free stock photo courtesy of Pexels.com)

Topics:   physical activity , walking , running , biking

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