Embarking on a fitness journey is an achievement in itself. We may not yet have achieved any goals, but we have started to take steps towards a healthier self. It might be as simple as having joined a gym or bought an exercise DVD. It might be as major as having signed up for a marathon! Whatever our level, trying to improve our health through exercise is something we should celebrate. But if it is such a positive step, why is it so hard to sustain? If we are doing something that will truly benefit us, mentally and physically, then why can’t we stay motivated? There are many reasons why we may suffer setbacks or feel discouraged. Injury, lack of confidence, and results taking longer than we expected are all common reasons. Motivation is not always easy to achieve but is an essential part of our fitness success. Everyone will tell you to stay motivated, but not how to do it! Read on for some of the most underrated but important motivation tips.
Take Rest Seriously
If we’re trying to get fit and active, lying around may seem counterproductive. What no-one tells us is that rest is just as important to our health as exercise. Laziness and rest are different, because in order for it to be “rest” it has to come after exertion. We don’t necessarily have to push ourselves at maximum effort on a daily basis to achieve great fitness results. It can be far more effective to workout every other day, for example, focusing on our form. Our rest days should include re-hydration, gentle walking or stretching, and eating clean. That way, we can return to our exercise fully refreshed and ready to push hard. If we are exhausted before we even begin, not only will we under-perform but we will be more vulnerable to injury. Take conscious rest days and use them as an opportunity to recover and prepare for your next challenge.
Listen To Your Body
One of the reasons we can lose motivation is because what started as energising and positive, has started to drain us or even hurt. All the beneficial results and good feelings we were expecting feel further away than ever, and so we simply stop trying. Many people attempt a fitness plan without realising that what works for someone else may not work for them. It is important to consider your own body and its limitations. Acknowledge any underlying health problems or conditions and work with them, not against them. If you are struggling with your weight, for example, reduce your calorie intake gradually. Not suddenly. If you have problematic feet, don’t expect to run vast distances immediately. Investigate supportive trainers or comfortable walking shoes for flat feet. Acknowledge and embrace your own body and abilities, and you can find a fitness regime that makes you feel powerful rather than limited. This is essential to sustaining motivation.
Every Step Is An Accomplishment
When we first embark on a fitness journey, it may seem interminable or impossible. It is important to change your attitude into one of encouragement, not punishment. Focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have left to go. Each step you take today is one that you had not taken yesterday. Stay proud, and you will stay motivated.