Everyone is all too familiar with the feeling that follows your spontaneous decision to get back in shape. You plan to wake up early, have a healthy breakfast, and go to the gym before work. Though that positive momentum can carry most people through the first couple of weeks, a bad workout or a busy schedule can make it increasingly difficult to maintain your resolve. While there are many reasons to quit when you have no motivation, some of the most successful workout motivators are those that are simple additions to your daily routine. Here are a few help guidelines in how to stay motivated.
Wanting to Quit?
It’s easy to think of reasons why you shouldn’t go to the gym—in fact, it’s amazing how quickly your brain can conjure excuses as to why you should skip your routine for one day. Although it’s not a big deal to skip your workout once, the real problem is when skipping one day turns into an entire week. For many, one excuse culminates in having stopped working out altogether.
Exercise is Too Hard
For many people, it’s simply too hard to exercise. Whether it’s weight issues, breathing problems, or personal injuries, claiming that exercising is too difficult is a common excuse. Unfortunately, no issue can be resolved without introducing exercise and healthy diet into your lifestyle. Without the additional push garnered from workout motivators, exercising regularly can seem nearly impossible.
Implement Slow Changes
It is very important to consider that when you start exercising, there is an adjustment period. Since improvements are slow to notice and the pain often intimidating, surmounting any obstacle can be frustrating. If your workout routine involves a self-defense practice like Krav Maga, there will probably be a formidable learning curve as well. After a couple workouts, you might still feel clumsy and as if you will never improve. Furthermore, moving with grace and skill can seem like an unattainable goal, contributing to discouragement as you feel like your stamina isn’t improving and your muscles aren’t getting any stronger.
If you’ve tried to appropriate time in your day to work out, plateauing in your workout can make any effort seem futile. Many people simply give up because they don’t notice any immediate improvement—they don’t run any faster, swim any farther, or hit any harder. It takes time to adapt to any exercise. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate improvement.
Challenging Weight Loss
Many people go to the gym in an attempt to lose weight. When they don’t, they decide that the pain of working out isn’t worth it. For those hoping to improve their health through exercise, weight is an important indicator of success. The fact is, getting your body in shape is a more complicated physiological experience than you may think.
Even if you haven’t lost any weight, your body is changing for the better. A steady number on the scale often means that your body is building muscle in addition to losing fat. Since muscles are more compact and heavier than fat, the scale won’t tell you if you’ve lost any weight, a measuring tape will. In short, a regular exercise routine is great for your health, even if it doesn’t immediately make a difference in your weight. If you’ve been exercising regularly and haven’t lost any weight, start measuring your waist, biceps, and thighs to track changes instead.
No Time For Exercise
Living a healthy life is a matter of balance. Though there are things of more importance such as family, work, and rest, exercise should be included among them. In fact, exercise can actually make your life happier. Working out releases endorphins that improve your mood and well-being. Once you make working out a priority, you’ll be able to find time throughout the week to exercise.
Workout Programs are Too Expensive
Money is a constant concern for many. Prioritizing where you need to spend your money, can leave very little left for the gym. Memberships, classes, workout clothes, and personal trainers can accrue a massive bill for the end of each month. There are many ways to save money on gym habits. Alternating classes, personal training, and free exercises, like running outside or following along with a Youtube video, can cut down on costs. Joining a Krav Maga group is also a great alternative. Many gyms, like Krav Maga Worldwide, will work with you to find the right plan so that your budget and your body get what they need.
How to Stay Motivated
Staying motivated is one of the hardest challenges anyone can encounter. Often, lack of motivation affects more than just your workout regimen. Yelling at yourself, living in a constant state of overwhelm, or punishing yourself because you can’t get to the gym will actually make things worse. Instead, sit down and make a list of the things you really want. While planning solutions to achieve those goals, you’ll often find that exercising solves a lot of problems.
Now, it’s time to discuss the best ways to stay motivated. To make working out a regular part of your routine, there are several things you need to learn about combating the excuses and capitalizing on workout motivators. Without goals and guides to success, your exercise aspirations can fail. Below are several tips Krav Maga Worldwide believes will help you get moving and stay motivated.
Set Reasonable Goals
An important starting point for any change is making sure to set attainable goals. If your expectations are too high right from the start, you may push yourself too hard and burn out very quickly. Sometimes it’s good to start with small goals.
Perhaps try to exercise for 30 minutes every single day for one week, run 3 miles over the course of the week, or do 30 pushups over the course of a day. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals at first. Once exercising becomes easier, set three-month and six-month goals. Every time you accomplish a goal, the satisfaction of success will keep you motivated until you accomplish the next goal.
If you ever feel that accomplishing your goals isn’t enough motivation to continue working out, you can incentivize yourself with rewards. When you reach a goal, don’t be afraid to celebrate with a massage, a movie night, or a getaway weekend. It’s important to choose several benchmarks and reward levels. You should also make the reward meaningful.
For some, a massage may not hold as much motivation as a new pair of shoes. Don’t use food as a reward, as food rewards can create a slippery slope that leads to unhealthy habits.
When trying to figure out how you’re going to celebrate reaching each of your goals, remember to keep your focus on making working out a habit, not figuring out how to get the next reward. Even though good health is the ultimate goal, immediate encouragement can help as well. Don’t underestimate workout motivators like small rewards.
Join the Club
While personal fitness goals are geared towards the individual, participating in a group workout, like those at Krav Maga Worldwide, can make you look forward to working out with people you like. Sometimes, just watching others working out in the same room can make you feel like part of a community. Another advantage of joining a group workout team is that it’s more affordable than having a personal trainer.
Develop a Schedule
Life is busy with work, family, friends, and recreation occupying a lot of your time. When it comes to adding a workout routine to your already packed schedule, you’ll need to be deliberate about planning. Take the opportunity to start a planner and make sure you put enough time toward all areas of self-improvement. For many people, this kind of schedule-making is essential to following through on so many different obligations, and is one of the top workout motivators . If you keep pushing your workout to the last minute instead of sticking to your schedule, you’re more likely to skip that day completely.
Creating a schedule will also help you wake up and go to sleep at regular times each day. Your biological clock needs to be reset so that waking up and falling asleep aren’t forced. You’ll also have much more energy during the day, so when it comes time to workout, exhaustion won’t be an excuse. Soon a schedule will become second-nature and your week will be far easier to visualize.
For some people, the only way they can remember an obligation is with a visual calendar. Print a monthly calendar and write down your exercise time for each day. Every day that you miss a workout, write a large, red ‘X’ in your calendar and every day you make it to the gym, write a green one. Actually seeing the days you missed, will make you want to turn the entire calendar green. Taking control of your life, schedule, and time is one of the top-tier workout motivators.
Have a Plan for a Cheat Day
When showing up to the gym is just too hard, have a backup plan. Invest in some home workout basics like an exercise mat, two 5-pound free weights, and a resistance band. That way, even when you really don't feel like making a trip to the gym, you'll still have the resources to spend 30 minutes raising your heart rate and flexing your muscles at home. Completing 30 minutes of light workout is still better than doing nothing at all. Creating a habit out of cheat days can be problematic, so limit yourself to two cheat days a month or only in case of emergencies.
Dress to Exercise
Some people don’t get as much out of their workouts because they don’t have proper exercise clothes and shoes. Investing in some quality yoga pants and a sports shirt can make a difference in your workout. Don’t underestimate the importance of being comfortable while you work out.
Wearing baggy clothes, tight clothes, or improper footwear can all cause serious problems. Baggy clothes can catch on gym equipment and prevent an instructor from seeing your alignment and posture, extremely tight clothes can hamper your motions and cut off circulation, and improper shoes can cause joint problems, swelling, and pain. Sometimes the biggest workout motivators are a pair of new shoes and comfortable clothes for working out.
Make a Deal With a Friend
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re trying to accomplish your goals alone. If no one is there to badger you, you can easily make excuses and miss another workout day. However, if you work out with a friend, you’ll think twice before skipping out on a day at the gym. Like group classes, working out with a good friend, makes time at the gym more bearable. When there’s someone right beside you pushing you to work harder, you’re more likely to push them right back.
Another idea for buddy workouts includes penalizing each other for missed days. Any time one of you misses a class at Krav Maga Worldwide or a day on the treadmill, put $5 in the ‘Workout Jar.’ Once there’s enough money in the jar, spend it on a personal training session for the two of you.
Make a Killer Playlist
If you’re going to be hitting the gym every day this month, you’re going to need some great music to keep you motivated. Put all your favorite heart-pumping songs together into a playlist that you can groove to while on the stairclimber or while warming up for a Krav Maga class. Music is one of the most fantastic workout motivators because upbeat music inspires peak performance, drives determination, and instills enthusiasm.
One reason music is so energizing is its ability to engage your sympathetic nervous system. Sudden sounds or a sudden increase in frequency or volume trigger responses in your nervous system. When this system is activated, it ensures the body is ready for action whenever it faces a challenge. Your airways open, your heart rate speeds up, and your muscles are ready to move.
Music is made of patterns and sounds that have been proven to physically affect your body. Even if you only increase the pace of the music you listen to, it can quicken your pulse and accelerate your breathing. This makes music a perfect tool for motivation.
Success at the Gym
Next time you feel like you can’t make it to the gym, try using one or all of these workout motivators to get you moving. These tips have been proven to keep athletes, laymen, and everyone in between ready to work out.