Read something inspiring! It could be a biography, quote, poem, or song. Use other peoples experiences to give you that lift.
Start a walking group! It’s more social and you all get to feed off the motivation of each other.
Think of exercise as a menu rather than a diet! Make a list of activities and choose 1 each day. Use a training journal!
By keeping track of your activities you can see the improvements in your fitness week to week.
Start an interest or hobby that requires physical fitness! It could be bushwalking, rock-climbing, tennis, golf, or scuba-diving. If you require physical fitness to enjoy the activity you will be more inclined to train for it.
Increase your incidental activity! This is the amount of activity you do in your normal course of your day, the activity not generally classed as exercise. You could: walk to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, never use the remote to the TV, or play with the kids for 15 minutes per day.
Try cross-training! If your exercise program is always the same then break it up with one session per week of swimming, bike riding, jogging, sprints, or circuits. You could even play a different sport and use it as a training session.
Use a Personal Trainer! Personal trainers can provide motivation as well as training variety.
Use an exercise video! If exercising in public places is not for you, then try training at home. There are many forms of training available on video now including: boxing, aerobics, pilates, and yoga.
Just start! You will always be able to find excuses not to train so don’t think about it, just walk out the door.
Listen to music! Put on the stereo or use a walk-man. Music certainly helps the time go faster.
Watch TV! Most fitness centres now have a cardio theatre where you watch your favourite shows whilst you work out.
Read about the benefits of exercise! We all know that exercise is good for us but do you know why it is? Reading a reputable publication on exercise can inform you of the great ways exercise can improve your life. It’s more than just being able to walk up those stairs!
Don’t complicate things, make it simple! You don’t have to find a fitness centre or join a Tai Chi group. Just find a nice park and go for a walk or run.
Create a list of reasons you want to be healthy and read it regularly It may be to improve health, play with the kids, or trek through India. Whatever the reasons write them down.
Exercise first thing in the morning! Get it out of the way early and you will be less likely to find excuses not to do it.
Compare yourself to others! Find yourself someone that you know that has problems related to health that you just don’t want. It may be death, illness, or the fact that they have let themselves go so far that they have very restricted movement.
Train for an event! It could be a corporate sports day, fun run, or family activity. This will give you something to think of other than the time exercising.
Shop for new training gear! You will feel a lot more comfortable exercising if you look great.
Write down the compliments you receive on your improved health! You can then read them when whenever you need to refocus on your goals.
Shorten your workouts! Anything is better than nothing so rather than quitting exercise altogether, just shorten your workouts until you feel motivated again.
Compete with yourself! Set small goals within each session. Decrease your time for a set distance or increase the total distance covered. Small increases lead to big gains.
Read whilst you exercise! Get a magazine or book and pass the time you spend on the stationary bike. You may not exercise as hard but you will still exercise.
Monitor your heart rate! Checking your heart rate during a session not only takes your mind off what you are doing, it also allows you to compare sessions and monitor improvements in fitness.
Set a plan! Fail to plan, Plan to fail! Write down what you want to achieve, then how you will achieve it. Ensure that it is realistic and attainable.
Re-assess your goals! If you are losing motivation, maybe your goals were too easy or too hard. It may even be that you have changed what it is you now want to achieve.
List your obstacles to exercise and design a plan to overcome them! Be thorough, think of every reason you can find not to exercise, then write down a reason that you should.
Don’t do anything that you don’t like! You will have a greater chance of continuing to exercise if you find it enjoyable so if you don’t like to run, do sit-ups, or swim, then don’t do it.
Find the right location! It is always more enjoyable to exercise in a nice environment so take a visit to a local lake or park.
Reflect on your exercise history! When you last enjoyed exercise, how did it feel? What is different now?
Don’t watch the clock! If you continually watch the time, then don’t wear a watch. If you are at a fitness centre, cover the display on the machine.
Spend the time with your best friend! Take your dog with you. He will always be keen and it will help to keep him healthy as well.
Eat well! Improving your diet can give you more energy and increase your motivation to exercise.
Use intervals! Break your training up over the day. Do half in the morning and half in the evening.
Mix up the cardiovascular and weights! Do 5-10 minutes of cardio, then 5 minutes of weights, then repeat.
Train with someone different each day! Time will go faster as you catch up.
Try a new form of training! The methods of exercising are endless. Try something that you think might be interesting (eg, Pump, Boot Camp, Pilates, Surfing, Rollerblading, etc)
Exercise with your kids! Spend time with the family as you all get healthy.
Invest in your future! View your workouts as an important part of your lifestyle and as an investment in your health instead of a daily chore.
Use exercise as a trade off! You must exercise “X” times per week if you want to do/have “Y”.
Surround yourself with positive people! You will be surprised at how positive your attitude will be if you spend time with people who really enjoy their life.
Use your workouts as “zone-out” time! Don’t be contactable and don’t think about work/family.
Use positive mental imagery! Each night as you go to bed spend time imagining what it would be like to be fit and healthy. How would your life be? How would you feel? It will be more attainable if you can imagine yourself reaching your goals.
One step at a time! Think of every rep, set, metre, or workout you do as being one step closer to your goals.
Change your surroundings! If you always train indoors, then start exercising 1 day per week outside.
Start a team sport! You will get to meet new people and its always very social.
Challenge yourself! Move out of your comfort zone. Do something that will challenge you physically and mentally.
Variety is the spice of life! Change your training regime every session.
Be accountable! Organise for someone to re-assess your fitness every month. This way you will be less likely to take time off.
Compete with a friend! See which one of you can attend the most sessions, run the fastest lap, or reach their goals the fastest. The competition will keep you both focussed.