Almost everyone has days where they don’t feel like exercising, but when
those days become too frequent and you completely lose your motivation to work
out that it becomes a problem. Research shows that half the people who start an
exercise program quit within six months. Those aren’t very encouraging
statistics, are they?
Most people begin a new exercise program with enthusiasm, but that
enthusiasm dwindles over time. Sound familiar? If you’re having trouble getting
motivated or are having problems sticking with your workouts, one of these
exercise motivation zappers could be the problem.
You’re Creating Too Many Barriers to Working Out
KISS (keep it simple stupid) applies to exercise too. One of the reasons
people lose their motivation to exercise is they make it too hard to get
started. If you have to get dressed, get in your car and drive to a gym, it’s
easy to find a reason not to do it. That’s when home workouts have the
advantage. Keep a DVD handy, push a few buttons and you have an instructor to
show you what to do and keep you motivated. You’ll be more enthusiastic if you
don’t have to jump through hoops to get your workout done.
If you’re doing the same workout over and over, doing a different workout
can rekindle your enthusiasm. Try a new workout DVD instead of the same, old,
Exercise CAN make you look better in a pair of shorts or a swimsuit but
that shouldn’t be your primary motivation for doing it. Research shows that
people who exercise for health reasons – to feel better or relieve stress – are
more likely to stick with it. Exercise to feel stronger, have more energy and
to feel more empowered – don’t do it only to lose weight or inches off your
If you’re working out an hour or more every day without taking breaks,
you’re probably losing your motivation due to burnout. Take at least one full
day off a week and don’t be afraid to do a light workout when you don’t feel up
to a high-intensity one. Try a yoga workout for a change or work on flexibility
and balance. Make sure you’re sleeping enough and getting adequate nutrition.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re cutting back on calories too much or
skimping on sleep.
You’re Expecting Too Much Too Soon
Another reason people lose their motivation to exercise is because they
have unrealistic expectations. They expect to see results quickly and lose
their enthusiasm when they don’t. Again, it’s important to work out for the
right reasons – better health and more energy – not to change the number on a
scale. Nevertheless, keep in mind that it takes time to lose inches and see
more muscle definition. Don’t have unrealistic expectations.
A fitness journal helps you set goals, chart your progress and, yes, it can
keep you motivated too. When you write everything down, you can look back and
see how far you’ve come and it helps to keep you accountable. Don’t just write
down the exercises you do and your weight and measurements, document your goals
so you can look back and see why you started exercising in the first place.
Sometimes you need a reminder to help you stay on course.
The Bottom Line?
Don’t let these exercise motivation zappers keep you from reaching your
goals. Make sure you HAVE goals, are exercising for the right reasons and
aren’t overdoing it or allowing yourself to become bored. Working out is one of
the best things you can do to stay healthy and to have more energy to enjoy
life to its fullest