Are you itching to get more active but struggling to find the motivation? Despite your best intentions, sometimes it can be a challenge to start and maintain a fitness routine. But it’s well worth the effort. Staying fit is not only key to better strength and endurance, but it can also improve your sleep, boost your confidence, and even curb anxiety and stress.
Here are five tips to help you find the drive to get and stay fit:
- Set clear goals. Make a game plan for exactly what you want to do and stick with it. When you’re not clear about what goal(s) you want to reach, it’s easier to put it off. Do you want to start a walking or running routine? Do you want to build better core strength or dial up your endurance? Set realistic goals that are specific and measurable. Take small steps to tackle each goal, one at a time, versus trying to reach a lot of goals at once.
- Find an activity you enjoy. Being active is different for everyone. Maybe what’s enjoyable for others is no fun at all for you. So find something you truly enjoy that you know you’ll look forward to doing. You could even get your friends involved and set up regular active outings. Whether it’s pickleball or flamenco dancing, find something that will keep you coming back for more.
- Try not to think of exercise as a chore. Do you ever tell yourself that working out makes you miserable or it’s too strenuous? Do you feel that you need to outdo yourself every day? Or make every workout epic? If so, you may be setting yourself up for failure before you even get started. Keep in mind that you don’t have to set out for 5-mile runs or take part in gut-busting 90-minute classes every day to build and maintain fitness.
- Ditch the “all-or-nothing” mindset. Some people fall into a pattern of all-or-nothing thinking: “If I can’t get a full workout in, why bother at all?” This type of thinking can get you into a cycle of inactivity. Try to be flexible with yourself on those days when you just don’t have the time, energy, or motivation to be as active as you want. Even 5 or 10 minutes of activity is better than none.
- Watch out for “should” thinking. If you often tell yourself you should work out or you need to get moving, you may want to reframe your thinking. Instead, try asking yourself all the reasons why you want to get moving. Try to view your workouts as a reward rather than a punishment. This shift in mindset can boost your motivation big time.
Don’t forget, whether you choose to stay active on the go or at home, you can access thousands of gyms and fitness centers nationwide through the Active&Fit Direct™ program, as well as thousands more on-demand workout videos. You can access Active&Fit Direct through your employer, health plan, or association.