After being in the fitness industry for a number of years and watching individual exercise patterns I’ve noticed that it is this time of year, between April and July, that most people start to lose motivation for a workout. Summer creates motivation, people want to be outdoors and feeling good about themselves in their clothes, but as we move into the colder months and start putting on layers and layers of clothing people want to hibernate. I have often found it perplexing because this is the time of year that we should be thinking about how we want to look and feel as we move into spring and summer – if you keep going now you won’t have to work your ass off as the warmer days appear. So how do you get motivated to do exercise when it’s cold and miserable outside? Here are a few tips.
- Find a style of exercise that suits your lifestyle. Did you know 30 minutes of exercise equates to 2% of your day. Everyone has an extra 2% of time lying around; find it at lunchtime or in the morning before work, it is there, you just need to look for it.
- Set goals. Set monthly, weekly, daily and hourly goals. Seem too much? Let me put it into context. A monthly goal might look like this “Lose 4 centimetres off my waist” and a weekly goal could be “Fit in 4 to 5 workouts this week”. An example of a daily goal might be “Increase incidental exercise today by taking the stairs instead of the lift” and an hourly goal could be “Get up and walk around the office for 2 minutes this hour”. Setting goals is not only simple, it is effective.
- Reward yourself. I always talk about giving yourself little rewards for achieving your goals because I think it can really increase motivation. I recently heard about a woman who put $3 in a piggy bank every time she exercised, which she saved up in order to buy little things that she would normally pass on. She could reward herself with up to $70 a month by doing this. I love this idea!!
- Enjoy your results. Get excited about how you will feel after exercising – once the endorphins kick in not only will you feel happy and positive, you will also feel energetic and proud of the effort you just put in, so soak it up. Don’t forget the physical results – increased fitness, increased tone, strength and fitting into new, smaller clothes!
- Train for a local event. Focusing and preparing for an event to train for can be extremely motivating. Why not register for the Pro-Fit Winter Olympics or the Canberra Times Fun Run to give yourself a motivation for exercise.
- Exercise in the morning. Many people would like to workout in the evenings but when it comes to the crunch it is easier to go home instead. Don’t get me wrong, for some people exercising in the evening works best, but for the majority of people it is too much at the end of the day. For those people it is time to be honest with yourself and accept that it is not working. Ok time for a new action plan – get it over and done with in the morning because then you do not have to think about for the rest of the day.
- Don’t look back. Often getting back into exercise the hardest part and then once you are in routine exercise comes easily, but sometimes it can be just as easy to look back and think about all extra time you had when you were not exercising. Don’t look back! Look forward to your goals, keep going, build momentum and focus on the investment you are making in your life.
While it is cooling down outside your exercise regime should not be. Find something to work towards and build up some motivation so you can cruise through to summer looking trim, taut and terrific!