Exercise is essential for good health and is as close to an elixir of life as anything we’ve discovered. However, they don’t call it a "work"-out for nothing! Here’s some tips to help maintain your motivation to exercise when the going gets tough.
Understand Your Body
Unfortunately, the first few minutes of exercise can be uncomfortable, and this can be discouraging, but it helps to understand what you are feeling. When you start a workout, your body fires up the metabolic processes required to increase oxygen consumption, and fuel your muscles for exercise (aka, burn calories). Like an older car starting up on a freezing morning, this process takes a few minutes to get going - around two to four minutes. Once your body is warmed up, the discomfort subsides, and you are ready to work out.
Have Process Goals as well as Result Goals
It’s awesome if you want to learn to do full pull-ups or run 5 km in 25 minutes. However, depending on your current fitness, sometimes big goals can take a long time to reach. Having process-related goals can help you focus on the journey, not the destination. Pick two or three process goals, such as going to the gym three times a week, foam rolling for five minutes after every workout, or executing movements more mindfully, and track those along with your reps and sets.
Schedule It and (Don’t) Forget It
Do you go to your Monday team meeting because you love it, or because it’s in your calendar? (It’s ok, you don’t have to answer). Write down your workouts on your calendar and stop worrying about whether you feel like going to the gym — simply follow your calendar.
Track Your Energy and Mood
According to the American Council on Exercise, new exercisers will have more energy and better moods within two weeks of starting a regular workout program, well before other changes start to occur. By tracking improvements in your mood and energy, you’ll understand — and commit to — the benefits of exercise.
Next time, we're going to talk about how to stay motivated when you're working from home - not always easy when there's no-one else telling you when to work or even what to do.