Finding Your Motivation to Move – Part 1

by Melissa Koerner | September 5th, 2012 | Fitness Expert

When all you feel like doing is channel surfing, try these strategies to perk up your enthusiasm to exercise.   They are sure to get you off the couch!

Ditch the All or Nothing Mindset

Does this scenario sound familiar?  You set the goal to exercise three days per week. You do great for two weeks—never missing a session, then by week three “life gets in the way,” and you have to miss your first session. By your next session, you’ve already started to lose some momentum, so you skip yet another session. By your third you say to yourself, well, I’ve already missed two sessions, so why not take the week off. And before you know it, one missed session turned into three missed sessions, and you tell yourself, I’ve already blown it so why keep going?!  This is where you make a BIG mistake!

Once you’ve gotten into a routine, missing an exercise session can feel like a major setback, which can only make it harder to get back on track. But this all or nothing thinking about exercise makes it impossible to make exercise truly part of your lifestyle.  In an ideal world, we would all have everything in our lives perfectly scheduled with no interruptions, but this is NOT reality.  The fact is, there are going to be days when trying to fit your planned exercise session into your schedule is only an added stress.

The only way to make exercise part of your lifestyle is to learn to be flexible with your exercise plan.  If you don’t have the time one day to do your usual exercises at the gym, do a shorter, less intense session at home or wherever you have the space.  I do this all the time.  Every week I set a plan to follow specific strength training routines at the gym on specific days, but sometimes I’m not able to follow my plan because work priorities take over; I may have a client to meet or a presentation to give, and in those instances, I either do some modified exercises at home in 10-15 minutes or I do something light like stretch or do energizing exercises instead.  If you’re too busy for even a quick exercise routine, don’t worry about it!  Just plan to get back on track the next day or the following day.

Remember the 80/20 Rule—It’s not so important that you exercise 100% of the time—what’s important is that you make exercise a part of your routine 80% of the time.  With this realistic mindset about exercise you are sure to make it part of your lifestyle.

Burn Cals with Pals

If you’re not motivated to exercise on your own, find a workout buddy or small group of friends to train with each week.  Having the accountability of meeting with someone else to exercise can be a great way to stick with your plan.  But before you assemble your workout team, keep these two things in mind:

  1. Make sure you select workout buddies that are reliable, positive, and motivated.  Support is the number one success factor for people embarking on a new health program, and if your exercise partner(s) bails on your most of the time, then you’re defeating your purpose of setting up a no-fail plan.  And being around someone who brings negativity to your group will only bring you down.
  1. Make sure you choose partners with similar goals and fitness abilities. While it can be beneficial to exercise with someone whose more “fit” than you, if your partner has the goal to run a 5K, and you just want to not feel winded walking to your car, then that’s probably not a good match for you.  It’s best to have a certified fitness professional assess you before you engage in a fitness program to determine which exercises are best suited for you.

Leave me a comment on FriendYourBody.com.

This is the first installment of a two part series on exercise motivation.  Check back for part two coming soon!

Comments on Finding Your Motivation to Move – Part 1

All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.