How to find the motivation to exercise?
Have you ever just sat there scrolling through your phone looking at all the exercise videos repeating to yourself “I really should start that exercise regime” but then kept scrolling? Or at 6am when your alarm goes off for that home workout you had planned and you simply roll over hit snooze and go back to sleep? Or if you had planned to work out all day and you just keep walking past your sneakers finding every excuse under the sun to not put them on and complete your exercise. So how do we change this?
Firstly, you have to find your why. The reason I am asking you why you are exercising is simple. When it comes to the ‘Stages of Change’, if you aren’t ready to change or you don’t know why you are even lugging yourself through your exercises, the chances are you will keep finding all those excuses to not exercise. If you do start exercising without a reason you are also more likely to relapse or give up. As we can see in the image if we haven’t done the research or ‘preparation’ into our why or what exercise is best for us we will struggle to progress to the action stage and maintain our new behaviour.
Now you are probably asking “what on earth is my why?”. This may come in many shapes and forms. It may be physical, for instance you want to lose weight or increase your strength. It may be mental health benefits. Or it may be for health or rehabilitation purposes. Having any one of these reasons or having multiple ‘whys’ is a step forward in the right direction as it gives you a purpose and motivation for your actions.
You now have your why and you don’t know what to do with it? This is where goal setting comes into play. This doesn’t mean you pick the first goal that comes to mind, for example I am going to lose weight. That’s great if that is your goal but you have to make it a ‘SMART’ goal. This means the goal has to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. For example; I am going to lose 10kg in the next 8 months or I am going to increase my upper body strength to be able to do a full push up in 6 months. Goals, in particular ‘SMART’ goals, are great for keeping us accountable with our training.
Motivation can come in the form of external motivation as well. This can also tie into the reason ‘why’ you exercise, for example training with a friend or a family member. External motivation can also be a great way to kickstart your exercise journey; for example, aiming for a cash prize at the end of a weight loss challenge, however without the intrinsic motivation this can lead to a relapse at the end of the ‘challenge’ period. I find my clients that have more internal drive are the ones that remain consistent as there are less barriers that arise that we need to overcome. In saying that, don’t get me wrong if someone dangled new activewear in front of me if I reached one of my goals, I wouldn’t be saying no! You just have to find what works for you.
I know this can all seem quite overwhelming… but stress no more. One of our Exercise Physiologists here at Allied Fitness Australia are more than happy to offer a complimentary consultation to help you discover your why and help you with your goal setting to get you exercising. This includes discussing your goals and breaking them down into ‘SMART’ goals and talking about potential barriers that may arise and how to overcome these. So, what are you waiting for. Get in touch now to book in your complimentary consultation!