The hardest part is always getting started, even for the most motivated among us. Same goes for fitting in that daily workout. But it’s not as difficult as it may seem. A good way to jumpstart your motivation to exercise is to try a new approach. You can make any activity more enjoyable just by thinking outside the box. Here are a few ideas to springboard off of.
Make it a date
Whether you’re walking around the neighborhood, going to the gym or heading out for a bike ride, most activities are more fun when shared. In fact, new research suggests that people actually enjoy physical activity more when they’re with others. The next time you’re losing the motivation to exercise, set a date and time to meet a friend, spouse or co-worker. You’re less likely to cancel when there’s someone counting on you, and more likely to enjoy yourself. No luck finding joiners? Try Meetup.com, where you can search to find a variety of like-minded groups in your neighborhood.
Set the mood with a good playlist
Maybe it’s not that you hate going to the gym or out for a run but that you’re sick of the same old songs on your playlist. Shake things up to find your motivation again. Not sure what to listen to? Check online at Playlists.net or Runner’s World for some advice from sporty music nerds.
Get out (-side, that is)
Sure, there are many benefits of getting your sweat on at the gym but truth be told, it can get so darned boring after a while! When the weather warms up, try taking it outdoors. In a recent study, researchers compared the psychological impacts of walking indoors versus walking outdoors. Individuals who walked outside reported enjoying the activity more than those who walked inside. Additionally, people who walked outside scored higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm and self-esteem, and had lower levels of tension, depression and fatigue. If that isn’t enough to convince you, their research also suggested that you can get a better workout outside because you’re braving the elements and trekking over more diverse terrain. So, get your walking shoes on and hit the trail!
Yup, there’s an app for that
In today’s tech-driven world, people are never without their phones. At first glance, it may seem a bit absurd for someone to be using a phone throughout his/her workout but there’s likely a rhyme and reason for it. If you’re a smartphone user, there are fitness apps galore at your disposal, most of them free. Don’t know which one is right for you? Check out this list to see which app is best for your personality. Then, visit Humanafit.com and sign up for free to map your activities, log workouts and connect with others.
Buy some new workout gear
This one may be a bit of a cheat but it can still make exercising a bit more fun. Most of us have, at some point in our lives, worn the oldest clothes we own to exercise, which is all fine and dandy. But if you’re looking to boost your motivation a bit, a new outfit may be just the ticket. Even if the motivation only lasts one or two workouts – at least you look good! Find cheap workout gear at Old Navy, Target or Wal-mart. You can also check out Fabletics and Russell Athletics online.
If you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars, why not try your hand (or feet) at a dance class? While you may not be dancing with a world-class partner as you would on the show, dancing is a fun way to burn calories, and time flies when you’re having fun! Your physical activity output will vary depending on certain factors, such as type of dance, body weight and duration. You can get a rough estimate of how many calories you could potentially burn by using this dancing calculator.
Think like a kid
Remember when it was fun to be active and you didn’t even think about the fact that you were exercising? Yeah, it’s kind of foggy on this end, too. While we can’t go back to our childhoods and do things like we did back then, we can start thinking more like our former selves when it comes to exercising. What did you like to do as a child? Roller skate? Bike? Jump rope? Kickball? Hula hoop? No matter what your preference, these are all great activities that can help you stay active when it would otherwise seem like a chore. Find some new (or used) gear on Craig’s List, at your local sports store or right in your own garage.
This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.