Motivation: Key to staying fit

Staying motivated while trying to lose weight or increase cardiovascular ability can be an arduous task. There are times when you just want to give up and motivation can hit all-time lows. You feel like you’re not losing any weight, not getting fitter, despite putting in long hours at the gym. Then come the cravings, the laziness and the despair. Make a note of the following guidelines if you are trying to keep motivation high to get fit:

If you want to fulfil your goal of losing a certain number of pounds in a certain amount of time, it is very crucial that you chart your progress on a regular basis. Weigh yourself regularly; say every two weeks. Keep track of your weight loss. If you haven’t lost weight in some time, you can look at your progress till now and stay motivated.

Become a regular at your gym and make friends with the other regulars. Whenever you feel like giving a workout a miss, the others at the gym might inspire you. Since they know your name, they will also know that you’ve missed a particular day. A great way to stay on track is by lifting whatever weight you’ve knocked off. Are you struggling to lift 10-pound weights? Remember that you used to weigh that much more!  If you are an outdoor fitness fiend, the same principals apply – be social and get active outside with friends.

Adopting a dog is probably one of the easiest ways to stay motivated. How? No vagaries of weather are going to keep you from taking your furry friend for a walk or run. The guilt of depriving your dog of his daily fresh air can be another factor. The result – another reason to get off the sofa and burn calories.

Your working out regime needs to be fun. If you’re having fun, you’re less likely to skip your daily routine. You could listen to some tunes on your phone. As mentioned previously, working out with a friend can generally enhance the fun element, be careful when choosing a workout partner though as a bad partner can have a negative effect! Make sure you’re not comparing yourself with your partner. Different people have different body constitutions and lose weight differently. Being challenged is one of the most motivational drives available, so why not set yourself and your friend a realistic target and challenge each other to achieve it, rather than a target in competition with one another. Competitive nature is healthy in reaching your goal, but know when to relax as well.

Keep a list of all the things that you could do with a healthier body. It could have things like a boost in confidence because you look better, have more stamina, being able to play and run around with your kids, setting a great example for your children, shopping for fashionable clothes, or taking a hike with your friends. All the above will keep you focused and make you want to lose that extra weight. If you are already in reasonable shape but looking to take it to that next level, focus on your next sporting challenge, or shaving time off a run or cycle personal best.

Make sure you have a reward planned for yourself. You might want to wait until the end and reward yourself with something big. It is important to remember to gift yourself something small at regular intervals throughout the journey. Every time you reach a mini milestone in your quest for the end goal, get yourself something nice. Hitting fitness and weight targets shouldn’t dominate your life so always keep in mind your happiness.

Inspirational movies, like the Rocky series, and motivational books are an excellent way to keep the fire going. Being inspired can be the difference between achieving your goal, and not. It is not a crime to dream big, but make sure it is a realistic dream. A tip for women is to hang the dress they want to fit into next to the mirror. There is no going wrong when you have the goal right in front of you every morning. For men, think of inspirational figures who have had to put themselves through the long, tough hours of training to get where they are – Sir Chris Hoy or the Brownlee Brothers spring to mind?

Working out to stay fit can be a very emotional and difficult journey. There will plenty of ups and downs along the way. The important thing to remember is to stay motivated throughout the journey and enjoy the process. Enjoyment is quite often forgotten when training and working out, so breathe in the fresh air, concentrate on your ultimate goal and dispel the negative thoughts from your mind!

Chris Smith
Founder of Vivi Nation, sports enthusiast, occasional triathlete, keen cyclist and optimistic Liverpool FC fan.

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