Getting (back) into a physically active lifestyle requires some effort and a good dose of motivation – but that’s nothing compared to perseverance needed to stick to it over the long term.
Poor weather, fatigue, external temptations… There are many reasons we give up on exercising. How do we conquer these various unforeseen events?
These are my top 9 tips for staying motivated!
One solution to keep yourself from quitting: planning!
Get help planning your work-out sessions.
Personally, I do it in two steps:
I use the Fitness Coach app to choose a program, and then I draw big boxes in my paper agenda. In them I write:
- The number of Fitness Coach sessions I do each week.
- How long they take me (including warm-ups, showers, and travel, if I’m training in a gym), so that I don’t make any other appointments during that time. I prioritize my training.
2. Motivating yourself to exercise with a system of rewards
On my calendar, I add “rewards” boxes for each milestone I complete. For example:
- I can give myself a present after my 5th session.
- Go out to eat after every 10 sessions.
- A massage at the end of the month.
Not only does this keep me on track, but it keeps me motivated!
3. Set realistic exercise goals
Setting goals is great – but actually achieving them is better!
For example, losing 10 kilos in 2 months is not only completely unrealistic, it’s dangerous. Pounds accumulated over years can’t be lost in 2 months – at least, not without serious consequences.
It’s better to set smaller objectives: 1 or 2 kg a month is kinder to your body.
Personally, I don’t like to focus on weight.
I prefer to focus on performance – for example:
- Running a longer distance,
- Doing more repetitions of an exercise,
- Lifting more weight,
- Holding core training positions longer.
These are more meaningful objectives to me.
4. Be more flexible when it comes to the weather!
If it’s too cold, or raining, unless you have good equipment at home, you might worry about catching a cold. You’ll need to find an alternative.
You can also opt for a lower-intensity option, like yoga (which is no less tiring!), or other flexibility or mobility exercises – it’s all about moving!
5. Cultivate your motivation by cultivating your mind
If you’re feeling a bit sluggish, remember your why.
Why did you decide to get in shape?
- For your health?
- For your physique?
- To prove something?
- To become the best version of yourself?
- To get stronger?
- For all these reasons and more?
Look at how far you’ve come: look at your calendar and see how much you’ve already done. Redefine your objectives Always setting milestones. Many small steps is the best way to surmount an unobtainable summit.
6. Give yourself a rest to boost motivation
Exercise takes a toll (aches, fatigue, etc.). Physically, your body deeply needs some time off to rest and regenerate.
You need to know how to balance physical activity with rest and recuperation.
You should take at least 2 days off after a cardiovascular activity, especially an intense one.
If you don’t give your body enough time to rest, you risk hurting yourself, or even regressing.
7. Mix up your physical activity
Even if you have a favorite sport, you can multiply your benefits by trying something new!
Basically, if you always do the same activity, you’re always working out the same muscles. When you try something new, you engage muscles that haven’t been getting as much attention. Varying your routine will not only make you more versatile, but will give you better overall results.
8. Have exercise buddies
Exercise buddies are an excellent source of motivation. You can train together, discuss work-outs, exchange advice, and thus perpetuate an exercise-positive culture. Don’t hesitate to befriend the people you run into when working out.
9. Maintaining motivation through distraction
Some activities are not super stimulating. Endurance activities like jogging, cycling, or walking can be made more fun by listening to music, a podcast, or watching a series (for indoor cycling or the treadmill, for example).