It’s 7:00pm. You just finished a full day at a particularly stressful job, fed your family dinner, walked the dog, washed the dishes, and the last thing you want to do now is exercise, even though this is the only time you have. You wonder how people do this with everything else they have on their plates. You decide you’d rather sit on the couch with your daughter and watch your favorite sit-com. The effort is daunting and you just can’t get motivated enough to do something about it.
Sound familiar? While everyone knows the benefits of exercising, many people cannot seem to motivate themselves to take on yet another time-consuming and energy-driven activity in their already packed day. But, studies have shown that simple motivators can be enough to change a frame of mind into one who actually enjoys the task of exercising. Here are some great tips to try when you just don’t feel like getting up off the couch.
Going to the gym with an MP3 player cranking out your favorite high energy tunes can really help get you in a more energetic mood, and it actually has been shown to increase the level of effort you put into your exercise, thereby making you get better results faster. Try listening to a song that really pumps you up while putting on your workout clothes. Your brain will start to associate the pleasurable activity of enjoying great music with a workout, and you’ll be more apt to want to exercise.
Picture yourself looking exactly how you’ve always wanted, fitting back into the skinny jeans, running on the beach in a swimsuit. Exercise not only slims you down by calorie-burning and sculpts sexy muscles, it also curbs your appetite by suppressing a chemical in your brain that makes you hungry. If being in better shape than you were when you were twenty is something you always wanted to brag about, you can do it better and faster with adding exercise to your routine rather than diet alone.
Do it for the Children
Regular exercise can lower your cholesterol, help lower blood pressure, prevent type two diabetes, prevent osteoporosis, and prevent certain types of cancer. You’ve just significantly lowered your risk of dying a premature death from one of the three biggest killers: heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Your children will thank you.
For a Cause
Maybe you don’t have any children and you feel like you’re in great health. Need a more altruistic motivator? Why not exercise for a cause? Train for a 5K run, marathon, or triathalon supporting a cause you find particularly meaningful. Every bit of effort will raise money for the cause, and you can even dedicate your endeavor to a loved one who may be suffering from whatever cause you are supporting. You can get in shape by picturing your loved one overcoming due to the funds your cause has raised.
A great way to keep it going is to set little mini-goals for yourself, and reward yourself accordingly. Maybe it’s as small as getting to the gym three days a week for two weeks. If you accomplish that, buy yourself that sweater you’ve been wanting. Or, spend an afternoon indulging in some much needed rest and relaxation. Set timelines as to when you hope to achieve each goal and have your special reward so you can have something to look forward to.
Remember, psychologically anything you do seven times becomes a habit. Find an exercise activity you like and keep it up. Soon you will realize exercise has become a part of your life. You’ll realize how amazing you feel, and you’ll like how you look in that swimsuit for once!