Fitness Motivation: A Necessity for Healthy Living
Are you one of those health enthusiasts going strong on fitness motivation? Or, do you keep putting off your short exercise routine, for the day after, like the rest of us?
Well, if the latter - Welcome to the club.
Making a workout schedule is a child’s play; following it, however, is the main challenge.
A healthy lifestyle is something everyone desires, but when that alarm goes off at 4 am, or when you come home after a hectic day, the burning desire jumps off the window.
And, today with the presence of Covid-19, people have gotten tired and less focused on being all day at home, amid lockdown. While some people have utilized this period in being productive and working on their health goals, another section got motivated to turn into a binge-watcher and gain holiday weight.
What is Fitness Motivation?
A proper workout requires the right plan and a goal. For instance, if you aim to lose some weight, you have to make a specific exercise schedule possible to follow.
Similarly, for increasing muscle strength too, a well-constructed plan should exist.
Now, having fitness goals, being prepared, staying committed is all-important, but what is that one thing that tops them all?- Fitness Motivation.
The motivation for exercise can be termed as something elusive.
We start visualizing about doing this and that exercise, but when the time comes, motivation is what we lack the most. We keep on waiting for mustering enough motivation to work out. But, that is not how it works.
The workout motivation is the strongest in its planning phase- deciding on the one end goal, whether it’s weight loss or getting strong; setting a time and everything, but once it is supposed to be put into action, that determination seems to be missing.
Fitness motivation is nothing but that eagerness to stay fit. So, making a plan and setting a goal will mean nothing if you do not want to do it for it should come from within.
This is why even after getting everything right, we tend to stop after a few days. It is not because we are doing anything wrong but the fact our inclination towards exercise is not powerful enough.
The solution to this is figuring out that one thing which motivates us.
Once you learn that, there is no stopping you.
Types of Fitness Motivation
Two main ingredients go into developing a workout motivation in someone. Either one of these is the key to a fit lifestyle-
The feeling of wanting to work out because it makes you feel good pretty much sums up the idea of intrinsic motivation- this type lives within and is not affected by any external factors.
You exercise because you WANT to and not because you have to.
Do you love that feeling when exercising acts as a stressbuster after a long day of work?
Or, you get to be healthy and are high on stamina?
Maybe you like to think deeply while working out. Whatever it is, if it makes you happy-you are set on the right path to motivation.
And, having a nice time while exercising is vital for this kind of motivation.
When you are not fond of exercise, you would be an expert on one thing- excuses.
Right from busy schedules to not possessing the right set of clothes or shoes for exercises (my personal favorite!), the list can be never-ending. But, we are more inclined to rely on this kind of motivation than the other one.
Here, you lure yourself into doing exercises by considering some factors.
You went out shopping, and that one dress you like does not fit- well, that’s a trigger.
Or, your favorite pair of jeans do not fit anymore, making you look like a potato in front of your colleagues (Again, personal experience!!).
Maybe an office party you have to attend for which you need to burn some calories.
All these triggers will push you towards regular exercise even if you despise it.
Extrinsic motivation, even if short-lived, can prove to be beneficial. You hate it, yet you do it to achieve some kind of goal.
Whenever you think of skipping your workout session, extrinsic motivation is right there to keep reminding you about the consequences.
Reasons behind Lack of Motivation
There might be several reasons why workout does not seem that appealing to you. These are mere challenges you need to fight through to develop motivation.
1. Lack of Movement
This is one of the concerning issues which acts as the root cause for lack of motivation. If you are sedentary and spend the whole day without any kind of physical labor, fitness motivation anyway does not tend to appear in your proximity.
2. Not enough Motivation
As much important it is for people to start exercising, it is equally difficult for unhealthy people to often move their bodies. With increase in weight, there are higher chances of injuring onself if the right instructions are not followed.
3. Sedentary Jobs
In today’s world, half of the people have jobs where they remain seated in front of the computer for a fair amount of time. Less walking and more sitting have become a typical lifestyle which refrains us from moving our body.
When you take stress, the mood is not built-up for exercise; even though exercise relieves stress, it is easier said than done.
If your locality does not have a gym or a proper place to walk, run, or cycle, you will be less interested in working out. When there are people around you going about their usual morning walks or to the gym, you are more likely to follow the same.
How can you Motivate yourself to Exercise?
Motivation is tricky but if you observe the following points, there is a favorable chance for you.
1. Always Plan ahead
Being prepared mentally is very important when you are about to start with something lightly complicated like exercise.
First few days, you would be all pumped up, but eventually, that excitement might fade. To make sure that does not happen, you have to establish a pre-game ritual- listen to enlivening music on your way to the gym or get your workout clothes ready ahead of the schedule so that there is no last-minute hunt for shoes or water bottle.
2. Keep your Options open
Doing exercise is supposed to make one light and happy. But, if it comes with restrictions, people would be bored sooner than they should be.
It is a well-known fact that a fitness routine needs you to stay healthy, cut off unhealthy or junk food, but if there are cravings, you should sometimes give in to them to keep the enthusiasm on track.
Call it a cheat day. The calories you will earn can be burnt the very next day- but, this way, you would feel more free and less bound.
3. Focus on your Likes
I am sure there is some exercise you might like and find comfortable. Simple. Just start with that.
Once you like what you do, there is an entire area to explore. Also, walking is a pretty good place, to begin with.
4. Create a Backup Plan
Having a backup becomes a necessity when you are not that great at fitness motivation. Because, in that case, if your plan fails, you get the perfect excuse and leave it halfway.
You don’t want that.
As a result, backup is what you need. If Plan A fails, Plan B is there to save the day. Or, if Plan B fails, there is always a Plan C and D.
Raining outside? How will you go on that walk? You won’t. Instead, do a bodyweight circuit while being at home. Works, right?
See? Come what may- be ready for everything.
5. Resort to Comfortable Outfit
There are people around who will give you suggestions about getting yourself this-and-that gym wear but be sure before falling into this kind of trap. Yes, there are a hundred comfortable gym clothes out there- only wear the one which provides you comfort, be it your usual pajamas.
Because, it will be challenging to focus on working out if your mind is consciously thinking about the way you look.
6. Prepare a Playlist
Music lover? Who isn’t?
All you have to do is create a playlist of your favorite songs and decide not to listen to it until the clock strikes- exercise. Trick yourself into doing the work in and have fun. This way, there will be an excitement for those sweat sessions, and music will be the after-party reward.
7. Become a Pro
Getting good at something is always an added advantage. Self-ability acts as an internal motivator.
It is only apparent. When you have mastered a skill, it means you enjoy doing it. Exercising no longer feels like a have-to-do but turns into a want-to-do.
So, concentrate and master an exercise, say squats, pushups, or whichever you like. And, it would be just a matter of time before you forget that you are exercising as it will be more like enjoying.
8. Cut yourself some Slack
Motivation does not ask you to take stress, and exercise at the cost of everything. It is not a competition. Pressurizing yourself to workout will only make things worse.
Go at a pace; motivation is going to come with time. There is no point beating yourself about it. Your workout choice is neither wrong nor right- it just is. Because, if you want to do it, it is fine, and if not, even that’s okay. Feeling guilty about it is not the solution.
Of course, it is good to go on a walk or run for good health but wait for it. Breathe. See if you can finally approach working out as a chance to feel good about yourself and not due to some obligation.
9. Get yourself a Workout Buddy
Encourage one of your colleagues or friends to join your exercise sessions. It has its perks. You won’t be bored, and second, it is easy to keep accountability that way.
Both of you can keep each other in check.
10. Choose a Convenient Workout Space
If you have enrolled yourself in a far-away gym, that itself is going to turn into an excuse.
You can easily convince yourself not to go there regularly, which is why it is better to either go to a nearby gym or create your own workout space at home. No more “I am too tired to go that far.”
11. Try to Experiment
Often, some exercises require you to come out of your comfort zone because that is how one can push themselves to extreme limits.
Due to which, experiments should be done frequently. There might be several exercises you are not fond of doing- the case of which, do not attempt those again.
Keep on experimenting until you know yourself, totally, in this field and find the right exercise for you.
12. Set an Alarm
Not a big fan of early morning? Me neither.
This means your snooze button is more used than any other button on the alarm clock. Let me suggest a smart practice.
You want to workout in the morning- simply set your alarm clock for 5 minutes earlier than your usual time. And, 5 minutes before that, the next week.
Continue doing this until you discover your magic hour when your mind agrees to shed some sweat.
Do you want to go on a run in the afternoon? Put one of your favorite energy-boosting tracks as your alarm tone and set alarm for that particular time. And, as soon as the song plays, wrap it up and leave.
13. Be Flexible
There would be days when you won’t be in the mood to do anything- let alone workout. In such a situation, give it a thought on what’s wrong- if it is due to lack of sleep or you are too tired.
Think about it, and you will locate the problem and the missing motivation along with it.
14. Take Note of your Online Activities
Online activities have a lot of influence on people these days.
Therefore, choose very wisely who you are following on those social media platforms. At times, you might be wondering how these people are so fit and healthy while you are not.
This can get depressing and highly demotivating.
It is always good to follow people who inspire you to become confident and the best version of yourself. The profiles which scream- motivation, motivation, and only motivation are the ideal ones.
15. Reward Yourself
You have completed your 20,000 steps in 5 days- time for a treat!
Learn to appreciate yourself. Take yourself out for drinks or food for every milestone or a small goal you achieve. This will keep the spirits high.
Plan a massage or a movie on the completion of the next session. Upgrade the rewards with each month.
The knowledge of getting a reward is in itself a motivator.
16. Get some Assistance
If you are utterly clueless about what you are doing, it is time to take some help.
Because, if you keep on doing exercises without any supervision and no knowledge about the same, the postures might be inaccurate, and you might injure yourself. That is the last thing anybody would want.
So, just hire yourself a personal trainer, and you are good to go.
17. Increase your Target
Walked 5 km today? Make it six tomorrow.
Each day, aim for something bigger than the day before. Keep doing it until you get the hang of it.
18. Use Online Applications
There are a hundred different mobile applications that track your daily physical activities. It’s an excellent way to keep note of all the positive and negative changes your body has gone through since Day 1 of the workout routine.
See the changes and be motivated.
19. Build a Positive Mindset
Think about positive memories all the time, for they make you happy and encourage to be active most of the time.
Gloomy and bad mood calls for despair.
20. Have Patience
First two weeks, it is all rainbows and unicorns. The main challenge comes after two-three weeks when you do not see much change and feel frustrated, eventually giving up. Motivation disappears during this time.
But, as they say, patience is the key.
You got to wait; otherwise, the momentum is broken, and every hard work you put in seems to go into vain once you give up.
So, you must keep going.
The first rule of exercise is to get into a habit of regular exercise every day.
Also, be prepared for low motivation days by planning a proactive and excuse-proof routine without fail.
Fitness Motivation in the Workplace
A healthy workforce leads to productivity.
Sedentary jobs are the most prevalent in today’s world. The current workplace environment does not require one to get up and move around all the time which calls for the promotion of physical activity in the office.
All companies, large and small, can promote daily exercise at work because in the end, if the staff is fit and fine, the company is going to benefit the most. Ultimately, this is a win-win situation for both sides- employers and employees.
Being an HR professional, it is your responsibility to implement wellness programs in the workplace.
So, if your employees are under stress and are not motivated enough, you encourage them to find their motivation. Exercise is the best way to create a robust workforce, which in turn will power your business.
Here's how you can do it...
1. Fitness Professional
One of the main reasons office-goers cannot exercise is that they cannot make time between commuting in and out of the office. What you can do here is, hire a health coach who can brief them about workout sessions and its benefits every once in a while. This can indeed prevent your employees from gulping on that junk food without feeling guilty.
Everyone is pretty much familiar with the benefits yoga brings along with it. And, it is easily doable in a small space too. Much more convenient than a gym for it does not need any kind of equipment.
All you have to do is ask your fitness professional to hold workplace yoga sessions every day at a specific time. Provide some yoga mats and a room with adequate space for the classes, and make sure the entire staff participates.
Half of the workers, these days, forget to drink the required amount of water. And one of the crucial factors of a fit lifestyle is hydration.
Just arrange a water cooler in the workplace and provide your employees with some bottles so that they can easily take a sip or two whenever and wherever.
Because, water is life. Period.
It might sound impolite, but what if you keep the building elevator out of service either in the day or evening- provided your floor is somewhere on the 2nd, 3rd floor.
That way, your employees can take the stairs one way. And taking the stairs means walking, and this serves their health right.
5. Digital Platform
You can quickly launch an in-house health application which can be a physical activity tracker for your employees. This has a lot of perks.
You can hold walking, running, or eating challenges in the app, and can see their performance. Also, the health profile of all your staff will be updated in the app once they register. This will motivate the workforce to see their achievements and how they are getting better with each day.
This will lead them to work on themselves.
Conduct physical activities weekly at work and appreciate the winners with rewards. This will motivate the employees to exercise and participate actively in these competitions.
Even setting a milestone to achieve, say 5000 steps a day- whoever completes the target gets a reward. The steps can be detected by the digital platform, as mentioned earlier.
Everyone will be enthusiastic- because who does not want to win a reward?
Motivate your staff to enroll in charitable events- sponsored walks, marathons, etc.
These events drive them to work in a team to motivate each other to climb a hill or run a mile thereby enhancing team spirit and motivation to workout.
8. Standing Desk
With the sitting work-culture being common, these days, a workplace should provide comfort to the staff and prevent them from going through backaches and other injuries during work.
There is a new invention, every day, in the market- and a standing desk is one of them.
A stand-up desk is nothing but a high desk used for working while standing up. So, introduce a standing desk to your employees by keeping the old desk-chair setup intact. It will give the workers a choice whether they want to explore this or not.
You will notice every once in a while, someone or the other will experiment, which in turn will strengthen their health as standing positions usually relieve one of fatigue.
It is indeed worth a try.
9. Office Dog
The best option for animal lovers.
Get an office dog- this might prove to be the most effective.
I mean, who doesn’t love a pet?
When a dog is present, assign the responsibility to your employees to take him out on walks. They will surely love it.
See? Everyone is happy.
Providing cycles to the entire workforce can be one of the best ways to build motivation in them. Ask them to commute in and out of work in those cycles.
Good for the environment and also who likes to be stuck in traffic while going to work?
Cycling offers some unavoidable and necessary exercise- and the environment says,” Just go with it.”
11. Health Center /Gymnasium
Some planning and investment can lead to establishing an office gym or a health center in the office premises, which will possess workout equipments and a proper place to exercise in.
Also, healthy food and drinks should be made available to the staff.
Even if not an office gym, companies can tie-up with nearby fitness centers and provide discounts for the employees to avail. Once they get coupons as such, no one will waste it.
These might come at a cost, but the results would be a healthy and loyal workforce.
The factors mentioned above are surely going to do the trick. Your staff is going to get motivated one way or another. You just have to go through with the plan and see how it fends out in the long run.
In the end, a happy and active workforce is all that matters.
Wrapping it Up
Fitness motivation doesn’t come that easy to anyone. There is some struggle involved in the quest to find the motivation.
But, once it is discovered, it is there for a long term. Have patience. Think about how exercising will make your life better, and kick start it.
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