FIVE FITNESS TIPS
What is it about your fitness or exercise routine that keeps you going? When it comes right down to it, we each meet a fork in the road every day. Do we put on the walking shoes or not? Do we head to the gym or not? Do we hop on the elliptical, rebounder, or use the fitness equipment we already own, or stay on the couch?
To explore what it is that keeps us moving forward, we’ll take a look at proven motivational methods. Here’s a quick list of sure-fire motivational tools to get you going — and more importantly – keep you going!
1) Setting Goals – this is the single most important activity you can make toward accomplishing anything. Being CLEAR about what you want assures success. Do you know what you want? Figure it out and plan to get there. Spell out your goals in detail. Go ahead and write them in pencil – strong goals are ever-changing and always flexible! And, don’t forget these TWO key elements. Be sure to sign your goals – yes, you are accountable. And, be sure to date your goals – remember this famous Napoleon Hill quote:
A goal without a deadline is just a dream….
2) Track and Reward Your Progress – do you know how far you’ve come? Are you providing yourself with enough challenge? Is there any pattern to your success? These are important questions that can be answered by writing down your activities. Whether you use a tracking guide, a notebook, a simple calendar or just a to-do list, writing down your activities – each and every day – can be a powerful tool to help you stay on track! And, what do you do with this information? Reward yourself! Be sure to reward yourself for a job well done. (Please remember — rewards do not include spending sprees or foods!) Track your progress and reward yourself for each and every milestone reached.
3) EFT/Imagery/Affirmations/Encouragements/Sounds: Fitness activities may be about rebuilding your physical body, but don’t forget that your body is motivated into action by your thoughts. Practices such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or MTT, Meridian Tapping Technique), Imagery, and Affirmations/Encouragements can be particularly helpful to keep you in a positive, motivated frame of mind. And be sure to also find a favorite sound track for your workouts – soothing music or heart-pumping beats. Whatever works for you!
4) Stay Hydrated – be sure to drink enough water to keep you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Dehydration can lead to poor digestion, poor sleep, and even negative mood and thoughts. Drink water to provide your body with what it needs to run properly. Of course, good nutrition is vital, too, but that’s a post for another day.
Make drinking water a daily habit. So, how much? While this will vary based on the intensity of your activity levels, you can estimate that a reasonable goal would be to drink about half of your weight converted to ounces. Here’s what I mean. If you weigh 150 pounds, convert that to ounces (150 ounces) and divide by two. You would therefore strive to drink about 75 ounces per day.
5) Buddy Up – while we do make promises to ourselves, it’s a fact that we’re far more likely to live up to the promises we make to others. Find an accountability partner! Grab a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, or pup. Make the commitment to meet on a regular basis and try a variety of activities. Challenge yourself. Challenge each other. Support each other with encouragements, new ideas, and most of all, your time.
BONUS TIP! You might not recognize this as a prime motivator, but the actual act of exercise itself is motivating! The energy and mood lifting experience you receive from exercise alone propels you forward and keeps you going. Exercise can provide the exact stress-relieving experience you’re looking for. Here’s another tip — the vast majority of us don’t always feel like exercising – but we do it anyway. Building a pattern of “not feeling like it, but doing it” creates a foundation for tapping into your own personal strength and fortitude. Recognize the “I did it!” feeling when you complete a workout. Recognize the increased energy levels and improved mood. Acknowledge the fact that you’ve made working out a priority in your day and enjoy your success!
Keep in mind that this post isn’t just about developing a formal fitness routine. Moving in fun ways like dancing, gardening, and playing are included in the idea of “fitness.” So, what motivates you to get off the couch and move your body? What keeps you moving forward? Let me know your favorite fitness motivators!
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