Moving instead of sitting -- is critical for safeguarding your health
and setting a good example for your kids. So why does it seem so
hard to get yourself moving?
Change is hard! When we try to start exercising, we think of all the
excuses for not doing it and all the things that have gotten in the
way before. Knowing how and why to exercise isn’t enough. You
need to develop the right mind-set to get and stay motivated.
Motivation is the core of all action; it actually means to be moved to action. Whether a person succeeds, fails or leads often depends upon his/her motivation. Understanding what motivates you can have lasting positive effects. By understanding and acting upon the things that motivate you, you will be more likely to live a healthy, happy life.
Motivation requires a target. It's hard to get motivated when your goals are vague, undefined, and as a result, impossible to achieve. Sure, some people might be motivated by vague goals such as “better health” or “weight control.” But if that’s not doing it for you, try these tips.
Look in the mirror
Visual cues are a wake-up call to your brain. We all have competing priorities like work, family, chores. Sometimes we need a reminder to keep exercise at the forefront. One of the first things I do in the morning is get out of the bed and walk to the bathroom where the first thing I see is my reflection which is my biggest motivatinal tool. Wether its the progress that I see or something that i need to work on, it truely is my greatest motivation. Why do you think there are so many mirrors in a gym?
Make it a habit
Create a neurological “habit loop,” which involves a cue to trigger the
behavior (setting out your spinning shoes next to your bag), the routine
(making it through spinning class) and then a reward (like a smootie).
An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it
and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile, It increases the odds
the routine becomes a habit.”
Over time, the motivation becomes intrinsic, as the brain begins to associate
sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals
released in the brain that are responsible for that “I'm a beast!” rush you get after a great gym session. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even want the treat.
Rethink Positive Thinking
Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete. This may sound like a big challenge, but it’s not as big a leap as you think. Devotees of positive thinking have long promoted visualizing the benefits of a behavior as a motivational strategy. For example, when I’m deciding whether to get out of bed to go to the gym I visualize the way I will look when I achieve my goals, or how delighted I’ll be when I see my new muscles developing.
After identifying your wish and visualizing the outcome, you have to identify what’s holding you back, “mental contrasting.” In one study of 51 female students who claimed they wanted to eat fewer junk food snacks, researchers asked each woman to imagine the benefits of nibbling on better foods. Those who identified the trigger that made healthful snacking difficult for them — and came up with a plan to reach for fruit when cravings hit — were most successful at sticking to their goal. I know that for most, Once you create the "habit" of exercising and you see and feel the benifits, that is motivation enough to start eating better.
Feel too tired to go to the gym after work? “After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan, For example, you can switch to morning or lunchtime workouts or go straight to the gym instead of stopping at home first. I know for me, I can not come home after work and sit down. I come home, change and head out to work out.
Invest in more workout clothes.
This my sound like a funny motivational tool, but it works. You could even use getting a new outfit as a "reward" for all your hard work and accomplishments.
For example, For years, Gina Cancellaro, 36, a paralegal in Bronxville, New York, owned only one sports bra. "I didn't want to spend the money," she admits. Then one day she realized that this was a barrier to her working out: "My usual excuse was that it wasn't clean." So she went to the mall and loaded up on bras — and cute tops and shorts. Now she exercises five days a week.
Why it works: Having the right clothing doesn't just remove a hurdle; it reinforces your identity as an exerciser, and when exercising is an integral part of your identity, it isn't optional anymore. It's just part of your life.
Stay off the scale!
The biggest mistake people make when assessing there progress is relying on a weight scale.
It’s not motivating to weigh yourself every day, as your weight fluctuates up to 5lbs or more daily. Hopefully your creating muscle this will effect your weight as well. .But if you weigh yourself once a week, you’ll be motivated to have it keep going down, instead of up. Combine the scale with the measuring tape, and measure your waist. The way your clothes fit is the best way to judge your workout effectiveness in my opinoun.
How to get motivated to exercise
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