Monday, January 31, 2011

Exercise Motivation

Getting into a routine of regular exercise isn’t easy. In fact, it can be one of the hardest everyday things in the world to do. The second hardest thing to do is stick to it. We get bored, we get distracted, we get injured, or busy, or sick, or maybe everything’s just too GOOD for us to think about exercise right now.

How will you ever find the motivation to exercise unless you are actually looking for it?

Maybe it'll hit you in the face in the form of a taunting comment..."Hey, Chubs!..." or from your doctor..."Unless some changes are made you can expect...(pick one)... another heart attack, stroke, insulin dependent diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, etc."

Something that will convince one person to put down the bag of chips and get off the couch might not have any effect whatsoever on someone else. Realizing the benefits to be gained is good enough for some whereas others must be scared into doing something.

Starting a new, active, healthier lifestyle is something you do for yourself, like making an investment in the future that will ensure first, that you live to see your senior years and secondly, that your senior years are spent actively doing what you like.

I'll bet you know someone, as I do, who dropped dead within a short time after retirement, having spent their whole life working and saving and looking forward to the 'Golden Years' but ignoring their most important asset... their health.

Or someone, having reached the so-called 'Golden Years' only to suffer a stroke or other debilitating illness and finding themselves biding time in front of a crossword puzzle waiting for the end rather than off enjoying the world now that they have the time to do it.

Read through these 'motivators' and if you have a motivation to exercise idea that works for you, a tactic that gets and keeps you fired up, I have divided the motivation to exercise tips and ideas that follow into two categories...'The fear factor', and 'Positive Motivation to Exercise'.

Fear Factor: Statistics

• Two in every three adults in the U.S. are overweight, that's 127 million people, not counting the fat children!
• One of three adult Americans is obese (that's 60 million!) and nine million are severely obese!
• Obesity is responsible for as many as 300,000 deaths annually.
• The cost of health-care related to obesity runs at about $100,000,000,000 (that's $100 billion!) per year.

Fear Factor: Poor Health and Disease:
Have a look in any senior citizens home (there's one just down the street from us) and you will find people who cause you to wonder whether they are better off alive or not. Unable to go to the bathroom by themselves, tie their own shoe laces, get dressed by themselves or to even walk, and driving is unthinkable. Dimentia and Alzhiemers have robbed some of the ability to think clearly. Many of their friends and relatives are either dead or no longer enjoy visits with the invalids. Their lives have become a lonely, boring wait. A wait until death.
Of course, not all seniors are like this but you certainly could become one unless you do something to prevent it, and it is definitely preventable.

Fear Factor: An early grave:
When you reach 40, sometimes even earlier, sometimes later, your body is not as forgiving as it once was. You used to be able to eat anything and drink more than you should and not have to worry about gaining weight or your health. You were able to get up the next day and do it all again. Now all of a sudden, friends your own age are having heart attacks, even dying. It's becoming tough to get up from the couch, the legs don't work like they used to and your wardrobe must be updated to include more stretchy materials. You have no energy and just want to collapse at the end of the day. You simply can't play those sports anymore that involve more movement than checkers. Even going for a walk is a chore to be avoided.
Well, of course you have two choices, resign yourself to the downward slide or get off your duff and turn it around! You can regain the energy of youth, at any age.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Results!
The ultimate cure for lack of motivation is results. Of course you have to actually start something first (like this award winning program ) but it won't be long, less than 2 weeks, and you will become excited by the changes you see and feel. Having a happier, healthier life and watching the body you have always wanted developing right before your eyes can be incredibly motivating and empowering.

To get results like this though you must make the time to get started!

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Setting Goals
So how can simply setting a goal be motivating? Setting a goal, for example...'to lose 15 lbs by the middle of next month' (using our Cinderella program of course) ' takes you from merely wishing and dreaming to heading toward a specific, reasonable target. The deadline will push you to get the most out of your exercise and nutrition program. When you reach your goal, and you will, set a new, specific goal to take you to the next level.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Take a Picture
Place a picture of how you currently look and place it somewhere you can't miss seeing it everyday. Now carry on with your program and hang up a new picture every 4 weeks. The changes you see and the positive comments from your supporters will provide gobs of motivation.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Write down your Reasons
Sit down now and write a list of all the reasons you are following your new program along with your specific, reasonable goal and time-frame. You might post this beside your 'before' picture and read it every morning. This will provide much reinforcement and motivation to exercise. Your new lifestyle must be constantly in your mind, especially during the first, habit forming, 3 weeks.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Think of all the benefits of exercise!
Increased energy, increased mental focus, increased self-esteem, increased sense of control over your life, reduced chances of heart attack, osteoporosis, breast cancer, increased strength and stamina, reduction of stress...etc...etc...

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Keep a journal
Track your progress daily including the exercises, weights used, and sets and repetitions. This idea is related to the one above on results, because you will quickly see, all on one page the progress you are making and how fast it is happening. Nothing gives you motivation to exercise like results and you will see them in your journal even before your picture looks any different.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Read!
This is a personal favorite form of motivation for me. I regularly read health and fitness magazines and books with pictures and advice all related to getting and staying in shape. Try out something like 'Shape' or 'Womens Fitness' magazines and get a subscription to the one you like the most. This not only provides more knowledge but keeps the subject fresh in my mind and teaches me new techniques and inspires me to try them out.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Find a Buddy!
Meeting and working out regularly with a friend, especially one who is at about the same stage as you, will improve your attitude immensely! This is one strategy that has helped many to stick to their program. Watch each other, help and encourage each other, rejoice and commiserate together and enjoy the company. You will begin to rely on each other for moral support and accountability.

Positive Motivation to Exercise: Do something you like!
The gym isn't for everyone, so if you like bike riding or roller blading or tennis or skiing or...(you get the idea), go for it as part of your regular plan. Make it fun and it won't seem like a chore, but be sure to do something everyday.

More Tips
For starters,
 find something you love to do. There are endless options when it comes to ways to work out. If you play well with others, join a team. If you want to learn an amazing new skill and get your Zen on, try picking up an art like Karate, Tai Chi, or yoga. Or if you tend to get bored easily, get into outdoor fitness adventures, like hiking, cycling, or climbing.

 Pick a good time of day for yourself. If the idea of jumping out of bed in the morning and rushing to the gym makes you want to hide your head in the sand, don’t plan on working out first thing in the morning. Maybe someday you’ll be a morning person, but it’s not today, and developing one challenging new habit at a time is enough.

 Make sure you’re doing something convenient, such as taking classes at a gym or studio on the way to or from work. If it’s a pain to get to, you’re not going to do it, so put a treadmill in front of the TV, jog at a nearby park, or throw away your car keys and put your bike in the driveway.

 Try new things. The more variety you have in physical activity, the healthier you’ll be. This is because different exercises work out different joints, muscle groups, and organs, which ensures total body fitness. Try a fun new sport, discipline, or exercise every week.

 Eliminate opportunities for excuses. Another great thing about doing a variety of activities is that you can switch up between two. Maybe you like to run but today, it’s cold and rainy. Goodbye motivation! On days like this, it’s good to have a weight routine or yoga set to do at home.

 Seriously, no excuses! Always keep in mind that every little bit helps. If you miss one day of exercise, there’s no reason to throw the whole week out the window. Even five minutes here and there throughout your day is better than nothing.

 Remember that fitness happens from the inside out. Many people quit because they don’t see results, but the truth is that all the most important results are invisible. Before you get thin and buff, your organs will be cleansed of fat and toxins, your joints will become supple, and your muscles and immune system will strengthen. Keep in mind that although you can’t see it, an amazing transformation is happening.

 Reward your body, not your brain. A reward for getting fit should not be eating a pie or lying around like a slug. Treat yourself to a real body luxury, like a massage, a hot sauna, a round of golf, or an active day on the slopes or at the beach. This way, you get a long, rich reward with great memories attached to it, as opposed to post-consumption guilt or lazy-day ennui.

 Do activities with your friends. Sign up for a yoga class with your best mate or partner. You can motivate each other to go, and push each other to do well. After all, there’s nothing like good old-fashioned social pressure when it comes to doing things you’d rather not.

By applying a magical combination of the above suggestions, every physical activity you do will become an unmitigated delight...just kidding. The truth is that some days will always be hard, but if done properly, working out becomes its own motivation. At first it can be torture, but eventually, it becomes deeply rewarding and satisfying, leaving you feeling energized and content. Motivating factors come and go, but the guarantee that regular exercise can offer you is that one day you will lift your head up from the sweat and sore muscles and realize that you feel better, and look better, than you ever believed possible.

If you still need motivation or more information about Exercise & Nutrition, contact me or find a trainer in your area.

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