According to the CDC, it is recommended that American adults get 150 minutes of physical exercise in a week. In reality, about half of adults don’t reach that goal. Here are seven tips provided by the Mayo Clinic to help you stay motivated in your fitness journey.
1. Set realistic goals
The Mayo Clinic recommends starting with simple, easy goals, then progressing to longer-range goals. It is easy to quit when you feel frustrated. Making your goals realistic and achievable helps form a sense of accomplishment.
Diving headfirst into weight lifting might not be good if you’re new to exercising. An easy way to sneak in exercise is to go for a walk every other day.
For most adults, at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both, is recommended.
The CDC offers examples of how to spread out your fitness routine.
2. Make Exercise Fun
You don’t need to go running to get a good workout in.
Find sports and activities you enjoy. It is easy to get bored of your workout routine. The Mayo Clinic suggests different exercises you can try, such as playing a sport, taking a dance class, taking a martial arts class, trying out kickboxing or even practicing yoga from your home.
3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine
A tip to make more room for exercise is to schedule a workout as you would any other important activity.
Physical exercise can also be slipped into your schedule throughout the day. It’s as easy as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the store.
If you work at home, try going for small laps around your house in between meetings or taking a walk during your break.
Research has found that sitting for long periods is linked with various health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.
4. Write it down
According to neuroscience research, writing down your goals on paper may help you stay motivated.
Keeping a fitness diary may also be helpful. Record any exercise you did throughout the day and for how long. It is also a beneficial and easy way to keep track of your progress to work towards your goals.
5. Get a workout partner
While some people prefer to work out alone, for others, it is beneficial to have a ‘workout buddy’ to help push them towards their goals. You’re less likely to skip the gym if you know someone else is counting on you.
Having a friend can also get you excited about fitness again.
6. Reward yourself
There are two types of rewards, internal and external. An internal award may look like savoring good feelings after a workout or saying positive affirmations. An external award may look like buying a new purse after reaching a hard goal.
Both types of rewards can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.
7. Be flexible
If you find yourself overwhelmed and busy, take a day or two off from your regular fitness routine. It is normal to need a break every once and a while. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.