How Can I Keep Myself Motivated At The Gym?
Let us face it; almost everyone has started a fitness program at some time in their life, only to quit later on. Why don't we finish what we start?
Maybe the odds are stacked against us. There are a thousand things which can distract us: personal emergencies, overtime at work, sick children, being sick ourselves, going on vacation, suffering an injury, or maybe just a great movie opening at the local cinema. There are times when we just do not feel great and would rather sit back in our easy chair and watch T.V. It's so much simpler, isn't it?
So how do you push yourself to the gym after that initial enthusiasm has worn off? Let me give you a few very simple suggestions that may help you motivate yourself to get going with your workout everyday.
Get A Workout Partner
Most of us have to stack the odds in our favor to maintain a workout program. Work out with a regular partner who will call you on the phone to yell at you if you don't show up at the gym on time. He will pat you on the back when you do a particularly difficult lift well.
He will spot you when you are lifting heavy weights to make sure you don't hurt yourself. But most importantly, he will laugh with you and make your workout fun.
Keep Varying Your Exercises
Don't fall into the rut of doing the same exercises all the time... you will get bored. If you just can't face another set of straight bar bicep curls, try dumbbell curls or cable bicep curls instead. And if there is one exercise which you just absolutely hate, don't do it! Find another exercise which works the same muscle group.
When You Are Really Burned Out, Cut Back A Little
If you are reaching the point where you are dreading the ten-minute drive to the gym, you need to back off a little (in order to avoid quitting completely). Maybe cut back the number of days you work out for a while, or even cut back to once a week for a while. The important thing is not to quit. Never quit.
Always think positive thoughts at the gym, and especially at the end of a workout. Tell yourself that you enjoyed it and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Positive reinforcement is a powerful technique of self-motivation. If you think negative thoughts at the end of a workout like "I'm just glad this awful ordeal is over", you will be setting yourself up to dread ever returning to the gym.
Be A Little Narcissistic
It's okay to look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about the progress you're making. Feeling good about your appearance will inspire you to continue working at the gym.
Listen To Your Favorite Music While Working Out
Some upbeat, motivational music may be just the thing you need to take your mind off finishing the last four reps of a tough exercise set.
Find Cardiovascular Exercises You Enjoy
You could do jumping jacks for 25 minutes a session a few times a week to keep fit. However, would it be fun? If you like stepper machines or stationary bicycles, then by all means use them. Cardio equipment in gyms tends to get a tad boring after a while, because all you do is stare at the wall in front of you or the display or TV screen on your treadmill.
So when you find yourself hitting a wall where cardio in the gym is concerned, switch to cardio activity that involves more of the outdoor or nature. Why not engage in some activity that is fun? Ride a bike, play tennis, swim in the ocean, go hiking, play basketball, go skating, or paddle a canoe. The key is to find some activity that you will enjoy doing regularly.
Realize The Importance Of Exercise
What is the most important thing in the world you possess? A car? Your house? No, it is your health... something we always take for granted. Your health is more important than any amount of money or any job. You probably spend 40 hours a week at your job, can't you spend a few hours a week exercising?
Exercise Can Profoundly Improve Your Life
Exercising regularly extends your lifespan, but more importantly, it improves the quality of life while you are alive. Most fitness magazines will include a picture of an elderly person who is still remarkably physically fit. Don't you want to look and feel that way when you reach your later years? Maybe you can cut that out and draw inspiration from it, or keep your school or college records of your participation in sports as a motivating tool.
Look for something that will inspire you the most. List the benefits of a regular exercise, and look for ways it can improve your personal life. List specific pointers like, I will be able to walk three blocks to the supermarket in under five minutes, etc. Look at exercise as a way it can change your immediate situation. And believe me exercising regularly, can and will profoundly improve your life.
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