5 ways to find your workout motivation
Health and fitness is top of mind for people setting resolutions for a healthy new year. Yet many who embark on fitness resolutions struggle to stick with their new habit, and as many as 80 percent of resolutions fail by February.
1. EnjoymentThe best type of physical activity is the one you’ll keep doing. One study found that among previously inactive people with obesity who tried high-intensity functional training, those who enjoyed the exercise at baseline were more likely to stick with it and to continue doing similar exercise after the study. Try different types and combinations of physical activity until you find something you enjoy. The type of exercise is not as important as how much time you regularly spend performing that exercise. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity each week, along with at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity for health benefits.
2. Seek helpAside from time and cost, intimidation and lack of knowledge about what to do in a gym are commonly cited as barriers to exercise and reasons for quitting. Seek support from gym staff, a personal trainer, or friends, to build your knowledge around exercise technique and workout structures. Find online resources from certified fitness professionals with instructions, videos, and templates. Group fitness is another way to build self-efficacy. Learning yoga, weight lifting, cycling, or functional training in a coached group setting can better prepare people to be active on their own.
3. Social supportIt is often easier to stick to a habit or behavior when your social and family network is supportive. Invite friends and family to join in your new exercise or seek opportunities with people who share an interest in the same activities. Find walking groups in your community.
4. AccountabilityAlong with support, accountability can also be a motivating factor. For instance, if you post on Facebook about going to the gym, you might be more likely to actually go.
4. Integration into your daily routineLack of time is often cited as a barrier to physical activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Planning ahead is a great way to help overcome this barrier. Schedule weekly workouts in your calendar to make sure it fits into your day. Workouts can also be broken up into smaller blocks to better fit into the day. For example, spend one hour in the gym, or spend 30 minutes in the gym and take two 15-minute brisk walks throughout the day.
Source: Office of Disease Prevention and Health: health.gov