Still sitting there? Read this article to get motivated to start working out right away. If this doesn't get you lifting weights pronto, nothing ever will.
Inspire Yourself to Get Fit, Toned and Healthy
We all know how important fitness is. From television programs like The Biggest Loser to magazines like Men’s Fitness, you’ll find it difficult to avoid information on getting fit. You’ve seen the television programs, you’ve read the magazine articles, and you know you could be in much better shape than you are. But knowing what you should do and actually doing it are two different things. If you have ever wimped-out on a workout, dodged a diet or resigned an exercise bike to rotting in the basement, this guide is for you.
First of all, don’t worry…you are not the only one. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. But there are ways to inspire yourself, to overcome the obstacles that stand in your way, and to earn the body of your dreams. Let’s find out how…
Loss of Motivation to Work Out
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
It happens to a lot of people. You make New Year’s Resolutions or get inspired by personal trainers or friends who work out often and you decide that you want to get fit. You are psyched, energized and can’t wait to start your new fitness program. Then gradually life interferes with your workout schedule or you just aren’t motivated to workout anymore and you quit.
No one said working out is easy. Well, yes they do, but they aren’t being 100% sincere. Getting fit involves a lifestyle change. Old habits have to be broken and new ones need to be created. With this in mind, it is not surprising that people lose motivation and give up on fitness.
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Some of the reasons people quit are:
- Lack of Time – Family, work and friends have a higher priority than working out.
- Lack of Money – Gym memberships and workout equipment can be expensive.
- Bad Weather – Winter and inclement weather are a serious problem for those who like exercising outdoors.
- Lack of Self-Esteem – You feel that you are too overweight or that your body isn’t perfect like the athletes you see in magazines and on TV so you think your dream of becoming fit is impossible.
- Boredom – Going to the same aerobic classes, working out on the treadmill or lifting weights has begun to bore you to tears.
These are all legitimate reasons to stop working out, but for every problem there is a solution. Tony Robbins said:
“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” You began an exercise regimen for a reason. Quitting is not the answer. The answer to your problem is overcoming obstacles.”
How to Overcome Obstacles to Getting Fit
Obstacles are made to be overcome. If you face an obstacle in your path you go around it, go under it or find a way to go through it.
If lack of time is your obstacle, you have several options to choose from. Instead of working out for an hour or more, reduce the time you work out. If you’re into jogging or cycling or make time to jog or cycle for 15 minutes a day instead of an hour. If you like bodybuilding, reduce the time you work out with weights or purchase dumbbells so you can exercise at home when you have free time. If you are going short distances, walk instead of taking your car. Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but over the course of a week, month or year, you will feel the difference in your fitness levels.
Money should never be an obstacle that prevents you from getting fit. Some forms of exercise that you can do that are effective and absolutely free of charge are push-ups, situps, pull-ups, walking and hiking. A library card gives you access to tons of exercise videos that you can borrow from the library. Do you have access to stairs? You can get the same effects as you do from a Stairmaster just by climbing stairs in your house or at work.
Winter months and rainy weather are a difficult obstacle to surmount, but it’s not impossible. Consider taking classes at a gym during these months, or getting a gym membership that lets you pay on a monthly basis without any contract. Go to a mall and walk around. You can window shop as you get a little exercise. Do you own a Wii? If so, there are lots of video games that you can purchase cheaply that lets you imitate activities like jogging, walking, strength training, boxing, and tennis.
Unfortunately, self-esteem is an obstacle that prevents many from getting fit. Someone who is obese or who has never engaged in a fitness program will look at the fittest, most muscular and athletic person and say I can’t do that, I can never achieve that. There are three things wrong with these thoughts. The first is that anyone can achieve whatever they want if they really, truly want it.
The second is that these athletes weren’t born that way. Athletes achieve high levels of fitness through years and years of training. Lastly, when you are getting fit, you aren’t competing against others, you are bettering yourself. So if you lose two pounds in a week, you are better than the person you were last week. If you run two miles this week and ran two last week, you have improved. Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to the old you and be proud of your achievements.
Exercise gets boring if you don’t mix it up. Cycling the same path, doing the exact same weight lifting exercises, or taking the same old yoga classes can lead to a lack of mental and physical stimulation. If you’ve become bored with your workout routine, your body and mind is trying to tell you something. The marvelous machine that we call the human body adapts.
If you’re doing the same things over and over again and are bored, it’s probably because there is no challenge in it for you. Your body can do that particular routine easily. So listen to your body and make some changes. Consider taking a dance class instead of the usual aerobic class. Cycle down different roads. Find new exercises to incorporate into your strength training program. Your body knows what it needs so listen to it and make a change.
How to Stay Motivated
OK, so you’ve identified the reasons that are preventing you from getting fit. You have overcome the obstacles and now you want to stay motivated. What next?
Well, motivation means different things to different people. Some people are motivated to stay fit for health reasons. Some are motivated by inspirational quotes from successful athletes. Some people use workout partners to help them stay motivated. Some stay motivated because they are having fun.
Staying Motivated for Health Reasons
“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
One of the greatest motivations for getting fit is for health reasons. Exercise helps improve your health in the following ways:
- Reduces low-density cholesterol levels
- Reduces blood pressure
- Prevents some types of cancers
- Strengthens bones
- Strengthens the immune system
- Increases energy levels
- Raises your resting metabolism
- Helps you control your weight
- Increases blood circulation, which helps to prevent heart disease
- Improves sex drive
- Helps you live a longer life
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Increases confidence levels
- Keeps your brain healthy
- Improves your mood
These are just a few of the benefits of getting fit. The next time you are tempted to skip a workout, just think about these benefits. It will help you conquer the temptation to miss a workout and help you stay motivated.
Inspirational Stories to Help You Stay Motivated
You can get motivation from the best ever quotes about inspiration. Few people in this world have achieved anywhere near as much success as Arnold Schwarzenegger. The great bodybuilder, Hollywood actor and politician once said:
“If you want to turn a vision into reality, you have to give 100% and never stop believing in your dream. If you dream of getting fit, toned and healthy, it all starts in the mind. First, you need to know that you can achieve your goal, then you have to pursue it with your heart and soul.”
Carl Lewis, an American Olympic athlete who won the gold medal in the category of track and field supported this view:
“If you don’t have confidence, you will always find a way not to win. As long as you keep working out and striving to get fit, you will win.”
Women athletes, too, understand the importance of motivation. Katherine Reuter, an American Olympic athlete and speed skating champion said:
“Surpassing my achievements feels incredible; I want to replicate that again and again. This is what you will experience when you start getting fit. You will constantly surpass goals that you’ve set in the past. You’ll start off walking for one mile and then increase that distance to two miles. You’ll swim for 10 minutes and then increase that time to 30 minutes. As you get fitter and fitter, you will want to do more, feel more, be more.”
Stay Motivated with Help from Workout Partners
Getting fit will bring you into contact with people who have similar goals to yours. Everyone who works out knows there are days when you just aren’t into it. When you have these days (and you will), your workout buddies will be there to help you stay motivated. Some ways that your friends can help you stay motivated are:
- Making You Accountable – When you work out alone, it’s you who controls everything. If you don’t feel like working out, you just don’t do it. But, if you have someone who is counting on you to workout with them, the chances that you’ll abandon your workout decreases.
- Providing Company – Working out alone can get boring at times. If you have someone to talk with, time passes by quickly and makes the workout more enjoyable.
- Getting Competitive – A workout partner provides you with a way to challenge yourself. You and your partner can compete to see who can walk the fastest, cycle the longest, or lift the most weight.
- Sharing New Ideas – Having a workout partner makes you more likely to try new things, such as a new class or walking or cycling a different route. Being alone makes some people shy away from new experiences because they don’t want to seem inept. A workout partner gets rid of that because if you fail in your new endeavour so what, you can just laugh about it later.
Enjoy Your Workouts to Stay Motivated
Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight and staying fit lasts a lifetime. If you aren’t having fun when you’re working out, you’re not going to stay motivated. Some ways to have more fun while you are working out are:
- Listen to Music – Enjoying your favorite song while you are jogging or walking adds another level of pleasure to the equation. It’s possible that you won’t be into the workout 100%, but you will be into your favorite song. Let your mind drift and immerse yourself in your music and you’ll complete your workout with a smile on your face.
- Play Sports – Instead of just going to the gym all the time, find a sport that you like to play. Soccer, baseball, football or volleyball are great ways to exercise and you’ll have the chance to meet people too.
- Reward Yourself – Everyone likes a reward and if you are working out hard, why not treat yourself once in a while? Use a TV program, trip to the movies or even a decadent slice of chocolate cake. Of course, if you’re dieting the chocolate cake can’t be your reward every day, but if you do it once a month it’s the perfect reward for all your hard work.
- Get a Personal Trainer – Enlisting the aid of a personal trainer can help increase enjoyment in several ways. For one, you won’t worry that you’re performing the exercises incorrectly, or that you’ll injure yourself so you can be free to workout hard. Another benefit is that you will get better results because a professional is there to help you. Lastly, personal trainers are used to working with a variety of people and they know how to adjust their training to suit you. You will laugh, have fun and get the results you are seeking.
- Take it to the Streets – Exercising outdoors is another great way to break up the monotony of exercise. You can people watch, go past stores, look at cars, and enjoy the outdoor world. Your senses will be bombarded with a variety of information and this will take the focus off your workout. Your session will go by in a flash…and you might make a new friend!
You Can Do It…So Start Today!
Getting fit, toned and healthy is easy once you truly set your mind to it. After you’ve addressed any problems that arise with incorporating exercise into your schedule and overcome the obstacles, the only thing left to do is stay motivated. Getting fit will help you look good, feel good and live longer. What other motivation do you need?
“It's never too late to become what you might have been.”
“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work.”