6 Steps to Start and Stay Mentally Motivated When Exercising

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You’ve made up your mind to start exercising. But, just the thought of getting out of bed to exercise or rearranging your busy schedule has you concerned. Here are some tips to help you start, and stay motivated:

  1. Write down why you’re working out. Determine what your reason is and keep notes or pictures of inspiration in plain view so that you’re constantly reminded of why. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, put a picture on the bathroom mirror of yourself and post a new one every time you lose five pounds so that you can see your progress.
  2. Stick to a schedule. Schedule workout times that work with your schedule. Workout sessions should be thought of similarly to very important meetings or social events that you must attend.
  3. Hire some help. If it’s difficult for you to muster the will power to exercise alone, hire a personal trainer. Enroll in a boot camp or another fitness class. If you’re scheduled to workout in a fitness class or have paid a personal trainer to help you, you’ll be more likely to show up.
  4. Mix things up. Don’t do the same old workout week after week. Mix up your workouts to keep them fresh and prevent boredom. Instead of running daily, consider a cross-training regimen that includes swimming and cycling.
  5. Deal with your diet. You can do all the exercise you want, but if you neglect your diet, then you won’t achieve the intended benefit. Cut back on snacks and other prepared foods. Add more fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins into your diet. Drink plenty of water while you exercise and cut down on caffeine.
  6. Reap the rewards. There is nothing wrong with providing yourself with an incentive. That reward might be a new dress or a weekend trip to somewhere special. Reward yourself with a prize, but only if you meet your goals. That incentive can help you stay on track.

Talk your doctor before starting any new exercise program.