How To Get Motivated To Begin Working Out?
If you’re anything like us, it has probably been a long time since you’ve stepped into a gym. This pandemic has kept us all safe at home. But for many of us, that has meant home workouts and, just as often, skipped workouts. This lack of physical activity has caused a steep drop in motivation to get fit at all.
With warmer weather ahead, it is time to start thinking about getting back to our fitness routines. Studies show that a wide range of exercises is proven to have beneficial effects on mental health including improved sleep, stress relief, improvement in mood, energy, and stamina on top of physical benefits like weight reduction, reduced cholesterol, and overall improved endurance.
That all sounds great, right?
So how do we get there?
Set A Schedule
Mark your calendar with dates you want to exercise. Start with two or three days a week and commit to that time frame. Think of it like an appointment you wouldn’t cancel last minute - you are important enough to make time for yourself!
Make sure to set aside time for various fitness disciplines, like cardio, weight training, mobility drills, and everything in between(yoga, pilates, etc). Working out a training split that fits your schedule while helping you achieve your fitness goals is a great way to start the process off right. Here are a few common training splits:
- Alternating between full-body strength training and aerobic exercise each day with 1-3 rest days per week.
- 2 days strength training, 1 day cardio, 1 day rest, repeating.
- Upper body strength training, lower body strength training, cardio, rest day, repeating.
Obviously, these aren't the only training splits you can follow. There are countless to choose from, so find the one right for you.
Prioritize Your Time
When you’re scheduling your workouts, make sure to make time for everything. You’ll need time to warm up properly, do your workout, and fit in your post-workout shower routine. If you don’t make time for the whole process, you’ll be left with more excuses to skip the workout! Regular exercise isn't as simple as doing a few sets of push-ups each day.
You need a balanced workout routine that builds all aspects of physical fitness to reap the full benefits of exercise. These health benefits can be achieved in only 15-30 minutes a day, but that means your workouts will have to be extra intense. Most of us will settle around 30-60 minutes per day to maximize our well-being.
If this means multi-tasking by only listening to your favorite podcasts while doing cardio, taking fitness classes instead of binging your favorite Netflix shows, and reducing your social media scrolling time to increase your mobility and flexibility training, then so be it. That's what prioritizing fitness means!
Plan For Rest Days
#DidYouKnow that rest days are an important part of training? Most people think more workouts = better fitness, but real experts know that recovery time is crucial. Make sure you aren’t overworking your muscles, or you’ll find yourself too sore for the next workout!
That rush of endorphins during a hard workout sounds much more enticing than a rest day, but recovery is imperative to your long-term success. If you simply can't go a day without physical activity, try going for a light hike, walking around the neighborhood or local park, or experimenting with Yoga, stretching, and mobility drills.
Plan for your workouts in advance. Are your gym clothes ready and washed? Do you need new workout clothes? Did you prepare a pre-workout snack? Do you have a water bottle handy? Having everything you need for a workout prepared ahead of time helps make sure you don’t have any reasons not to get that workout in! No more “I just don’t have any clean shorts” excuses!
Maybe you even need to enlist the help of a personal trainer to develop a proper exercise routine to get ready to tackle your wellness goals. Whether your goal is weight loss, building muscle, or just being healthier, getting a professionally designed program with regular intervals to check in to maximize progress can be a great form of exercise motivation in itself. Group fitness classes may have the same effect if they are designed well.
Go In With A Plan
So you’re ready to work out—do you know what you’re working on, specifically? Having a plan for your workout ahead of time is essential, so you maximize that time you set aside. Mix it up with a HIIT session, a slow weight lifting workout, or a yoga flow. Whatever kind of workout you like, think about what that will be before you start.
Are you doing Lunges? Are you using dumbbells or just your bodyweight? All of these should be considered before stepping into the gym. Winging it may work for those who have been training consistently for years, but intuitive training typically isn't useful for beginners. The best workout for your health will be well-thought-out and periodized for progressive overload.
If you’re still telling yourself you can skip workouts, try bribing yourself! For every exercise you complete, set aside a couple of dollars, and at the end of the month, treat yourself with that cash! Don’t want to spend money? Mentally bank some TV time for every workout or treat yourself to a favorite dessert after you hit a milestone. If there’s a planned treat at the end of the road, you’ll be more excited to finish your workouts!
Sometimes the health benefits just don't get your blood pumping and ready for the gym. Sure, exercise helps combat things like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, etc, but telling yourself that before every workout is monotonous and boring. Hit a new PR and get a new pair of gym shoes that you've had saved in your cart for weeks? Now that is workout motivation!
Are you sensing a theme? Planning for your workouts is the best way to have time and use that time effectively. Looking for a pre-made workout plan used by hundreds of exercisers successfully? Check out our FREE 14-day program here!