Aside from choosing to fuel and nourish our bodies with a wholefood, plant-based diet, committing to regular exercise is one of the most significant things we can do to improve our overall health and wellbeing.
That’s because regular physical activity has been proven to have an array of benefits to our physical and emotional wellbeing and can improve practically every aspect of our lives. Regardless of the type or intensity, exercise can improve mood, reduce depression and anxiety, help us lose weight and keep it off, lower the risk of chronic disease, boost energy levels, improve sleep quality, reduce pain and improve skin health. Exercise may even help us live longer (1, 2).
Whilst the benefits of exercise are well documented and widely known, exercising regularly is one of the hardest things for people to commit to and maintain long-term. That’s because knowing the benefits and wanting to do something isn’t enough for most people to make long-lasting behaviour changes. In reality, it just leaves us feeling defeated and blaming ourselves for not having enough dedication or willpower.
The truth is, however, it’s not actually that hard to change your habits and fall in love with exercising. Like the Eimele program, the key is adopting personalised strategies and exercising in a way that’s right for you.
Here’s Our Top 6 Tips to Boost Your Motivation and Make Exercise a Priority in Your Life:
1. Make It A Ritual
Making exercise a ritual isn’t about what you do during a workout, but the seemingly insignificant things you do before. That’s because a ritual is just a habit that’s triggered by certain actions done in the same way. For example, getting up every morning at the same time, immediately putting on running gear, and stepping out the door is the key to going for a run in the morning. It’s especially effective because it takes away the option of deciding whether or not you’re in the mood to do an activity. Completing a ritual also gives a sense of empowerment and achievement, which can help you be more productive and make healthier choices throughout the day.
2. Have Fun, Mix It Up
Doing a form of exercise, you find boring – or even torturous – is setting yourself up for failure. Instead, find forms of physical activity that you actually enjoy doing and that make you feel great. And to prevent boredom, be sure to mix up the types of exercise you do. Instead of always running solo on the treadmill, for example, try out different types of exercise like HITT, Pilates or Yoga.
3. Schedule It In
For some, the act of adding a workout to a calendar or schedule like you would for a meeting or appointment is key to making time for exercise. Scheduling a workout can also help you stay accountable when motivation lags and you feel like skipping a session.
4. Create An Inspiring Playlist
Music has powerful effects on people, and research proves it. Studies show that music can trigger emotions, change moods, increase attention and even improve productivity. As a result, exercising with music can increase performance, delay fatigue, as well as improve endurance, power and strength (3). Try listening to a playlist with your favourite, upbeat songs before and during a workout to psych yourself up and keep you motivated.
5. Have It Mapped Out
On the days where you seem to find every excuse not to work out, having a plan will make all the difference as it takes thinking and decision-making out of the situation. Not only will planning make it easier to stick to an exercise routine, but it will also save time and maximise your efficiency at the gym.
6. Get A Buddy
For some people, the key to sticking to a workout and staying accountable is having a workout partner. In addition to making it harder to skip a workout, having a friend by your side maximises your time by combining working out with quality time. Spending quality time with a friend also makes exercise feel less like a chore and more like a treat.
Keep in mind, not all of these tips will work for you – and that’s ok. Everyone is different and we all find different things motivating. The key is trying out different techniques until you find what works best for you!
Featured Image Source: @lululemon