How to get motivated to exercise
10 tips to keep your exercise routine
Isn't it funny that the moment you decide to exercise, something always gets in the way? Mum stops by. The kids need help with their homework. The dog ate your running shoes. If that sounds like you, maybe it's time to organise your exercise? Here’s how.
1. Make fitness work around your routine
Plan a schedule that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you work irregular hours, don't sign up for classes that start at the same time each week. Instead, choose exercise that can be easily slotted into your day. Walk the kids to school or run errands on foot during your lunch hour.
2. Set up a weekly timetable
To help you organise your time, draw up a weekly timetable of planned exercise. Try to do something for at least 20 minutes each day, even if it's just going for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.
3. Set yourself rewards
Buy yourself some flowers once a week for completing all of your planned workouts, or do something nice for yourself, that makes you happy – even if it’s just taking time out for a bubble bath. You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, such as playing with your kids or catching up with a friend on a walk.
4. Get everyone around you on board
Make sure your family and friends know when and where you plan to exercise. That way you shouldn't get any unwelcome interruptions. If you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, arrange it in advance.
5. Anticipate motivation dips
Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time, but preparing for these feelings can go a long way to combating them. For instance, if you sometimes struggle to go to your Step or Pump class, get a friend to call you to make sure you're not sitting on the couch!
6. Avoid your 'danger zones'
Many things can distract even the most dedicated exerciser: your favourite TV show, the lure of a night out with friends, or a neighbour popping in for a chat. Learn to recognise these particular 'danger zones' and take steps to negotiate your way around them.
7. Buy comfortable workout clothing
Think about investing in some well-designed, comfortable and supportive gym clothes; you'll be more motivated to work out if you know you look the part.
8. Have a dedicated fitness drawer
When you're in a hurry, the last thing you need is to be hunting around for your gym socks. Keep all your exercise clothes in a special drawer so you can put your hands on them quickly.
9. Leave your gym bag by the door
Always leave your gym bag by the front door. This serves two purposes: one, you’ll always know where it is; and two, it’ll remind you to get the exercise done.
10. Wear and wash
And last but not least, when you get back from the gym or pool, put your dirty clothes straight in the wash. Nothing is guaranteed to put you off exercising more than having to rummage around in the laundry basket for a semi-clean pair of socks or sports bra!