James and I are back at the FitRV headquarters after returning from our month long roadtrip. Big changes since we left. We went from air conditioning, shorts, and shades of green to heaters, sweatshirts, and shades of orange. Isn’t fall fabulous?!
Since we’re plowing full steam ahead into the holiday season AND into the short days of winter, I wanted to talk a moment about the very real struggle for exercise motivation. Research shows this is the most vulnerable time of year for sticking with our healthy habits. Let’s fight back.
How to Beat the Mind-Game and Find Your Motivation.
Look, when it comes to living a fit life, whether the holidays or any time of year, we are completely at the mercy of our motivation. We all KNOW we need physical activity, but yet only around 22% of adults in the US are getting enough (according to CDC).
Why is that number so low when we all know we need it?!! No surprise here, it’s that never-ending mental battle we all face with finding the motivation to do it.
So let’s do this. Let’s pretend I’m your personal trainer.
“DROP AND GIVE ME 20!” …joking! (no I’m not actually)
The first thing I do with trainees struggling with motivation is take a step back and look at the whole picture. Because before you can be successful at exercising regularly, you need to understand the obstacles keeping you from doing it.
Usually, the reasons we aren’t exercising as much as we should come down to one of two things. Here they are, along with some ways to beat them:
MOTIVATION BUSTER #1:
“I’M SICK, TIRED, OR INJURED”: So here’s the deal. If we wait to feel good to work out, we’re NEVER going to work out. Unless you’re under doctor’s orders, stop letting your brain get away with this excuse. You’re likely sick/tired because you haven’t been exercising regularly, and so getting exercise is more critical than ever.
Here are my suggestions if this is one of your obstacles. But first and foremost… if you’re injured, seek professional advice on how to exercise without exacerbating your injury. Then:
- Make a weekly exercise schedule. Set a day of the week for it; I make my weekly plan every Sunday. Set an alarm in your phone so that every week you get reminded to WRITE YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE for the upcoming week! I can’t stress enough the power of writing down your exercise plan…even something as simple as a 15 minute power-walk, WRITE IT! Once it’s out of your head and scheduled on paper, it’s harder to ignore.
- Plan your activities for around an hour after waking. At that time, you’ve moved around a bit to loosen up, and in the morning your hormones are working to your advantage. Plus, and this one’s very important for those already struggling with the exercise mind-game, if you plan it for the morning life is less likely to distract you and get in the way. If you save it for the end of day, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
MOTIVATION BUSTER #2:
“EXERCISE IS NO FUN.”: As humans, it’s in our nature that when something’s not FUN, we don’t want to do it. If interested in why that is, I go into depth on that HERE. As for how to deal with it, here are some suggestions:
- Seek out physical activity that is as close to fun as you can get and avoid activity that you dread.
- Are you social? Get a buddy involved.
- Are you competitive? Sign up for an event a couple months out and train for it!
- Do you like sports? Take some lessons or join a league.
The key here is to find physical activities that are the most tolerable for you. The more you like them, the more likely you are to stick with them.
So here’s the deal and the most important thing for you to remember:
The ONLY way to health, vitality and living our best lives is with regular exercise.
There’s just no way around it. You can only float along for so long before avoiding exercise will come back to bite you in the bootie. So, my hope for you is that you’ll take this to heart and spend some time looking at what your fitness obstacles are, especially as we head into winter when motivation levels are at their worst. Get them under control now and you can totally rock your fitness through the holidays AND BEYOND!
Rooting for you!