Let’s be honest, a lot of us really don’t like to exercise. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions only to abandon them by the first week in February. Exercise is essentially voluntary work. It requires effort to do on a regular basis. Far too often, the body isn’t interested in either the work or the effort required. Is there a way to solve the problem?
That is a question health experts and exercise gurus have been trying to answer for generations. It is simple enough to say that we can motivate ourselves just by making a decision to exercise. But decisions made in the mind have to be followed by the body. And too often, the body fights harder than the mind. Even though we know we should be exercising regularly, the body just doesn’t want to do it.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone who finds motivation to exercise fleeting. But here are some suggestions, compliments of Salt Lake City Utah’s Mcycle cycling studio:
1. Take Some Classes
Mcycle’s first suggestion is to sign up for some classes. Whether you are into indoor cycling, aerobics, or something else entirely, signing up for a class could be just the motivation you need. It is the perfect way to motivate yourself if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to waste money. If you have spent the money on a class, you are more likely to go than skip it.
Classes also add a social element exercise. For some people, social interaction is the perfect motivation. Just being able to get together and spend time with friends is enough to get them to go to class two or three times per week.
2. Find an Exercise Buddy
It could be that organized classes are not your thing. That’s fine. Another option is to find an exercise buddy. This is a person who, like you, has trouble self-motivating. You can combine forces to hold one another accountable. When you are not feeling into it, your buddy can encourage you to put on those sweats and get exercising. You can do the same for them.
3. Create a Reward System
One of the reasons we struggle to self-motivate is that we fail to see the rewards of regular exercise. Yes, we know that exercise is good for overall health. We know that people who get regular exercise are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. But such thoughts are often intangible until disease actually strikes.
A way to counter the perceived lack of reward is to set up an actual reward system. Think of something special that you like to do. Maybe you and your significant other have a favorite restaurant you enjoy. You could reward yourselves with a nice dinner for every month you both get in a maximum of twenty workout days – that works out to five days per week.
You can reward yourself in any number of ways. There is only one caveat: don’t overdo it. Be especially careful if your rewards involve food. There is no point in exercise if you go so overboard in your rewards that you mitigate the benefits of regular workouts.
Exercise is tough to commit to. It is even tougher to follow through on a commitment made. It’s far easier to sit on the couch with a cold drink, a bag of chips, and the remote control. But exercise is the better of the two options – even when your mind and body don’t really want to do it.