4 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise

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1. Create a Habit

Habits are formed between 21 and 28 days. If you go to the gym or just walk for three to four weeks without missing a day, you will have made exercise a habit. It becomes part of your daily routine. If exercise is skipped, you will feel as if something was missing from your day.

Think of a bad habit like smoking. Most smokers have quit many times. However, only one cigarette can cause a smoker to continue the habit indefinitely. Miss one workout, and in future days, it becomes easier and easier to skip. Keep that in mind the next time you want to omit a workout just because you’ve had a bad day.

2. Use Your Emotions

Get mad when you miss a workout. You may be able to find an excuse as to why you omitted your workout when there was no real reason to skip. Do not go easy on yourself. Do not tell yourself it is OK. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Letting yourself off the hook is conscious incompetence. Get angry and do not let it happen again.

3. Look for Proper Rewards

Why did you begin exercising in the first place? Some people have had a life-long love for exercise and do not need to look for rewards other than how it makes them feel. Others began exercising to look good, and some have to lower their cholesterol or blood pressure.

Did you begin because you want to improve your aesthetics? Take before pictures. Take after pictures every 6 weeks. Compare the after and before pictures. Look at each body part for improvements. Watch the face to see if it is slimmer. Look at your muscle tone.

Take complements. It is hard to beat the feeling you get when someone tells you how great you look when you have worked so hard. Compliments are a better reward than chocolate.

Did you begin exercising because your doctor told you to? Start your exercise program and go back to your doctor to re-test your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have been exercising and eating right, the numbers will be lower and the doctor will congratulate you.

4. Music During Exercise

Sometimes you need some extra motivation to get through a workout, especially while performing cardiovascular work. If this is you, the type of music you are listening to is key.

Many studies have shown that music can reduce the feeling of exhaustion during cardiovascular exercise. Songs with fast rhythms and beats increase mental arousal, while short songs increase the feeling of accomplishment. The music must be enjoyable, so when at a commercial gym, make sure to bring headphones.

Information sourced from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/9818-stay-motivated-exercise/
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