Motivation tips for exercise

Written by harold e. sconiers
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Motivation tips for exercise
Choose an enjoyable method of getting fit to gain extra motivation for your workout. (daily exercise. image by mdb from

The human body is built for mobility. Living an active lifestyle improves one's mood, promotes mental clarity and fosters longevity. However in an age of convenience, when robots are sold that will vacuum a house or cut the grass on the lawn, many people are finding themselves less than inspired to get out and go. It is quite possible, though, to dislodge oneself from the grip of idle indifference. Remembering a few simple ideas will engender the motivation to get off the sofa and into the game.

Reframe the game

Words not only describe one's experience, but create it as well. One of the reasons many people find getting in shape so difficult is due to they way in which they view the process. Getting fit is commonly framed as a long struggle of "hard work," or "something I have to do." These ideas are very unappealing to the mind, which always works to make your life easier. By conceptualising it in that way, one cannot help but experience exercise as a terrible chore, a burden, something to dread. This will manifest, emotionally, as discouragement and insecurity. Instead of telling yourself how hard what has to be done is, speak of what you are gaining from it. "I'm just working hard" turns into "I'm getting fit," or "I'm becoming stronger." "I have to go to the gym" changes to "I get to go to the gym." Re-wording ideas may seem trivial, but makes a big difference in the way you will feel.

Another way this concept plays out is in weight loss. The common procedure of reciting the phrase "I don't want to be fat" is one of the most destructive approaches to achievement. It forces you to focus on what you don't want, in place of targeting your goals. In order for your mind to interpret that statement, it must first see you as being fat, and then try and negate that image. It's extremely counter-productive. Instead say "I'm in the process of achieving my ideal body image," or something of that sort. This is the truth. Fitness is indeed a process, and with every action, every effort, you are building yourself toward who it is you desire to be.

One bite at a time

Another thing that inhibits the drive to exercise is the act of concerning oneself, at the outset, with everything that must be done before sufficient progress is made. This is like a child, on the first day of kindergarten, worrying about how he will ever pass advanced algebra years later. In reality, life exists in moments. Who you are, in years to come, will be an accumulation of actions taken in these separate moments. The future holds no assurance. Therefore, it's more useful to relate your thoughts only to tasks of the day. Concentrating on accomplishing one workout, one set, or even one exercise at a time, will pay huge dividends in terms of the confidence needed to achieve your final goals. You don't have to be the best that you ever will be, only better than you were the moment before.

Do things you enjoy

One misconception is that exercise must involve a crowded, machine-filled gym. Any activity in which a person transcends her normal output of energy is, by definition, exercise. Skating, swimming, walking, table tennis, and even household chores and gardening, are included in an endless list of possible ways to get fit. Also, people will often do enjoyable activities with more effort, and for longer periods of time, without even noticing it. When work is play, goals become easy marks.

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