Effective motivational strategies for exercise and fitness start with making changes. If you change your attitude, you can take the right actions to achieve your fitness goals. See Beginning Weightlifting
*Practice making changes. Get accustomed changes–even small ones. Drive a different way to work, rearrange the furniture, or change the order in which you normally do things. Just make changes. Working out is a change of lifestyle from what may be comfortable, though unhealthy. Both your weight training program and your totalExercise Training Program require due attention in your daily routine. You need a “Can Do!” attitude about changes–be excited about what is to come!
If you have trouble getting started with workouts, take some steps in the right direction, no matter how small. Put one foot in front of the other and start moving. Here are some motivational strategies that work well.
*Do any physical activity that you feel good about–complete a project that requires some energy: paint a room, go on a hike, run or jog around the bases at a ball park, or ride a bike. You can make working out more fun than running in place on a treadmill. Be creative before and during your program.
*Let go of old ways and things. Clean out a closet and get rid of things. Release the clutter in your mind. Purge the old to make room for the new–attitudes and habits included.
*Start writing. Keep a workout diary. Start recording what you do, how your feel, and even what you eat. Keep writing throughout your workout program. Putting your training experience in print makes it all real, so you own where you are and what you do.
*Commit time and make a workout schedule. Follow the 6 Training Steps
*Set up a goal chart and time line. Here is an example:
Here are a few more motivational strategies to help you adhere to your training program:
*Find a workout partner or group. Meet at the same time. Support and encourage each other, and hold each other accountable for staying on track.
*Change your workouts daily. Design your program so that no two workouts are alike. Rotate the order, vary exercises, reps, sets–anything that keeps it from being boring and predictable. See Fitness Workout Programs Exercise Order
*Continue to keep a journal. Get to know your body and how you respond to exercise. See Fitness Assessment
*Record indicators of your progress, both in actual units (e.g, weight in lbs.) and how you feel. Always note improvements. You will see progress just due to learning alone. Progress boosts your workout motivation.
*Keep going! Exercise adherence is important. If you miss a day, it should be the exception. Work around unforeseen, necessary misses that are reasons– not excuses. Do something to maintain your workout routine to stay in the fitness habit.
*Celebrate! When you achieve your short-term and long-term goals–reward yourself. You are well on your way to becoming the new you. And once you have achieved your vision, set up a new schedule to maintain where you are, or move on to new, higher level goals.
Your ability to maintain your weight training program is a mental challenge, not usually a physical one. Remember, you are the only one who can change your lifestyle and you can always improve. Motivational strategies are pocket tools to keep you focused on moving forward.
There is probably nothing more motivational than seeing that you are really making progress. This is why setting goals and assessing and evaluating your fitness level are so important.
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