Not known Factual Statements About How to Get Motivated To Exercise When You’re Off Track – Verywell Fit
Are you looking to make your random workout class or Sunday spin session a routine ritual? You may be one of many infrequent exercisers who wants to sweat more often but grapples with finding the workout motivation to make fitness a part of your everyday routine. Conventional wisdom hasn’t been expressly helpful in figuring out how to get in the groove and become that person who says, “I’ll meet you for brunch later.
Or that you have to do something 21 days in a row before it becomes second nature. But what do you do on the 29th day when it’s raining outside, and you’re dying to skip your run and sleep for an extra hour instead? Fortunately, economists and psychologists have been studying how to crack the code of what compels us to do something we don’t always want to do repeatedly.
Sure, some people might be motivated by vague goals such as “better health” or “weight control.” But if that’s not doing it for you, journalist Charles Duhigg, author of advice making the benefits of working out more tangible, such as by treating yourself to a smoothie or an episode of Game of Thrones afterward.
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“An extrinsic reward is powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” he explains. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.” Over time, the motivation becomes natural. The brain begins to incorporate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals released in the mind that are accountable for that “I-feel-freaking-amazing” rush you get after a great gym session.
We can make vows to ourselves all day long, but research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends. You can up the ante even more by signing a deal agreeing to pay a pal $20 every time you skip Pilates.
“I say I’m going to commit to doing something for a specified amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. If I don’t do that, I’m going to pay some penalty, whether it’s monetary or the humiliation of having friends know I didn’t live up to my word.” In studies of people who created online contracts via the site stickk.com, Goldhaber-Fiebert and his colleagues found that those who signed more lengthened contracts ended up exercising more than those who agreed to shorter durations.
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“The difficulty is designing tools to help make that happen.” Devotees of positive thinking have long promoted visualizing the gains of a behavior as a motivational tactic. For example, when I’m deciding whether to get out of bed to go running in the morning, it helps to imagine how the sun will feel on my face as I run around the reservoir.
“After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to defeat it and make a plan (fitness).” But such feel-good fantasies are only useful when guided by more practical problem-solving methods, according to Gabriele Oettingen, Ph.D., a psychologist at New York University and author of ”Here’s the rest of the formula”: After identifying your wish and visualizing the outcome, you have to identify what’s holding you back — a method she calls “mental contrasting.” In one study of 51 female students who claimed they wanted to eat fewer junk food snacks, researchers asked them to imagine the benefits of nibbling on better foods.
Feel too tired to go to the gym after work? “After you envision the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to subdue it and make a plan,” explains Oettingen. For example, you can switch to morning or lunchtime workouts or go straight to the gym instead of stopping at home first.
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Researchers in a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that rewarding new gym members with $30 or $60 gift cards for exercising made little to zero impact on their workout motivation. While it might sound like a sweet deal to get paid to sweat, what will ultimately inspire you to get up and start moving is a strong, supportive community.
From CrossFit boxes to run clubs to yogi circles, there’s a fitness squad for everyone (lazy). Discover a workout that makes you feel good and encircle yourself with people that help build your self-confidence as much as your strength. The cost of putting yourself out there? Priceless. It was originally posted on August 27, 2014.
Rita Templeton, Let me start this off by clarifying one crucial thing: I’m just a regular person who exercises. I’m no fitness devotee. You won’t find me at a 5 a.m. boot camp class (because of sleeping) or Instagramming pictures of daily kale and protein powder smoothie (because, yuck). The only “burpee” I do is after a big meal.
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They make me feel inadequate — like I’m never going to have that kind of drive and commitment and may as well give up now and sprawl out on the couch with a pint of ice cream and some Netflix. So don’t worry. I’m not here to go all Maria Kang and tell you that you’re not exercising because you’re a lazy piece of crap.
If you’re reading this, well, that’s probably you. And that’s okay because it was me too. After popping out three kids in five years (and, all right, enjoying all the desserts), my body was a lazy wasteland. For the first time in my life, I was within spitting distance of 300 pounds.
So I isolated myself, skipping events where I might see someone who would think, Damn, she’s gained a lot of weight. I used my kids as an excuse to stay home (which was pretty legit, because we all know how hard it is to do anything with toddlers). Still, the real reason was that I was deeply ashamed of the way I looked.
There is no shame if you feel you need to shed a few flesh off your frame, find time to get that done, and endeavor to do it well and end with excellent results.