Exercise motivation is quite likely the most important (and most difficult) aspect of any exercise program. Needless to say, it is the prerequisite for effective weight control. In my experience, more than 90% of failed exercise programs are due to lack of compliance, which in turn is due to lack of motivation. One simply cannot find the drive to carry on, day-in day-out. And without this drive, things will simply not happen!
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Therefore, it's important to examine one's attitude toward exercise, and if need be, rewire it for success.
- First and foremost, don't regard workout as a chore. Think
of it as your time to unwind, escape your daily worries, and why not -
get a rush of power. With the right mental attitude, exercise becomes
a reward rather than a chore.
- Pick an exercise program that is convenient for you, works well with
your schedule, and allows you the necessary flexibility. Follow this link to see the criteria for a convenient exercise program.
- Pick exercise activities that you actually enjoy doing. This is
imperative in order for you to stick with the program.
- Don't push yourself over the limit, i.e. don't over-exercise. This increases your risk of injury, and may also result in an aversion to exercise. Keep your workout length below 1 hour a day, 3-5 days a week.
- Build up gradually on the intensity of your workouts, giving yourself time to adapt.
- Monitor your progress often! It's a wonderful tool for staying motivated. For example, you may check your weight on the scale every few days, and keep a log with the amount of weight you have lost.
- Always keep in mind the results you are aiming to achieve. It helps picturing
yourself in tip-top shape, as you envision to be a few weeks or months down the
- And last but not least, reward yourself for good results: Go buy that fitting garment that shows off your
slimmer shape! Looking at the 'new you' in the mirror can provide plenty of exercise motivation.
Note: It is prudent to consult with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program, especially if you are new to exercise, suffer from any medical conditions, or are a woman over the age of 50 or a man over the age of 40.
Return from "Tips for Exercise Motivation" to "Exercise for Weight Loss"