Regular exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but staying motivated to exercise can prove difficult. If you truly want to stay the course and avoid falling off the fitness wagon, you must constantly find ways to persuade yourself to stick to your health goals, even on those days when you just want to sit around the house.
It can be difficult to stay motivated to work out if you have to change your clothes, gather your belongings and drive to the gym every day. The work involved in preparing to exercise can be almost as grueling and time-consuming as the workout itself, so if you lack motivation to go through such an arduous routine every day, try incorporating exercise into your normal daily routines instead. Walk the dog, jog around your block a few times, do some situps while watching TV or take the stairs at your place of business.
Find a Partner
Training with a friend or relative can add accountability to help you remain persuaded to exercise. Working out with a partner also helps you to stay motivated give your best performance, and that leads to greater results. A personal trainer can also help you to stay persuaded in this way because the trainer requires you to stick to a schedule.
Rewards are excellent tools for persuasion and motivation, so determine a healthy reward before you start working out. If you reward yourself with unhealthy foods, you may immediately undo most of the benefits received by the exercise, so choose healthy foods or non-food items as a reward. For instance, reward yourself with a half hour of television, a light snack or some reading time. Most importantly, always stay focused on the biggest reward of all -- your good health.
Set Specific Goals
Simply telling yourself to exercise will not keep you motivated in the long run. If you want to truly persuade yourself, set specific goals. For instance, designate a numeric weight loss goal or strive to sculpt specific areas of your body. Then, draw out a game plan that includes daily exercise to meet these goals. Many fitness books can help you to choose the best course of action if you cannot afford a personal trainer. Keep a fitness journal to help you track your progress, and change your routine regularly to keep it fresh and interesting.
If you truly want to feel persuaded to exercise, educate yourself about the potential consequences of not doing so. Read books and articles about the staggering health risks associated with obesity, sedentary lifestyles and poor overall health. You can even keep such articles around the house for motivation. For instance, you might place health articles on your refrigerator to serve as constant reminders about the importance of regular exercise.