In January, gyms are packed with people who made resolutions to get more active or up their fitness motivation in 2018. But now it’s late February, and for a lot of people, motivation to keep on moving has faded. Are you one of them? Ups and downs in motivation are normal. But I have some tips for keeping yourself motivated to live an active and healthy lifestyle well past the New Year.
5 Ways to Improve Your Fitness Motivation
1. Find an activity that brings you joy.
If you don’t like something, why do it? To find movement that you truly like, first connect with yourself, and ask yourself what are a few things that bring other kinds of joy into your life? Do you love being outdoors? Spending time with friends? Does alone time feed your soul? Do you thrive with schedules and structure, or feel best when you can go with the flow?
You can incorporate all of these factors into physical activity. For example, try walking some local hills with a friend, if you crave social time and the outdoors. Once you try it, check in with yourself. How did you feel before it? How did you feel during, and how did you feel after it? If you felt joy and happiness, then keep doing it! If not, try something else: a solo walk in the park, a Zumba class, hula hooping in your living room—the possibilities for mindful movement are endless.
2. Connect to your feelings.
Some days, you’re just not going to want to move, no matter how much you enjoy it. That’s when you want to remember how you felt after you moved last time, or when you used to move regularly. Do you want to feel those positive feelings again? If yes, then get up and move! Staying connected to those positive memories may be the turning point from staying on the couch to getting up and moving.
3. Have a goal in mind.
Would you like to run a race someday? Be able to walk around the mall for all-day shopping marathons? Choose a realistic goal with clear milestones that can be tracked. Setting a goal that fits your lifestyle is important to prevent setbacks. Track your progress on a regular basis and reward yourself when certain milestones have been accomplished.
4. Add variety!
We humans need change and novelty to stay motivated. Make sure you are adding activities to your routine that are fun and engaging. Adding variety to your routine also benefits the body by introducing new ways to use certain muscle groups that you may not have done before.
5. Get support.
It’s easier to keep moving when you’re not doing it alone. This is where walking-buddies, fellow students in a fitness class, or even a fitness professional can help. Above all, remember why you started moving more, and that you are doing it for yourself, nobody else! Through ups and downs, step by step, you are leading yourself to a lifetime of healthy living, happiness, and positive energy.
If you want to improve your fitness motivation and experiment with movement while also making peace with food, we invite you to experience the Green Mountain at Fox Run program – where we’ve been changing the way women think about food for over 45 years.