One way? Really? Do you think there is one way to stay motivated to move that is going to work for everyone? Looks like I may stray away from the title of the blog…once again.
How can we label one “best practice” way to motivate all the different types of people in the world to move their bodies? There are many ways that are proven to help motivate people to move. It is up to you to experiment with different ones, so that you can find a way that will work for you.
In addition, it is important to remember that it might change every once in a while, too. What motivates you to move yourself in your 20’s might not work your 30’s or 40’s.
How to stay motivated to exercise
1. Find a way to move, or exercise, that you LOVE!
Just the other day I asked a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while (and who had been begging me to get together with her) to meet me for lunch. “Oh, Thursday?” she responded. “I’m sorry; that is my pickleball day.”
I picked another time, and then another, getting the same type of response. “That is my pickleball league.” Or “I have a pickleball date; I can’t miss that!”
She clearly loves her pickleball!
Finding an activity or sport that you love can intrinsically motivate you to get out and move your body. It becomes something that you cannot wait to do. It is much like when you were a child, and you couldn’t wait to go out to play, and hated it when it was time to come in.
Experiment with some different types of activities…dancing, hiking, swimming, tennis, frisbee, even pickleball! Notice the bounce it adds to your step.
2. Ask yourself “What is your WHY?”
What is it that you want to be able to experience in the next 10 years of your life?
- Do you want to travel to Paris and walk the streets?
- Kayak on your local lake?
- Explore the rocky coast of Greece?
- Get on the floor to play with your grandkids?
- Bike the island of Martha’s Vineyard?
Focusing on the bigger picture, what is really important in your life can be a great motivator to start an exercise program. Understanding what it takes to physically do the activities that you want to do can determine how to move.
Start a walking program to enable you to walk those streets in Paris; start strength training for a kayaking or hiking adventure.
Follow your why to help keep you motivated to live the life you want to live, experience the things you want to experience, and create the memories you want to have.
3. Make it a DATE!
Get connected! Plan a weekly “walk and talk” with a friend, sign up for a new dance class with your significant other or group of friends, join a team or club that meets regularly.
There are lots of ways to find groups of people that are moving their bodies the same way you might like to move yours! Try a meetup group, or ask your co-workers, family or friends to move with you…walk, swim, hike, bike, dance, play golf…whatever sounds fun to you.
Not only do you get the benefits of exercise, you also get the wonderful benefits that come with the connection to other people. Hanging out with girlfriends increases the release of oxytocin (the “feel good” hormone); it also increases feelings of happiness, joy, security, and support.
Research also states that connecting with others can improve your health and decrease your stress level.
Why not start today? Whom can you connect with this week to take a walk?
NEED HELP RECONNECTING TO THE PLEASURE OF MOVING YOUR BODY?
Green Mountain at Fox Run can help. Join us in scenic Vermont to discover just how good physical activity can feel. Our fitness professionals are skilled in adapting activities to make them doable for women of all abilities. Contact us to speak with a Program Advisor.
4. Start with a Mini-Habit
Instead of setting a goal to run a marathon in 3 months, or get to the gym 5 days a week, why not start with a mini-habit?
I know, you hear that you should set a big goal, because that is supposed to motivate you to stick to your exercise routine, right?
Well, what happens when you miss a day because your car didn’t start, or you had to pick up your sick son at school? That’s right — you are overcome with a sense of failure because you have let yourself down (again), and you may even end up throwing in the towel altogether.
How about starting small habit, or even smaller? Mini even…something that you feel confident you will be able to do. It could be one push-up, one lap around your house, 3 jumping jacks. This one mini-habit has the ability to encourage you to do even more.
Try this: Make a habit-sandwich! How you ask? Begin by adding a habit you are trying to develop (like 1 pushup or 3 jumping jacks) and place that habit in between 2 already well-established habits.
For example, every morning you get up, go to the bathroom, set the coffee, and then take a shower.
Instead, get up, go to the bathroom, do one pushup, go set the coffee, do one push up, take a shower. Ok, you got me. That is actually a double-decker sandwich….but you get the point.
This one small habit can snowball into more. Motivation to do one can breed into more motivation.
As we say here at Green Mountain, something is better than nothing, RIGHT?
What will motivate you?
Finding an activity or sport you love?
Start moving so that you can take that trip?
Make a date with a friend?
Start with just one little mini-habit to start gaining some momentum?
Find your Motivation at Green Mountain
For many more ways to motivate yourself to move, visit us at Green Mountain at Fox Run. The women you meet here (both participants and staff) are sure to get you motivated! Call us at 800.448.8106 to learn more about how you can make joyful movement a regular part of your life.