I could bang on all day and all night about the relative merits and importance of flexibility training, lifting weights, cardiovascular fitness, core exercises, nutrition and hydration and much more besides but ‘it ain’t worth a carrot’ if you don’t do it.
You see, my Personal Trainers and I need to know about all those fitness components and how they correctly integrate together but underpinning it all is the will to work out, the determination to do it, the MOTIVATION to make a change. And motivation is an incredible thing. It can help you achieve the unthinkable, reach further that you dreamed, achieve more than you ever thought possible and keep you going when things get tough. Now when everyone was given their quota of motivation, some people got a big parcel, some less and others very little at all.
That’s just how it is. Those that received a lot are happy to push through discomfort, have lots of self-discipline and keeping positive seems to come naturally to them. Those that received only a little or perhaps none at all find things tougher. That’s just the differences in our personal characteristics. And motivation is one of the primary reasons that our Clients work with us – they realise the value of it but don’t possess much themselves.
From my experience, many people have lower levels of motivation, which is where my Team come in with their natural enthusiasm and ability to get the absolute best out of everyone. Without motivation, you won’t achieve very much at all so this week I’m opening the floodgates with tips and tricks that you can use to ensure that you start working out, continue working out and then reap all the benefits from leading a healthy lifestyle – when you’re motivated!
1. Make an appointment – with yourself! When you’re filling up your diary, if there’s an appointment in there then you go to that appointment don’t you? You’d be letting someone down if you missed it and that would be rude. Now not all the appointments that we make we want to attend (the dentist is one that you'd probably choose to miss!) but you go along because you’ve made that commitment. So why not make an exercise appointment with yourself? In the same way that you schedule other tasks, block out some time for yourself and then don’t let yourself down by standing yourself up! By making that appointment you’re committing and commitment is the foundation of motivation and if that motivational strategy gets you to your workout – that’s a win!
2. Don’t go it alone. There’s a saying that two heads are better than one and that can be applied to your exercise as well. By working out with someone else, you’re more inclined to meet up, start and carry on when it gets more challenging. I know from personal experience. Now I’m a pretty highly motivated person but when I train in the gym with a friend of mine, I achieve more and get more out of my session that if I was alone. That’s because my workout becomes more fun than when I’m exercising alone and I enjoy it more. Similarly when I’m running, training in a group is more effective for me than a solo effort. So to get more out of your exercise, train with a friend, partner or someone because you’ll be much more likely to actually exercise and you’ll achieve much, much more. Two really is better than one!
3. Start as you mean to go on. Let’s face it, there’s always something else to do. Whether it’s work, the family or just another chore, there’s always a long list of ‘other things that you could be doing’ instead of attending to your own health and fitness. Sometimes even the weather can try to put you off. Well my motivational tip is to make a start. For example, if you planned a trip to the gym for an hour or so but you’ve got a stack of other tasks to complete, at least go to the gym. Get changed and begin your workout. At least you’ll be getting some exercise done and once you’ve started, there’s a fair chance that you’ll get into the groove, find your rhythm and continue. Similarly it might be raining outside and that bike ride or run around the block looks less inviting by the minute. My advice is at least get out there for a minimum of ten minutes. If after ten minutes you can’t bear it then come back inside but I’ll tell you what’ll happen. Well before ten minutes have elapsed you’ll find your feet, get into your session and hey presto, you’ve fitted in a valuable workout that otherwise you would have missed! Time and again I’ve seen a Client come into the gym looking pretty frazzled after finishing work to exercise with one of my Team, only to leave after their session looking like a different person. That’s the power of exercise!
4. Take aim . . . and fire! Over the years, you will have prepared for and taken exams, tests and interviews, etc. It’s often a challenging process – there’s work in preparation, the pressure of the actual test, great relief afterwards and happiness when you’ve passed or achieved. Well in the same way, you can achieve with your weight loss challenge or exercise goal. Just like the target of the exam or interview, by setting a target you have something tangible to focus upon – without which your efforts will falter. There’s the goal itself to aim for, the work to do as you progress towards your target, and the celebration when you achieve. Even better, try this strategy that we employ with our Personal Training Clients. We create a series of targets, starting with the biggest goal and then work backwards towards the present with smaller mini-targets. Each mini-target is an achievement in itself and another rung on the ladder towards the main goal which gets closer and closer – and then is achieved. Aim for that target and go for it!
5. . . . and finally, So don’t worry if you’re not top of the charts in the motivation stakes, you can still achieve by tapping into my motivational strategies above. They all work, they’ll all help you to make a positive change with your life and they’ll also help you to keep that positivity going – which of course is the key to long-term all-round health – continuity. Enjoy getting motivated, getting out there and getting fitter and healthier from all the body4life health & fitness Team – that’s me, Jane, Duncan, Dave, Alison and Tony (Mr & Mrs Motivators the lot of us!).
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