Understanding How To Get Motivated & Stay Fit
In our previous blog about workout routines we talked about how meditation trains the mind to help us get, and stay, motivated to exercise. Being ‘mind fit’ allows us to focus and maintain our workout routines – so we can simply deal with and move on from the usual barriers to fitness that could otherwise block the path to our goals.
But what’s driving your desire to be fit? What exactly helps us to get motivated to exercise in the first place? As you’ve probably realised, when it comes to exercise, the mind is firmly in charge. And for a workout routine to succeed, we need a real understanding of our own personal motivations.
Of course, you probably have a general view of why you want to get fit. Perhaps to change the way you look – by losing weight to look more athletic. Or maybe to change the way you feel – using exercise for stress relief, improved mental health, for greater energy and more confidence. It could be that you’ve been told to get fit for the sake of your health, or, that you feel an urgency to keep up with your friends – who all seem to be getting fit and running marathons, while you feel left behind.
Most likely, you’re driven by more than one reason. But what’s important is the strength of this motivation, as this is what determines how likely you are to fully engage with your exercise routine.
How do you really feel?
To understand how to get motivated to exercise and where the root of your eagerness to get fit lies, try writing down the answers to these questions:
1. What do you think the results of exercising your body and mind will be?
2. How much do you value these results?
3. How do you feel about doing it? (e.g. confident, embarrassed, frightened, determined?)
4. What do others around you think about it; do they influence you in any way?
5. How easy do you think it will be to regularly train the body and mind?
6. How much control do you have over your ability to make it happen?
That should give you a pretty detailed picture of how you really feel about your exercise plans. And by focusing like this, you can also establish the nature of your motivations, which in turn can help you to identify exactly how to get motivated to exercise.
If they’re intrinsic, and you want to get fit for your own reasons – because you’re driven by a goal from within, and like the way exercise makes you feel – you’re more likely to stick with your plan and achieve your goals.
Extrinsic motivations, that lie in impressing or pleasing another person, are far harder to maintain. So take some time to focus on what you yourself, really desire.
Taking this time to think through our personal fitness motivations makes such a difference. By practising guided meditation, we give ourselves that valuable space and ability to simply understand ourselves better. And with this understanding comes an approach to exercise that’s stronger, confident and more sustainable – so we can enjoy our journey to fitness every bit as much as reaching our goals.
Our Walking podcast provides guidance on how to practice mindfulness when out exercising. Take a listen below
Have your say…
What do you think drives your motivation to get fit? How valuable do you find exercise for stress busting?