Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but most people don’t do anywhere near enough to actually benefit from the positive effects that it gives.
Motivation to exercise is a funny thing, we all want the benefits of being stronger, faster, fitter and have the body shape we want, and all these things can be yours, the problem is, is that you’re going to need to actually exercise to get them.
And, no, a Six-pad won’t get you the body of Ronaldo, no matter what the ads say!
So how do you motivate yourself to get into the gym and start?
1. Overcome the fear.
That first step into the gym is not only possibly intimidating, especially if you are new to training, but you also have the fear of the impending post exercise muscle pain. Don’t worry though, this is typical, the pain of getting started has been scientifically shown, and it’s down to your short term view of the event.
Instead of focussing on the start of the process ( the soreness, the effort and having to share space with the douchebags leaving their weight strewn about the floor), think about how good you’ll feel as you close in on some of your goals. Moving your focus from the fear (and subsequent delay) of getting started, to anticipation and thrill of making progress, allows you to get past this initial stumbling block and get going.
2. Make a plan.
Not only does a plan benefit you in the gym in terms of a structured program to lead you to your training goals, but it helps with getting you there in the first place!
Researchers found that a group of people who made specific plans to train on predetermined days and times were more likely to do more exercise than their non planning counterparts, but to maintain the habit of training long after the others had given up.
Go get your diary or open your calendar app and schedule sessions in. Make the time to get in to the gym and at the very least, make a start to your session, because, trust me, you will never find the time.
3. The Seinfeld method.
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comedians of all time, and he is one of the funniest guys around, but getting disciplined enough to write every day and hone his comedic lines wasn’t always easy. His method for making it happen was simple, he made a game out of putting a big red x on each day that he sat and wrote. Every day that he did it made the chain longer, and seeing that chain get bigger every day kept him going, not wanting to break the chain.
Making your progress into a game could boost your adherence significantly, making what was once a difficult chore into something you do habitually and good habits breed success.
4. Listen up.
Your favourite tunes can help you enjoy training more. True story. By tapping into the brains ability to make you feel happier by association, listening to your favourite music can help you associate training with happier memories and this has significant benefits.
Rate of perceived exertion (how hard you find training) has also been shown to be lower in those listening to their preferred music, making your session feel easier than if you did it without music.
And as a bonus, here are a couple of surprising side effects of training.
Exercise isn’t just good for our bodies, our minds also benefit from getting stronger and fitter.
- The speed at which we learn is increased by up to 20%. A group of German researchers found that peoples ability to learn words was 20% faster when compared to pre-exercise rates.
- Exercise has been proven numerous times to beat anti-depressants in combatting depression and raising happiness levels.
- Studies have also shown that you are less likely to get sick as your fitness and strength improve.
- and finally, you are likely to be more creative compared to pre-exercise levels.