Motivating people to exercise is difficult, as one size does not fit all, everyone is different. Research has shown that rewards of positive health is not enough.
Activity trackers, fitbits, fitness apps etc are also not making the difference expected either. We have more gyms than ever, there is more online exercise content than ever. In fact there has never been so much information on why, how and where to exercise.
We live busier, faster lives, much of which is lived via social media. Social media does help to motivate people, however, too much, can also have a detrimental effect as well. So what is the problem, why are people not motivated to exercise when they know it is good for them?
My take on motivating people to exercise is straight forward…There are basically 5 points you need to focus on. You don’t need to hit them all, but if you do, you will feel very motivated to exercise.
- Change your perspective – Start thinking like an athlete, it is not as difficult as you think. When you put on your exercise clothing and shoes, make sure it is to exercise only, and not just to feel comfortable. This will make your workouts special and very soon it will feel like you are putting on a superhero suit.
- Set a goal – I have always done this, and trust me, it works. Target a challenge, a run or walk. Do it for a charity close to your heart, this is a sure fire way of ensuring you see it through. Share the goal with friends and relatives.
- Schedule a regular workout time – Then stick to it, no matter where you are. Your friends and family will soon get used to your routine, and you will soon find that it is used as a positive example for others too.
- Fun & Variety – Include activities you truly enjoy, it will then not feel like exercise. Remember, exercise in its most basic form is moving. Eg. dancing, playing fun sports with the family. By diversifying your exercise, you will also be challenging your body, and of course, it will be fun.
- Reach out for support – Speak to family and friends, go online and find like minded people. Exercise together, and before you know it, you will be motivating each other.
Remember, motivation to exercise is internal, and will unlock the door to a better, healthier you.
My final piece of advice to help motivate yourself is to write it down. When you exercise, log what you did and how long for in a journal or diary. Plan the following weeks exercise, vary what you do on what days to keep it fresh and fun. You will then have a visual tool that will further ensure you stay motivated.