Easy Ways to Begin A Fitness Routine
For those of us whose most recent visit to a gym was the jungle type, it can be intimidating to start an exercise routine. Whether it’s a Scandal marathon, new restaurant opening or a party for a friend, there are a million reasons not to go to the gym. But your favorite exercise no longer needs to be channel-changing. Here are 10 simple ways to get motivated to get moving.
Sign a Commitment Contract
Having trouble self-motivating? Make a deal with a friend, a relative (competitive sibling, perhaps?), or a group of coworkers. We’re more likely to follow through with resolutions when we agree to them in front of friends who can hold us accountable. Want to up the ante? Make a bet with a friend that you’ll complete your workout goals. Every time you fail to do so, pay them $10. Ian Ayres, Ph.D., an economist and professor at Yale Law School, told Women’s Health Magazine, “People will work twice as hard when money is at stake compared with relying on their willpower.”
Phone a friend (but not a partner!)
Sometimes, all we need is a little help from our friends. Having a friend, family member, or colleague support your exercise goals makes you more likely to stick with your fitness routine. Another person’s enthusiasm allows us to feel valued. The next time you’re having trouble getting motivated, think of your friend. You won’t want to let them down. Don’t forget your friends over at Noom either — our communities are here to support you! With Noom Pro, you can become a member of a Noom group where members with similar goals and struggles help to keep you accountable and inspire you to move forward. Beware of enlisting a significant other, though. It could lead to trouble in paradise!
Find what you enjoy
Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. Love to dance? Join a Zumba class. Meditation your thing? Try yoga. Always wanted to try rock climbing? Go for it! Try as many exercises as possible — and you’re bound to find one you truly enjoy.
Change your mindset
Instead of thinking of exercise as something that has to be completed, try thinking of it as a sport. A study conducted on college students found that people played sports for intrinsic reasons, like enjoyment, camaraderie, and challenge while they exercised for extrinsic reasons, like appearance and weight. Intrinsic motivators push us to do things we want to do, without any external reward. So scrap your gym plans and join a game of flag football, volleyball, or ultimate frisbee. Search your local listings for sports clubs — they’re a great way to meet people while still getting your sweat on.
Don’t focus on how you look, but how you feel
A 2014 study found that frequent exercise and positive body image (appreciating one’s body, how it feels, and what it can do) are positively correlated — a more positive body image led to a higher frequency of workouts. But, when people exercised for appearance reasons only, their body image was negatively affected. Next time you hit the gym, think about that powerful body of yours and all that it’s able to do.
Use a reward system
Remember the days when a good grade got you a treat? Put nostalgia to work by rewarding yourself when you’ve completed a certain amount of exercise. For example, pledge to work out for four days a week for two weeks straight. If you complete the challenge, treat yourself. Lusting after a new bag? Tickets to that football game? Let yourself have it. You deserve it.
Exercise routines can feel monotonous. Tired of the elliptical? Get creative! Try customizing your workouts to your mood. Feeling low? Go for a walk outside. Angry? Try kickboxing. Tense? Give yoga a go. Personalize your workout routine to fit how you’re feeling and you may find it much more enjoyable.
Don’t concentrate on the part of the exercise you dislike. If you’re running outside and your legs are sore, concentrate on the sky or the trees. If you’re bored of biking, plug into a show or podcast and focus on listening. Before you know it, your exercise will be over. You might even be excited for the next workout.