Motivation, Courtesy of You

By Sean Keats, CSCS

(WINDSOR, ON) – What gets you off the couch so you can take action? Why do you work?  To get paid.  Why do you eat?  Because you’re hungry. Why do you clean your house?  You can’t stand the mess any longer.

Everything you do in life is motivated by something.  When it comes to exercise, there must be something to motivate you as well.  Even the promises of a healthy heart and weight loss aren’t enough to get many people motivated to work out.

What could motivate you to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle?  It may be time to find your motivation and put it to work.

Set Goals

A personal goal can be a powerful motivator.  Great goals to work towards might be losing a certain number of pounds, lowering your blood pressure to a healthy range, being able to lift a determined weight, or running a 5K.

Set a realistic, attainable goal.  Write it down where you can see it on a regular basis as a reminder.  Tell your family and friends so they can help keep you on track.

Keep Records

It’s a proven fact that keeping track of your weight will help you lose it.  The best way to do this is through a food diary or an exercise log.  Each day, keep track of the variables to affect your weight gain.  These include how long and how hard you exercise, how far you run, how much weight you lifted, and what you ate.  Once a week weigh yourself to track your weight loss.  Though it may be stagnant for a bit, keeping an eye on it will keep your weight from moving in the wrong direction.

Smartphone apps are another great way to record your workouts.  Download an app that tracks your exercise and eating habits and keeping track will be possible no matter where you are.

Create a Contest

The TV show “The Biggest Loser” is a prime example of how competition can lead to a commitment to exercise.  While a contest you create won’t promise large monetary rewards or fame, it may be fun, rewarding, and inspiring.

Find 5 to 10 friends or co-workers who want to work toward a similar goal.  It could be losing the highest body weight percentage, walking the most steps each day, or logging the most time spent exercising.  Set rules and then check in with each other on a weekly basis.  Losers each week have to pay a certain fee.  At the end of the set time, the winner gets the money.

Find a Partner

Accountability when it comes to exercise ranks high on the list of motivators.  It’s a lot harder to hit the snooze button when you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym.  Another great option is to work with a personal trainer who will offer advice, support, and accountability.

If nothing else, cyberspace can help keep you on track.  Update your progress on Facebook or another social media site and friends (or even friendly strangers) can encourage you toward your goal.

Make It An Investment

You don’t want to exercise out of guilt, but spending money on a gym membership, stylish workout clothes, and a personal trainer are great motivators to work out.  When you know you’re spending hard earned money on your new habit, you can’t help but get motivated to get off the couch.

So spend a little extra on workout clothes, shoes, and accessories you feel comfortable and attractive in.  Buy enough outfits to last a week in case you get behind on laundry, and don’t let lack of clothes be an excuse.

Where do you find the motivation to workout and be active?

Sean Keats is a personal fitness trainer in Windsor and helps people get fit without fad diets, “magic shakes” or overpriced fitness gadgets.  To schedule a free Goal Assessment with Sean, call him at 519-817-1641.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.