Discover what it takes to becomes a lover of exercise - and see your workout motivation skyrocket!
Motivation to exercise is one of the biggest challenges to getting, and staying, in shape. The key to winning the exercise motivation challenge is to learn to love exercise for its own sake rather than seeing it as a necessary means to an end. In this article, we explore 4 ways to develop a love of working out.
Develop Intrinsic Awareness
There are two types of motivation - extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of us. It is the positive feeling we get when someone notices that we’ve lost some weight or when we look in the mirror and see the benefit of our hard work.
Intrinsic motivation comes from inside of us. It can result from the rush of feel good endorphins we get when we exercise, or the realization that we are improving the health of our heart and lungs every time we work out.
The problem with extrinsic motivation is that it takes time and it is intermittent. If you rely on the nice comments of others or the noticeable reduction of your tummy girth when you look in the mirror, your motivation is going to be very spasmodic. However, the good feelings that come with exercise occur every single workout. So does the reduction in your level of stress. You also improve your self image when you exercise. Exercising also gives you the opportunity to take time out for yourself, slow down and find balance in your life.
When you focus on these internal benefits of exercise as a reward in themselves, your motivation to work out will improve and you will begin to love exercise.
Focus on Perfecting Your Workout
A second key to learning to love exercise is to become a master at what you do. Focus in on the minute details of your workout. Set daily goals that revolve around your exercise form, the amount of rest between your exercises, the level of resistance that you are using and the overall time that you are exercising.
It is very advantageous to work toward daily workout goals built around the above things but one thing you should not do is to compare yourself to others. Focus on being better than your yesterday self and forget about anyone else.
Cherish Workout Time
Working out is a great way to take time out for yourself. If you are like me, your day is filled with activities for others, whether it’s your boss, your spouse or your kids. But when you exercise, you are using that hour or so for yourself. It is your ‘me’ time. Rather than doing what most people do and dreading their workout, then rushing through it in order to get it over with, look forward to that time and enjoy every moment of it.
Of course, your workout is challenging and will cause some physical discomfort. But, that is all the more reason to welcome that feeling of discomfort, safe in the knowledge that every second of it is making your body better!
Professional athletes have been using visualization for decades to get the most out of their workouts. There is no reason why you can't do the same thing. Visualization involves mentally rehearsing the workout before it actually happens. See yourself going through the warm up, then executing each individual exercise with perfect technique. Think about isolating the individual target muscle of the exercise that you are doing.
Through the process of visualization see yourself getting into the state of flow. This is when the workout feels completely effortless and each exercise seamlessly flows into the next one. When you are in that state, you won’t be able to help falling in love with exercise.
Even if you are a person who has previously been an avoider of exercise, you can learn to love exercise. Start applying the 4 tips that we’ve provided here and your workout motivation will never let you down!