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6 Tips for Motivating Yourself to Get (and Stay) Active

When it comes to getting (and staying) active, so many women face one common roadblock: maintaining the motivation to exercise regularly. With busy careers, families, and social obligations, there’s no hiding the fact that it can be a challenge to find the motivation, energy, and time to begin a new workout routine. But once you do find and sustain that motivation, you’ll likely see that your mood is uplifted, you feel much better both physically and mentally, and you actually have more energy than you used to.

So what’s the secret to getting motivated? Once you realize just how impactful regular exercise can be on your mind, body, and overall wellbeing, it’s all about allowing yourself to take some time to focus on and better yourself. If you feel like you need a little extra push, follow these six tips to stay on track.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Having specific goals in mind when you begin a new exercise routine is an excellent way to help you gauge your progress. But if you expect too much from yourself too soon, it’s likely that you’ll quickly become discouraged and unmotivated to continue. Instead, set realistic goals that you can reasonably achieve without sacrificing your health (Psychology Today).

It’s fine to have big-picture end goals, but be sure to set up smaller mini goals along the way. That way, you can use those small victories to motivate you to keep working towards your ultimate goal, whether that’s to lose a certain amount of weight or to simply live healthier.

2. Choose Activities You Enjoy

Who says that exercise has to be a drag? If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, the chances that you’ll stick with your exercise routine for the long haul are pretty slim. If you love nature and being outdoors, consider moving your runs or walks outside instead of getting stuck in a rut on the treadmill. Or, if you really enjoy swimming or biking, let those be your cardio exercises. Find what you love, and do that.

3. Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Daily Routine

If you’re finding it difficult to carve out a large chunk of time every day for your workout, try incorporating small bits of physical activity into your daily life. If your work requires you to sit for long periods of time, try getting up and walking around or stretching every 20 to 30 minutes. Research shows that sedentary lifestyles, even if you do work out, can lead to serious health complications including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal concerns (Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews).

4. Jot Down Your Achievements

There truly can be power in writing and journaling, especially when it comes to keeping yourself motivated to strive for and reach your goals. Keep track of the miles you were able to walk or run each day, and even include notes about changes you’ve noticed in the way you feel–mentally, physically, or both. Then, on days when you feel particularly unmotivated, you can take a look at your notes and remind yourself of all of the progress you’ve already made, and how that progress has changed and shaped your health and overall outlook on life.

5. Lean on Friends

It’s true that there’s strength in numbers. Get together with a friend who may have similar fitness goals and lean on each other for support and motivation. It can be challenging to hold yourself accountable for making progress on your own, so take advantage of the power that a supportive network of friends can have.

6. Reward Yourself

Don’t forget to celebrate your victories and reward yourself in whatever way makes sense to you. Allow yourself to take pride in what you’ve been able to accomplish, whether big or small. On the other hand, remember not to be too hard on yourself. If you didn’t quite hit your target, you may need to reevaluate your goals and then simply keep on moving. Know that you can absolutely improve each and every day, and it all starts with one step forward at a time.

The Bottom Line

Exercise is an integral part of staying in excellent physical and mental shape, but it can be difficult at times to stay active and motivated. By following these few simple tips you can have a positive impact on your success.

If you’re interested in learning more about community support and exercise and motivational tips for women, consider attending the Women’s Health Conversations 2016 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, PA this November. The aim of the conference is to educate, entertain, and empower women from all across the country to take an active role in their health and wellbeing. Take a look at the registration page for more details on how to become a part of this global conversation.

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