To stay motivated on most things commands attention and interest. Whatever it is, it has to make us feel good in some way, it has to be something that we like to do, and something that does not feel like work. In the beginning doing cardio exercises at home demands an extremely hard physical effort, until the day that it becomes much easier, and less of an effort to get on with. At this stage many people actually want to carry on pushing themselves harder, as they realize that the gains are worth all the effort.
When everyday tasks start to seem effortless, and running a few steps no longer is embarrassing or leaves one breathless, exercising can become a pleasure, and experimenting with various activities becomes exciting.
However, until this stage is reached, it can be and often is extremely difficult to stay motivated. So how to stay motivated to work out for the long term? There is no miracle answer for this.
Focusing on the goal, the benefits, and persevering with cardio exercises at home, be that walking around the block, or doing simple arm movements from a chair for ten minutes is a good start. Ten minutes may be too long for some. Exercising for as many minutes as is possible without harmful effects is a start, if ten minutes is too much. If exercising has not been engaged in before, extending ten minutes gradually to fifteen can make one feel invincible. Exercises need to be done sensibly. Never push yourself too hard at any stage.
On the days that exercising seems like too much effort, it may help to think of a sports hero or heroine who has crossed many a mountain to get where he/she is today. It does not even have to be a sports personality. Any inspiring person will do. Eventually ‘you’ will be the hero provided that you persevere.
Anything worth having is behind some effort. If there is a will, a way will be found.
Making normal daily activities more energetic will all add to the energy spent in one day. Getting up and walking around more often than usual, climbing a staircase more than once a day, vacuum cleaning twice instead of once a week, are all ways to increase energy expenditure and activity. Eventually a ten minute workout will feel too easy, and before long it will have stretched into a twenty minute one.
A little achievement may be a big one for one individual, whereas another needs to conquer a much larger one to feel satisfied.
A person who can motivate him-, or herself into action without the backing of other active individuals, like in a gym scene, will always find a way to remain active. Being able to exercise independently is a great strength.
Tracking progress is motivating, and as such needs to be done at regular time intervals. Fitness develops over time, so tracking progress more often than about once every two to four weeks may have the opposite effect.
Trying on a new outfit or an old one that has been too tight for some time may also serve as a motivational exercise. Little things promote happiness, and fuel motivation to carry on until a goal has been reached.
Writing one’s own ticket to success not only makes one feel good about having achieved a fitness goal, but will arm one with confidence for other goals too. To stay motivated to work out is a very personal challenge. One suggestion may do well for some, but not everyone. Finding a strong enough reason for a goal, will fuel the action that needs to be taken. Look at inspiring pictures, listen to and watch motivating programs. It is possible that somewhere amongst all that is a picture, a word, a sentence, or other that will click with ‘you’, and ‘you’ will have found the all important spark to keep the fire burning.