Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How Do You Motivate Yourself To Exercise Consistently?

I am going to start off my blog with a little personal gloating to get you motivated.   I was a skinny little kid growing up in Rhode Island and had a hard time keeping up with the jocks at my school, when it came to sports and girls.  I was known as "Little Jeffy" and yes, the girls though I was cute and all, but face it I didn't win any athletic awards.  When it came time to graduate and everyone was getting their yearbooks signed, one message from one of my best friends in high school wrote me was a message that stuck to me throughout my life.   The one line that stuck out to me was "Jeff, you'll never be a bodybuilder.."  Hmm... was this a motivational message or the hard truth?

So I went to the local sporting goods store, and got myself a weightlifting belt and The Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding from Arnold Schwarzenegger, read the book cover to cover and got to work.  That was 1988.

I started going to my university's gym and it was a rough start, but I got motivated really quickly when I was around athletes and I continued going to the gym on a regular basis in between classes.  The next thing I knew, I was benching beyond my weight, and running a 5k around the streets of Boston.   Girls started recognizing me, I was getting the respect my peers and I was getting more and more confident in myself.   Because of  my new found confidence, my girlfriend at the time and I decided it would be best to "see other people".  The things you do when you are young.

But this is not the point of my message to you all.  My message is that you need to start somewhere to work toward reaching your goals and believe me, I started at ground zero..

Fast forward to today, 29 years later, I can say for all of this time, I have consistently gone to the gym 3 or 4 times a week every week, while mixing in cardio exercises, without taking a break.     The only "breaks" were to address some surgeries I needed.   What motivated me most was the feeling I had after working out.   It is a high like no other.  If I went more that two days without a workout, I felt like crap and started to twitch.   What also motivated me was the positive energy you experienced at the gym.  I always befriended determined and focused people at the gym and we motivated each other to reach our goals.    Finally, this was one of my motivating factors for starting AIMC Health Solutions in 2015.

So I would like to provide you some motivating tips to help you get started and be consistent in reaching your goals.

1.  Try Group Fitness
Group fitness classes keep you motivatedThe energy of a group would keep you going in the moments that you want to quit.

2. Get addicted to the post-exercise endorphin rush
My motivation is the knowledge that I will have an awesome endorphin rush afterward and run around, smiling like an idiot for a few hours. I am seriously addicted.

3. Surround yourself with personal motivation
Write your goals on sticky notes and post them everywhere.  The bathroom, your car and even on your smartphone.

4. Work out with people who will cheer you on
Having people standing behind me, yelling and jumping up and down when I’m stuck at the bottom of a heavy squat is the best motivator.   It is amazing what you can do with a little encouragement.

5. Think about how you're sticking it to your doubters
See my message from my high school friend and how it motivated me to prove him wrong.

6. Track your successes
I actually track my workouts in the Calendar function on my phone so I can see what I did recently and know to mix my workouts up to shock the body.

7. Write down how you feel after every workout every time
So, when you are low on motivation to wake up and go for a run or a workout and reap the benefits later.

8. Listen to the voice inside that says, "I can do this!"
I did it and so can you.   Working out and getting healthy is all about your mental state and determining yourself to get healthy and stronger.   There is no reason for you to not reach your goals.

My bonus tip is to workout in the morning.   It helps you get through the day and have a great sleep pattern and diet.   The positive energy from your workout will transition to your daily activities and you will be more successful in what you do.

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