5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out If You’re Not Usually Active

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Sometimes all of us need a little boost to keep working out. Going to the same gym 5 times a week for months on end can lead to boredom and boredom leads to eventually giving up. But there are things you can do to keep motivating yourself to continue on. Here are five ways:

1) Change it up

All of us do it … get stuck doing the same routine or workout over and over. But eventually our body gets used to doing the same thing and it becomes more efficient at what we do. It is then that you’ll notice you are not losing as much weight as you once did. .. and that is why, you’ve hit a plateau.

To motivate yourself mentally and your body physically, change your routine every month or so. It will stimulate your mind and body. You’ll notice that you will start losing weight again.

2) Exercise with a friend

Exercising with a friend is a great motivator. On the days you don’t feel like exercising, you will anyway just so you don’t let your friend down. And if the truth be known, your friend might not felt like exercising either, but your commitment to each other keeps both of you going. Plus it give you someone to talk to while exercising.

3) Set a goal

All of us are goal-oriented to one extent or another. While it is not a bad thing, keep in mind that a goal should be SMART:
• Specific.
• Measurable.
• Attainable.
• Relevant.
• Time Bound.
If it is not all these things, you’ll soon give up.

4) Rewards yourself

That “carrot on the end of a stick” is a great motivator. What is it you really want? Perhaps a new workout outfit in a smaller size, a new designer purse, or how about a new piece of exercise equipment. Whatever it is, it has to be something worthwhile and that you can afford to buy. Visualizing your reward for completing your goal will keep you going until the end.  Try it!

5) Make a contract with yourself

Once you put a goal “out there” whether that is putting it in writing and hanging it on the frig or by telling your friends, family members or co-workers, you will be motivated to complete it; fear of failing is a strong motivator itself.

As part of your contract, make sure you address a specific goal and an action plan on how to accomplish it. Your action plan can be a to-do list or one with milestones or checkpoints along the way. You need some form of being able to track your progress so you know you are still on track.

If you have trouble sticking with a workout plan, incorporate these five tips to motivate you to continue to completion. You’ll be surprised just how powerful they are!

How Often Should You Start to Work Out If You’re Not Usually Active?

If you haven’t been active for a while, then it’s important to consider the question of how often you should start to work out at first. After all, doing too much too soon can lead to injury – not to mention demotivation if you find it too much! Here are 4 important areas to consider:

1) Overall exercise frequency

This refers to the number of times total that you will work out in a week. It includes weight, cardio and muscle groups exercised. When planning your workout frequency, keep one rule-of-thumb in mind: take one day off from training each week to give your body time to recover and repair itself. If not, you’ll significantly increase your risk for an injury; one that could sideline you for weeks if not months. For most people new to exercising, three times a week or every other day is a good place to start. Once you are more experienced, you can increase your training time to five days per week and eventually six.

2) Weight training

The theory behind weight training is that it builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even at rest. And we are not talking about building the same amount of muscle as you see in bodybuilders; just toning what you have with a small increase in size.

If just starting out, keep your weight training days to two per week. And never make your two days back-to-back. Your body needs at least one day in between weight training sessions to rest. As time goes on, if you feel you need more weight training time, bump up your workouts to three or four times per week max.

3) Cardio training

The purpose of cardio training is to burn calories and to increase your breathing and heart rate. By being able to take in more oxygen and get it to the cells more efficiently, your body can create energy faster.

4) Muscle group frequency

Different exercises work different muscle groups. When first starting out, you’ll want to work each muscle group once a week. For example, your workout for one week could be:
• Monday: Chest and triceps
• Tuesday: Back and biceps
• Wednesday: off
• Thursday: Shoulders and abs
• Friday: Legs
• Saturday: off
• Sunday: off

The next week your schedule could look like this:
• Monday: Chest, shoulders and triceps
• Tuesday: off
• Wednesday: Legs and abs
• Thursday: off
• Friday: Back and biceps
• Saturday: off
• Sunday: off

On week three you would go back to the week one schedule. Then keep rotating through the two schedules alternating each week.

Keep in mind that the muscle groups worked could be either from cardio or weight training. For example running or walking would work your legs, while swimming would also benefit your shoulders. Do a variety of both weight training and cardio to work each major muscle group evenly.

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