For most people, extra baggage on their buns and thighs isn’t enough to inspire change and a transition into a more active and healthy lifestyle. Promises to exercise and live healthier don’t mean anything, after all, if you aren’t motivated to do it.
It’s time to get rid of the notion that you can be, and we quote, ‘healthy at every size’, and start shaping up to be more fit and active. But what’s going to motivate you?
Little Rewards; Big Pay-offs
Health buffs and fitness aficionados would say that getting fit and in shape is a reward in itself but most people literally perform better if there’s a reward at the end of an exercise routine.
We’re not talking about treating yourself to a bag of chips or a cookie (unless it’s the healthier alternative). Think of the everyday things that you do as rewards. Think of this scenario: the late night game is coming up in exactly three hours. Instead of mindlessly going about the commercials, spend those three hours burning some calories. Go jogging or crunch your abs and in three hours, ‘reward’ yourself with the game. You’re not exactly buying anything for yourself, but your mind would eventually associate these everyday things with rewards.
In the same light, you can make exercise a ‘punishment’ for when you slip up. Didn’t quite hit the scorecards? Do ten pushups at home! This set up is great for gamers as there’s tons of room to ‘slip up’. Every time your virtual character dies, that’s an extra push-up or crunch routine that you’ll have to do later. Punishing yourself for simple slipups may not exactly be ideal for everyone, but it will help you get used to exercising.
Exercise as an Activity
To make the last suggestion more effective, you need to think of exercise not as just exercise, but an activity that you should be enjoying. It’s all in the mind though; think of your regular jogs and pushups as additional activities until they become part of your entire routine.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to involve regular trips to the gym as well. Turn your everyday activities into exercise routines. Do you need to head down the store to grab some groceries? Instead of taking the car, grab your bike and start pedaling. Even better? Walk to the store. Lifting groceries can be equally challenging and calorie burning as lifting weights after all, especially if you have to walk all the way home.
You can even incorporate this at work. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs. Going up and down several flights of stairs burns calories and gets your metabolic rate up. Do this often and you’ll start shedding pounds in no time.
Finally, it always pays to stay positive. You can’t get into shape in just one night after all. Instead of bemoaning how dumpy you look when you face the mirror, think of that image as something that you need to exert additional effort to changing. Think of it as a challenge and not something that demotivates you.