Get Fit 101: Finding Motivation When Things Get Hectic
Even for those who have the best intentions about getting more sleep, reducing stress, and keeping “normal” work hours, life has a way of getting busier than planned. Schedules can change, projects come up, deadlines breeze by, and relatives drop in without notice.
Unfortunately, when things get hectic, motivation to stay on top of fitness can wane. Working out gets thrown onto the “maybe” list instead of the “must-do” tasks. But keep in mind that staying fit and active gives you the energy and resilience to handle all the other stuff. Sometimes, staying motivated might require less tweaking than you think. Consider these tactics:
Bring your kids to the gym
If part of what’s causing a hectic lifestyle is chauffeuring your kids to numerous activities, consider the effects of making just one drive to the gym instead. If you choose a gym that has classes for kids, they’ll be learning new skills, and you can get a workout at the same time.
Plus, as your kids grow to love their classes more and more, they’ll provide motivation for you to get to the gym more consistently. It’s worth taking the time to create more enthusiasm for getting your whole family involved in regular gym time.
Get friends and partners involved
What would it be like to have your own cheering squad, encouraging you to stay engaged and focused, and challenging yourself to new levels? Most likely, that squad is already in place, even if its members are not wearing matching uniforms.
One study found that couples that go to the gym together have significantly lower dropout rates and meet fitness goals faster—even if they don’t pursue the same activities at the gym. Research has also noted that fitness friends provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation, and healthy competition.
Create healthy rewards
If you go to the gym and give it your all for four days next week, you can treat yourself to that fitness tracker you’ve been wanting. Or maybe you can splurge on a therapeutic massage, a fancy salmon dinner, or some new running shoes. Setting up a system of rewards has long been proven to be an effective way to stay on track with fitness goals, but it’s important to keep the rewards as healthy as what you’ve done to get to them.
Many people tend to set up unhealthy rewards—indulging in a giant ice cream sundae after a really tough workout, for example—and that can eventually sabotage your motivation, not to mention setting you back when it comes to results. Instead, make a list of rewards you would love to have that would fit in with your fitness. It might be new yoga clothes, paddleboard lessons, personal training sessions, or a vacation day spent hiking. The more often you reward yourself this way, the more you’ll feel motivated to keep the healthy groove going.
By making shifts like these, and keeping your health a priority, you’ll be better able to handle the hectic demands of everyday life. Instead of simply treading water with a busy schedule, you’ll be swimming laps instead.
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