By: Julie Kay, MS, RDN, CDN
Beginning the new habit of exercise may be hard, but beginning is usually the hardest part! Once we begin a new habit or routine of working out a few days per week, we can usually keep that going for a good while. The key to a lasting exercise routine is to find exercise that you enjoy doing, which in turn will keep the motivation up. In time, the reward of increased energy, flexibility, and/or strength will continue to motivate you as well. Time and time again the gyms fill up every January with so many people setting resolutions to get in shape. Unfortunately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So in case you are in need of some motivation here are a few of my go to tips…
Pair your workout with music you enjoy
A study this year from Brunel University in the UK revealed that while listening to music during a workout doesn’t increase focus on the task at hand, it does make exercise much more enjoyable. The researchers found that listening to music led to a 28 % increase in enjoyment during the walking task, compared with working out without music. Enjoyment was also 13% higher for those who listened to music, compared with those who listened to a podcast. So grab your headphones and get listening!
Believe to achieve!
A 2017 study from the University of Freiburg in German revealed that the placebo effect is relevant to increased physical activity. “Researchers found that “sporty” adults who believed that 30 minutes of cycling would do them good felt that the activity was less strenuous, compared with sporty adults who had more negative expectations.” In this study, by simply believing that a compression shirt would increase their performance, helped the “less sporty” adults feel the workout was less strenuous. So believe in your abilities and you can motivate yourself to a new exercise!
Make it easy
Make exercising easier, by being prepared. Pack a gym bag before work, this way you can change after work and go straight to the gym. Or join a gym that is close to your home or work this way it is easy to go to. When we make it easier to get a goal accomplished, we are certainly more likely to accomplish it.
Find a friend who has similar exercise goals and schedule to meet up for weekly workouts. When someone is counting on you to help them exercise, this may be enough to get YOU to exercise.
Good luck with your exercise goals this year! Make sure to find something you enjoy doing, believe in yourself, and utilize some of the above tips to keep you motivated through the year.