Finding Fitness Motivation

fitness motivation

Often, it's all too easy for an individual to say that they're going to begin a routine that facilitates a healthy and fit lifestyle. In reality, many individuals fail to actually achieve their pre-defined personal fitness goals. While there are several reasons why this occurs, the primary reasons are typically a lack of self-discipline, focus and time.

In addition, many individuals place a higher importance on caring for the people in their lives above their own health. In reality, if an individual simply dedicates a set amount of time to focus on their personal health, fitness and mental well-being, they typically find that all aspects of their life improve, and are better able to care for the individuals in their life as a result.

The intent of this article is to discuss several methods that can be used to maintain an individual's motivation towards a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

There are countless benefits associated with living a lifestyle that is filled with good health, nutrition and mental wellness. By achieving a proper weight level, an overweight person can reduce their risk of the following diseases:

  • Reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 25%

  • Reduce their risk of diabetes by up to 64%

  • Reduce their risk of a heart attack by 29%

  • Reduce their risk of having high cholesterol by 33%

  • Reduce their risk of asthma by 30%

  • Reduce their risk of dying from any cause by 16%

  • Reduce their risk of stomach cancer by 10%

  • Reduce their risk of gallstones by 60%

  • Reduce their risk of esophageal cancer by 55%

  • Reduce their risk of osteoarthritis by 12%

  • Reduce their risk of having high blood pressure by 44%

For individuals that are obese, becoming healthy and fit will reduce these risks even further. For example, an obese person will reduce their risk of acquiring the following diseases listed below:

  • Reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 77%

  • Reduce their risk of diabetes by up to 88%

  • Reduce their risk of a heart attack by 48%

  • Reduce their risk of having high cholesterol by 29%

  • Reduce their risk of asthma by 39%

  • Reduce their risk of dying from any cause by 33%

  • Reduce their risk of stomach cancer by 63%

  • Reduce their risk of gallstones by 60%

  • Reduce their risk of esophageal cancer by 68%

  • Reduce their risk of osteoarthritis by 25%

  • Reduce their risk of having high blood pressure by 66%.

In addition, being fit will allow an overweight person to spend 27% less time at the pharmacy, 51% less for individuals that are obese. Staying in shape and physically fit will improve an individual's energy level, mental focus, attitude, self-confidence and general sense of well-being.

Methods to Motivate Yourself

fitness goal sticky notes

The following methods can assist in creating an overall health and fitness approach that is directed towards achieving your personal fitness goals. The primary items to remember are that for most individuals to obtain good health and fitness, they must incorporate a comprehensive fitness routine that facilitates a healthier lifestyle.

This includes eating healthier, exercising more, and taking the time to calm and relax the mind. By doing so, the benefits associated with good health will far outweigh the effort associated with adjusting to a new lifestyle approach.

  • Write Down the Benefits Associated with Modifying your Lifestyle: When people take the time to write down why they are making a change to their personal lifestyle, they tend to increase not only their level of enthusiasm, but their probability of success as well. This approach can work well for an individual who is modifying their lifestyle for the benefit of their health.

    An individual can take the time to literally write down the benefits that they will will obtain by simply incorporating a nutritious diet and fitness routine into their life. For some individuals, it is even more motivating to place their health benefits where they can see and read them everyday.

    For instance, some individuals choose to place their list of health benefits in the closet where they pick out their clothes for the day each morning (which may be especially beneficial if one of the goals of the individual is to lose weight). Another location may be on the bathroom mirror, where the individual can read their personal health benefits after their morning shower. Yet another location may be on the outside of the refrigerator, where the individual can read their health benefits prior to deciding what to eat.

    While some individuals may find it beneficial to write down their personal health benefits, others may find it sufficient to simply specify a time where they give thought to their personal health benefits. This time could be when the individual awakens in the morning and is beginning to put together their day's events, or it could be at the end of the day when they are giving thought to the upcoming day.

    Either way, continually reminding yourself as to why you are focusing on a healthy nutritional diet and a fitness routine can be an excellent method for maintaining a high level of motivation.

  • setting goals
  • Set Goals: Setting goals is also important for maintaining a high level of motivation. Every individual should set short-term and long-term health and fitness goals. The short-term goals should facilitate the obtainment of the long-term goals.

    For example, an individual may define one of their short-term goals to lose 10 pounds per month and one of their long-term goals to ultimately lose 60 pounds. Another example would be setting a series of short-term goals associated with jogging specific distances, and the long-term goal of participating in a mini marathon (i.e. jogging 13 miles).

    The series of short-term goals could be to to jog 1 mile per day, three times a week, for the first month, followed by increasing the distance over time until the individual can jog for a continuous 13 miles. The series of short-term goals may encompass 6 to 9 months to achieve, while the long-term goal may be set for 1 year.

    Once a short-term or long-term goal is achieved, you should reward yourself in some way. For this reason, it is recommended that all short-term and long-term goals be written down. By writing your personal fitness goals on paper, it becomes easier to stay focused and on schedule.

    All short and long-term goals should be measurable. Rather than defining a personal fitness goal as “my goal is to be fit,” a better approach to setting the goal would be “I want to lose a specific percentage of body fat in 12 weeks.”

    Always make sure that the goals are attainable, especially the short-term goals. In many instances, individuals set short-term and long-term goals that are simply unobtainable, and subsequently lose their motivation, become frustrated, and give up their fitness routine altogether. For additional information on setting effective short and long-term goals please visit our Setting Goals section.

  • Make Your Fitness Routine Enjoyable: If an individual's fitness routine is something that they feel they have to do instead of something they want to do, it can become an unpleasant task that they would rather not complete. It this becomes the case, the individual will be much less likely to achieve their personal fitness goals.

    One way to eliminate this situation is to choose fitness activities that are personally enjoyable and incorporate them into your fitness routine. For instance, if you enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains or the ocean, then add walking, jogging, or running in the mountains or at the beach to your normal routine. If you used to swim or play tennis in high school, then you may want to begin swimming or playing tennis again.

    Another approach is to vary the types of fitness activities that you incorporate into your fitness routine. By doing so, you will add a level of variety to your fitness routine and reduce the boredom associated with doing the same types of exercises week in and week out.

  • Recruit a Friend: Finally, it may beneficial to recruit a friend or family member into your fitness routine. There are several benefits associated with adding a workout partner to your fitness routine.

    workout partner

    First, there may be various fitness activities that your workout partner enjoys performing that you may not have participated in. By trying new and different fitness activities, you will add variety to your overall workout routine.

    Second, by including a workout partner in your fitness routine, you will have someone to provide motivation, add enjoyment to your workouts, and decrease your likelihood of skipping a workout due to the commitment you have made to your workout partner.

    With the diversity of lifestyles that individuals lead, there are countless reasons why an individual may find it difficult to regularly exercise. One of the primary reasons that many individuals face when embarking on a fitness routine is lack of motivation, determination, and focus.

    However, these obstacles can be minimized by writing down the benefits associated with a healthy lifestyle, setting personal fitness goals, varying the fitness routine and recruiting a workout partner. Even though the change in an individual's lifestyle can be difficult to adjust to, the benefits associated with living a life filled with good health, nutrition and fitness far outweigh the discipline and time required to do so.