Motivation is a magic word in the land of health and fitness. We're all expected to have it, yet most of us struggle to find it daily. There's a misconception that people get fit due to their motivation - as though it's ingrained. However, the reality is that motivation itself takes work too. Luckily, there are many ways to find the motivation to work out and stay healthy.
Remember: any progress is good progress.
Taking small, manageable steps towards your fitness goals can help you stay motivated. We can't do it all, and it's important to remember this. Rather than going all-in, start small and gradually work your way up. On days when you are struggling to find the energy and motivation becomes low, dedicating as little as five minutes to an activity can help you stay on track.
For example, a runner training for a marathon would not run the marathon's distance on their first training day. This approach applies to anyone looking to achieve any health or fitness goal. Drastic changes to your diet may backfire and lead to binge eating. Try to phase out the food you should have less of gradually, and don't be too hard on yourself for going off track occasionally.
As time passes, the more you persevere and continue to make progress, the more you will find yourself getting motivated.
Use a fitness tracker
While today's tech is notorious for keeping us on the couch, it can also help get us moving regularly. There are plenty of gadgets, apps, and trendy tools that can be used to our advantage. Here are some examples:
- Close the rings on your Apple Watch to keep on top of your daily step count and physical activity
- Complete a body scan at a local gym, health club or supplement store to assess your body metrics and target areas you would like to improve
- Download a free running app to track your pace and keep a record of your progress - look to any of the big names in sportswear, and they almost all have free apps available to smartphone users.
- Social media is a great place to find inspiration. There are thousands of accounts dedicated to sharing free recipes and workout ideas. Watching others achieve their health and fitness goals can also help you get motivated. Look for accounts posting content relevant to you and use it to your advantage.
Mix it up
Whether it's your diet or physical activity that you are struggling with, introducing change can help. Since the diet is a massive part of your fitness journey, it's essential that you don't become bored with the meals you have each day, as this can lead to setbacks in your fitness.
There are countless recipes and methods that you can introduce into your diet to keep the excitement alive. Here are some changes that can help:
Change the times of day that you eat each meal. While consistency is important, it's even more important to find a routine that works for you. If you're struggling to hold out until a meal or find yourself snacking more than you should, try changing the times you have each meal or you could swap three meals a day for six smaller meals and vice versa.
- Keep trying new foods. From gyms and health stores to supermarket shelves, countless food options are waiting to be tried. Most cafes and restaurants now cater to a wide range of dietary requirements, and by swapping your regular order for a healthier option, you are also trying something new. Who knows, you just might like it better than your previous go-to. Don't let yourself become bored of healthy eating. Trying new foods is fun and exciting and can combat the temptation to turn to food and snacks you are trying to avoid. Check out some of our recipes for inspiration.
Most importantly, make sure you find time to rest and do things you enjoy. This will help you stay motivated. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, and motivation comes differently to each individual.