One reason people stop exercising is lack of interest or loss of motivation. Let’s face it–after a while doing the same thing can get boring. That’s why so many personal trainers will tell you to mix up your routine by adding different kinds of exercise into the mix (swimming, running, weight training, etc.). Not only will it challenge your body, but it’s hard to get bored when you’re constantly doing something different. I find this strategy works to keep you motivated once you’re actively exercising, but what about if you’re losing the motivation to get out and do it?
Here’s the scenario–you get home from work and this is the usual time you head to the gym or outside for your walk/run, but you’ve lost the motivation to get changed and go. The challenge is getting out the door and getting to your destination. I find that once I’m there I’m okay, it’s the getting there part that’s difficult. This is where a workout buddy or social network can really help! It’s hard to bail out when you have a partner who is relying on you to meet him/her at the gym. Plus, you’ll find that you’ll be looking forward to the social interaction you have with your workout friend, an added bonus and extra motivation to make it to your scheduled exercise time.
I was recently reminded of this important strategy while watching a group of my neighbors. There is a group who get together almost every evening and walk several loops around the neighborhood. One loop is roughly a 3/4 mile so depending on how many times you walk around, it can quickly add up. Our neighborhood is new and homes are being added each month so this is not only a terrific way for the neighbors to keep in shape, it’s also a great way for everyone to get to know each other. What’s nice is that members of our community know when the group meets and whoever would like to join that evening does so–the group varies from having 3 to 8 or more people walking together from night to night. One neighbor even wears a vest that allows her to add weights to it in order to make her walk more challenging.
You might see if something like this exists in your own community and if not, perhaps start something similar. Finding a friend who is interested in hitting the gym or taking an exercise class works just as well. Simply think of it as a “happy hour” the healthy way!