Exercise plays an important role in protecting against chronic disease. Unfortunately, statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show that fewer than one in three Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity. Current guidelines recommend between 75 and 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. If you currently fall short of these guidelines, you should consider the following tips to increase your motivation.
Setting goals -- both short and long term -- can help you stay motivated to exercise. Goals provide a clear path to success by revealing exactly what you need to accomplish. A short-term goal may consist of jogging two or three miles per week, whereas a long-term goal may consist of running a 5K by the end of the year. With that said, you can set goals for other types of exercises besides jogging or running. Just remember to create short-term and long-term goals that define your exercise objectives.
Don't forget to take breaks when exercising. Contrary to common belief, you shouldn't exercise all seven days of the week. Your body needs time to recover from exercise. Whether you jog, run or lift weights, it will take a physical toll on your body. The good news is that human body is resilient and is capable of recovering -- but only if you give it the opportunity to do so. At the same time, taking breaks will increase your level of motivation to exercise.
Follow a Schedule
Following a schedule is another tip that will help you stay motivated to exercise. Without a schedule, your exercise won't be consistent. You may take an excessive number of days off, thereby negating all of your previous gains. Like goals, a schedule will keep you on track while allowing you to stay motivated in the process.
Another tip to stay motivated when exercising is to socialize. Rather than exercising alone, consider partnering up with a friend, family member or even a coworker. Exercising with other people isn't just fun; it's a source of motivation. Research has even shown that people who socialize when exercising experience bigger and better gains than their counterparts who exercise alone.
Wake Up Early
Don't wait until the evening or nighttime to exercise. Instead, do it early in the morning. You'll feel more energized and refreshed in the morning, thereby boosting your motivation levels. This is just one more way to stay motivated when exercising.