Why is it so hard to motivate to stay healthy and exercise?

shifkat

New member
Jun 25, 2018
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#1
My current goal is to start running and work up to 5K per day. I know in my mind that staying healthy for my daughter is the best thing I can do for my family, but then it's difficult for me to do...

Lots of people get motivated to get in shape, and they accomplish their goals – initially. But many find it hard to stay motivated when winter rolls around and outdoor exercise options become limited, particularly in cold-weather regions. That's when lots of people backslide from their fitness routine.

My current motivation is to do just 20 minutes a day and work my way higher. What motivation techniques do you do for exercise?
 
Jun 25, 2018
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#2
20 minutes a day is nice way to start, shifkat!

In my experience, starting my exercise goals was more difficult than staying motivated. After breaking away from the muscle sores and frustration of my first few tries, biking suddenly became an automatic part of my routine. Skipping it would make me feel terrible physically and mentally. I find myself less productive and less active whenever I miss a ride. But I agree with what you said about cold weathers (in my country, it's the rainy season). It could really take you away from the healthy habit you've started.
 
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Jun 26, 2018
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#3
When you're starting out, the best thing you can do is to build a routine. Assign a particular time of the day every day to work out. Mornings are usually the best. In a few days, you will become used to the routine and you won't have to force yourself to work out - in fact, you might even look forward to it. When winter comes, you will have built a momentum and it will be easier for you to keep going.

I started out with 10 minutes of light exercise and now I work out for around 45 minutes every day.
 

annelill

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Jun 25, 2018
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#4
Branching off of shifkat’s question, I would love to hear if anyone has good tips for continuing to exercise in extremely hot weather. I live in Texas and was also beginning to work myself up to a 5k, by using the app C25K (which was working pretty well). But when it started to get up into the 90s and now 100s with heat index, I just hit a wall. I can’t bring myself to run when it’s that hot out and I can’t afford to get a gym membership. Even in the mornings when I get up it’s already in the 80s and incredibly humid. Maybe any tips for good home workouts to keep it up during the hard times?
 
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WendyM

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Jul 7, 2018
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#5
Branching off of shifkat’s question, I would love to hear if anyone has good tips for continuing to exercise in extremely hot weather. I live in Texas and was also beginning to work myself up to a 5k, by using the app C25K (which was working pretty well). But when it started to get up into the 90s and now 100s with heat index, I just hit a wall. I can’t bring myself to run when it’s that hot out and I can’t afford to get a gym membership. Even in the mornings when I get up it’s already in the 80s and incredibly humid. Maybe any tips for good home workouts to keep it up during the hard times?
Hi! I, too, just started exercising again when we were hit with an oppressive heat wave. When I can’t walk outside, I use exercise videos that allow me to work out in my living room. Some videos I have purchased, but others I have found online for free via Amazon Prime. I like The Biggest Loser Power Workout the best.
 
Jun 25, 2018
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#6
The toughest aspect of exercise is getting your body to accept the change in activity level. It takes time, and it can be exhausting even painful at first. Managing that can be a hassle, and it can feel easier to give up especially if you don't keep to a steady routine. Even these days as I have a steady 30 minutes on the weekdays and 1 hour on the weekends routine, I have days where I feel like it would just be easier to take the day off because I'm already tired or sore from previous days or other activities.

If you get into a routine though, your body will be the first to rebel against giving up because you will feel worse not having done the work by the end of the day. You will want to keep at it even on the tough days because you will likely be happier with how healthy you look and feel.

As far as hot days (as well as cold days) are concerned, I try to have a backup for any cardio, making it possible to do the work indoors. I have a gym membership though that helps with that. If you can't afford to go to a gym, I'd just try to come up with exercises you feel comfortable with doing in large chunks in your home. Jogging in place or contained circles often works for me, supplemented by various exercises including jumping jacks and air bike reps.
 

ethanez

New member
Jul 7, 2018
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#7
Staying motivated is always a challenge! As a fellow runner, I try to register for races a couple months in the future so that I have an end goal to work toward. This helps me keep up my training routine! Also, I like to reward myself at night after working out with a treat; personally, I'm a chocolate person and it is a great incentive. In addition, I try to find ways to enjoy running on the treadmill so that it is always an option if it is too cold or hot outside.
 

anniel

New member
Jul 7, 2018
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#8
Branching off of shifkat’s question, I would love to hear if anyone has good tips for continuing to exercise in extremely hot weather. I live in Texas and was also beginning to work myself up to a 5k, by using the app C25K (which was working pretty well). But when it started to get up into the 90s and now 100s with heat index, I just hit a wall. I can’t bring myself to run when it’s that hot out and I can’t afford to get a gym membership. Even in the mornings when I get up it’s already in the 80s and incredibly humid. Maybe any tips for good home workouts to keep it up during the hard times?
This has been a big challenge for me, as I have been training for some road races in the heat. I've found that taking in plenty of electrolytes during the day makes it much easier for me to make it through a workout under these conditions. I've had success with products like Nuun, Medi-Lyte, or Science in Sport. On hot days we sweat out more electrolytes than we realize! I also second the thought of doing indoor workouts on hot days. As a runner, I find that I always run better when I have a strong core; maybe devoting hot days to doing core workouts would work for you?
 

Genelle17

New member
Jun 26, 2018
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#9
My biggest tip is to physically write down your fitness & exercise goals! Having it on paper will help you stick to it much better. Also, make it easy for you to workout! What I mean by this is, have your clothes out and ready to go or packed up. Set an alarm if its an early workout and maybe have the alarm clock/phone on the other side of the room. Think of WHY you want to exercise every time you feel like you don't want to. Also, more than anything, its not always about motivation. You have to DISCPLINE yourself to just get it done. By doing that, you'll create this consistent habit that eventually becomes second nature. Hope this helps!
 
Jul 3, 2018
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#10
Committing to a routine is always hard especially exercise and being more healthy. I have tried every diet under the sun and eventually resulted back to my old unhealthy habits. My main motivation was to see how I would look in a bikini or to be more secure with my weight and image. The reasons I think that never worked out for me is because my motivation was skewed. I had to get healthy and exercise for myself! In order to live a full longer life and reduce my chances of serious health issues. I can not be effective in teaching my son the healthy way of living if I can not back away from apple pie.
 

A_Albe

New member
Jul 10, 2018
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#11
When you're starting out, the best thing you can do is to build a routine. Assign a particular time of the day every day to work out. Mornings are usually the best. In a few days, you will become used to the routine and you won't have to force yourself to work out - in fact, you might even look forward to it. When winter comes, you will have built a momentum and it will be easier for you to keep going.

I started out with 10 minutes of light exercise and now I work out for around 45 minutes every day.
Yes! I think the biggest struggle is relying on motivation, not routine and habits. When I started powerlifting, it felt impossible to get out of the house in the morning to go to the gym before work. But instead of having "Come on, you can do this" and tapping into a finite well of motivation, I reminded myself "This is what you do, this is your routine". By steadily building the habit, I got to a place where I felt badly if I DIDN'T go to the gym on Monday mornings because I fell out of the routine.
 

anniel

New member
Jul 7, 2018
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#12
Another tip I have for motivation is keeping a training log and updating it every day. I know that I don't want to have to write, "didn't work out" too often! It's satisfying to see all the minutes or miles build up. It can also be a great confidence boost to look back at what you've done over the past few months and see both how much you've accomplished and how much you've improved.
 

epalmer

New member
Aug 15, 2018
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#14
Motivating is the hardest part - I always end up enjoying the exercise and feeling so much better after. So I try to just make myself get out the door - once I get off the couch I'm always happy I did!
 

shifkat

New member
Jun 25, 2018
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#15
I have just completed my 30 days(August) beginner workout program 45 minutes per day. And I have made a plan for September. What's your September plan?
 
Aug 20, 2018
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#16
That's awesome, shifkat!

I'm trying to build a more consistent yoga habit. I'm finding that the more intense my goals ("go to classes every day") the less likely I am to meet them. Instead, I am going to try to focus on something reasonable, then hopefully I may even pleasantly surprise myself. So now my goal is going to a class 1-2 times per week and stretching 3-4 days per week. We'll see how that goes!
 
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Aug 15, 2018
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#17
I think exercising is always easier if you can find something that you enjoy doing, such as a sport or physical activity. I enjoy ice skating and dancing. You then focus on your goals for the activity, instead of just exercising. It is also sometimes help to have someone to work out with to keep you motivated. You may also want to think of ways to vary your workout.Trying new things from time to time will keep your workout from feeling monotonous and should also help keep you motivated.
 
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EliGray

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Aug 20, 2018
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#18
I think that it's probably so difficult to stay motivated to stay in shape and to be healthy is because 1.) The results that you get are usually minuscule and take a long time and a lot of work to achieve, and 2.) You start to become complacent with your body since it mainly only affects you, and the combination of those two is what makes it so easy to give up on yourself and being healthy, but you have to remember that you will reap what you sow, and what you do now will affect you later. If you put in the work now, your future self will be very, very happy with you.
 
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lsullivan

New member
Oct 4, 2018
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#19
Starting is the hardest part. Once you get started it'll get easier to keep going. Start small and work your way up. Find a running buddy or someone to keep you accountable!
 
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