With the end of summer now a reality, and the thought of winter looming once more, our fitness motivation can become a bit depleted. No summer travels or beach get aways to look forward to, but instead with returning back to normality, fitness can often take a back seat in our busy lives.
Fight a lack of motivation head on with these 10 useful tips, and kickstart your autumn fitness regime.
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela
Timing is key. Work out what time works best for you. When can you fit in a good session? When are you most productive? Personally, mornings work best for me as I then have the whole day ahead without needing to go to the gym constantly being on my mind. It doesn’t just wake me up but mentally and physically prepares me for the day ahead.
Track progress – numbers mean nothing and everyone is different. So don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others. We often don’t notice little changes in ourselves but are the first to notice any improvements in others. It’s so important to remind yourself and be proud of how far you’ve come and the best way to physically see this is often through photos.
Measure your cardio by the distance you achieve or the speed you’re working at, rather than the calories burnt. You can keep pushing to the next milestone or do the final section at a higher pace or incline. Instead of focusing on negative number counting, focus on your fitness figures and statistics. It will help you to keep improving them!
Treat yourself to an item of new sports kit; nothing works to get you down to the gym better than wanting to show off those new leggings.
Don’t get in a rut – try new things. Take up the offer of that bizarre taster class you got the flyer for. Diverse training is always the best way to keep motivated and excited about exercise. I recently went to my first boxercise class and it was so different to anything is done before. I forgot it was workout and saw it as fun, and a little bit of anger management.
So you’ve got to the gym (congrats) but you’re flagging mid workout. If music helps you push through, make sure you’ve already put together the perfect energising playlist. Don’t let choosing the next song become an excuse for a break.
For me, challenging but realistic goals are so important. They keep me focused on trying to improve and achieve what’s important, be that a certain 5km time or being able to 3x 10 reps squat a certain weight. For your goals to be useful you have to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Time- frame.
Self talk – by actually saying the motivational or encouraging phrase out loud it makes it so much more ‘real’. Although mentally psyching yourself up is beneficial, I find you take what you’re saying a lot more seriously, so are a lot more likely to succeed, if you brave the the judgement of questioning onlookers and talk to yourself out loud. Phrases can be anything that works for you, from “Don’t give up” or “You can do this” to “half way there, only 10 minutes left!” You can even use this method to remind yourself of technique pointers: “back straight, shoulders back” (squats).
Find a ‘gym buddy’ who has the a fitness level and ambitions as you. Partners are great for keeping each other motivated and encouraged. You will each have different strengths and weaknesses which you can utilise to help push each other to keep going and improve. There are also countless fun partner HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts to keep your fitness interesting. Just search on Instagram for endless inspiration. Needless to say, if someone is relying on you to turn up for a run or at the gym you are a LOT more likely to go. Now if you don’t go, you’re not only cheating yourself.
Now as silly as this sounds, listening or watching motivational YouTube videos seriously helps me. If I’m ever feeling really unmotivated to go to the gym or do that run I was meant to do last week, I’ll watch a motivational sport or fitness video on Youtube. Yes, the ones with inspirational music blearing in the background and a perfectly selected rugged over-voice . Take this one for example. More often than not, it will leave me feeling energised and empowered once more, and ready to tackle my workout.