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Staying Motivated to Exercise

woman who has just finished an working out

Let's face it. No one wants to be out of shape or overweight. However, the majority of people, at least in the United States, are not in good shape and many are grossly overweight.

If no one wants to be out of shape then why are there so many overweight and out of shape people?

The answer is that most people have trouble remaining motivated. They have trouble remaining motivated to stay on diets and to exercise.

One reason that people have trouble remaining motivated to exercise is that the effects aren't immediate. You exercise, but don't immediately see that anything has changed. So if you are tired or busy then exercising may not seem worth the effort. It generally takes about two weeks of exercising and working out to see the effects from it.

However, if you DO start exercising on a regular basis then once two weeks have passed you WILL see a difference. You'll see a difference in the way your clothes fit, the way you feel, and the way you look.

For those of you who have not been working out recently, just think of the shape you could be in now if you had started working out and exercising six months ago. Well, if you start today then six months from now you will be in great shape.

Tips to Stay Motivated to Exercise

Schedule Exercise Into Your Day

Because regular exercise is so important, not only for your physical appearance, but also for your health and longevity, you need to schedule this into your day so that it is something that you MUST do each day. Don't give yourself the option of not exercising (unless you are ill). If for some reason you have to skip a day, then get right back on your exercise schedule the next day.

Usually, once you get used to exercising on a regular basis it becomes easier. In fact, you will most likely look forward to your workout once it becomes part of your daily routine.

If you are having trouble starting then tell yourself that you will workout daily for only one month. If you hate it at the end of the month or see no improvement in your mood, health, or appearance then you can quit. Anyone can survive working out on a daily basis for only one month. (Make sure that you are in good enough health to do this. If in doubt see your physician first.)

I'm guessing that at the end of one month you'll feel and look so much better you won't want to stop exercising.

Join a Gym

Some people find that if they join a gym that they are more likely to work out. This is especially true if you sign up for exercise classes that are held on specific days of the week.

Some people who join a gym don't want their money to go to waste and so they exercise to ensure they are getting their money's worth out of their gym membership.

Get a Work-out Buddy

Getting a friend to exercise or join a gym with you is a great way to help you remain motivated. You may feel tired, but you'll exercise anyway to avoid letting your friend down.

Pick an Exercise Activity That You Enjoy

If you enjoy running, do that. If you would rather lift weights, then do that instead. (Do keep in mind that a mix of cardiovascular and strength training is best.) Try to make your exercise routine as pleasant as possible. If I exercise at home I like to watch TV while I do it. That way it doesn't really seem like work. If you prefer to listen to music as you work out then do that instead.

The Activity Doesn't Have to Last Long

You can greatly improve your health and appearance by working out for only short periods of time. You don't need to set aside large blocks of time. Working out for only 20 minutes a day will greatly improve your health and appearance. Work out for longer if you like, but exercising for long periods of time isn't necessary in order to see the benefits.

View Photos of Fit People

I find that viewing photographs, or even movies, that show people that are in great shape makes me want to exercise more. Photos showing abdominal muscles seem to be particularly motivating. I've heard many women say they were motivated to work out and get in shape after watching Demi Moore in the movie GI Jane.

While you are viewing these photos and watching movies with fit people remember that the only difference between that person and you is the amount of exercise they get and possibly their diet.

Start Today

In time, you could be in excellent physical shape if you start working out and exercising today. Don't wait to get into shape someday, because you may never start. Don't wait. Start today.