With a new year just around the corner, you might be getting ready to make some resolutions to improve your health. Making a decision to get more exercise is always a good idea, but how can you make sure you stick to it? Learn how to find motivation to exercise, and you’ll stay successful all year long.
How to Find Motivation to Exercise
If you’re a senior, you probably already know why exercise should be a priority. Exercise has huge health benefits for any age group, but it’s especially important for seniors, who can experience a loss of muscle mass as a part of the aging process. Exercise helps build muscles back up and keeps our bodies strong as we age, which can help us avoid injuries from falls. Exercise also strengthens the immune system, helps us avoid chronic diseases like hypertension, and has significant benefits for mental health.
However, knowing why you should exercise may not be enough to keep you motivated when times are tough. When you aren’t seeing the results you want, or exercise feels like a tedious chore, it’s hard to stay focused. Learning how to find motivation to exercise can help you avoid those doldrums and stick to your healthy habit through the new year and beyond.
The Secret to Staying Motivated
Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all method for staying motivated when it comes to exercise. To turn exercise from a chore into a habit, you need to find external and internal motivation to keep going. What do the professionals recommend for finding the motivation to exercise?
- Make it fun. “No Pain, No Gain” is a good t-shirt slogan, but it’s not a good plan for a regular exercise routine. You’re more likely to stick to a fitness routine if you’re having fun. Join a league sport, or check out a class at the gym. If you’re tired of exercising indoors, take it to the park and enjoy some nature while you walk or jog. Change it up when you get bored, and try a few things before you settle into a routine.
- Make it a part of your day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that seniors get 150 minutes of exercise every week. If you’re not already a gym goer, that number might feel intimidating. However, you can get close to that goal by looking at ways to make exercise a part of your everyday routine. Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Can you do stretches while you watch TV? Get creative!
- Set achievable goals. People who start an exercise routine with unachievable goals are setting themselves up to fail. Don’t tell yourself you’re a failure if you don’t lose 20 pounds right away or can’t run a mile in a minute. Instead, look at where you are and set reasonable goals that can represent progress. If you can walk for 10 minutes this week, could you walk for 15 next week? If you’re not sure what goals would be reasonable at your current fitness level, talk it over with your doctor.
- Do it with a friend. Having a friend cheering for you can be the difference between making it to a weekly workout and blowing it off. An exercise buddy can cheer you up when times get rough and give you someone to celebrate with when you hit your goals. Find someone with similar health goals, and invite them to join you in working toward better fitness.
When you’re learning how to find motivation to exercise, the most important thing to remember is to take it easy on yourself. Learning to exercise regularly can take trial and error, and it might take some time for it to become a habit. Be patient with yourself, and focus on building motivation to keep going. The results will come soon enough.
Are you looking for an assisted living and memory support community in Kansas City? Check out The Piper. Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals ensures that residents feel secure and comfortable right away. At our warm and welcoming community, which is truly a “home within a home,” we foster social interaction, engagement, and the right amount of care. Our residents always come first. To learn more about our services or to schedule a tour, please give us a call at 913-361-5136 or contact us online.