3 Psychological Hacks to Increase Fitness Motivation

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Most everyone’s motivation goes through ebbs and flows when it comes to physical fitness. Even the most experienced exercise enthusiasts sometimes struggle to maintain their routines. You can’t expect to wake up excited about eating clean and working out every morning.

That’s why you need some clever workout motivation tips to help you out. Here are three effective psychological hacks to increase your fitness motivation.

1. Only Do Things You Enjoy

People often lose motivation when their routines become too monotonous or difficult to maintain. The simplest solution is to change things up and create a more enjoyable schedule. This advice applies to eating and exercising alike. There are thousands of healthy foods and effective exercises available for you to try.

Feel free to make adjustments if you no longer enjoy your current diet and workout plan. For example, many people experience mental and physical burnout from heavy exercises and overly intense training sessions. Instead of trying to push through something you hate, find easier substitutes for those moves.

A different type of burnout occurs when our routines get boring. Rather than feeling exhausted, we simply don’t have the same enthusiasm as when we started. However, the solution is the same. Create a workout plan with exercises that pique your interest. Spice things up with new foods. Here are some specific suggestions:

  • Cardio: Go for a jog on a nearby walking trail instead of a grueling 45 minutes on the treadmill. You can also try a low-impact cardio workout like swimming or yoga.
  • Weightlifting: Switch to a machine for a more manageable workload if a heavy compound movement is giving you trouble. No exercise is mandatory.
  • Dieting: Chicken, rice and salad for every meal might get you the best results, but we all know it isn’t realistic in the long term. Be creative and shake up your primary protein and carb sources every once in a while. Find healthier substitutes for your favorite junk food.

You should never feel trapped in your routine. Nothing is set in stone. Knowing you have the freedom to adjust your program will increase your fitness motivation and help you stick with your goals.

2. Prioritize Your Rest and Recovery

Many of us make the same mistake when beginning our fitness journeys. We dive in with a full head of steam, not accounting for the obstacles that might be hiding further underwater. We want to accomplish everything right away and work our tails off for a short time frame. Then, we hit a wall. As a result, 90% of people stop going to the gym after just three months.

If this scenario has happened to you, the source of the problem likely wasn’t the new diet or exercise routine. A lack of rest caused your body to break down. You were so focused on attaining short-term results that you neglected to give yourself the necessary time to recover.

You need proper recovery to reduce your stress levels and maintain a healthy state of mind. Make sure you do all these things:

  • Get eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Take at least one day off from exercise every week. Some people take three days off and still get consistent results.
  • Set a time and exercise limit for your workouts. One hour and four-five exercises are more than enough for most people, including those with high experience levels.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel like you need an extra day off, take it.

You can technically have a full-time fitness routine with insufficient rest, but only for a short time. This will catch up with you after a while, and your motivation will plummet. Avoid this pitfall by prioritizing your recovery from day one. A proper sleep schedule will improve your performance and ease the pains that come from frequent exercise.

Sleep and relaxation should be the top priorities, but every activity we do throughout the day contributes to recovery. Maintaining good habits outside the gym improves your workout performance. Similarly, if you give yourself enough recovery time to perform at a high level, other aspects of your life will reap the benefits.

For example, a proper balance of exercise and recovery contributes to better teeth and gum health by reducing inflammation and your body’s vulnerability to oral diseases. The connection goes even deeper in this case, as good oral health during pregnancy leads to better oral health for the baby. All these benefits go back to one source: a well-rounded, active lifestyle.

Little things like personal hygiene, organization and stress management aid in your body’s recovery from exercise. Stay on top of these tasks to keep a healthy mind and strong physique.

3. Get Motivation From Others

If you have tried everything on your own and still aren’t sure how to increase your fitness motivation, look to your family and friends for help. Everyone needs a strong support system if they want to fulfill their long-term plans. Enlist your loved ones to hold you accountable and motivate you when you’re feeling down. Here are some easy ways to make your workouts more social:

  • Make your goals public on social media. You will feel more inclined to stick to your promises with your intentions out in the open.
  • Join an online community of like-minded people and share your story. The fitness community doesn’t discriminate. If you’re willing to improve, they will accept and support you.
  • Get a personal trainer or workout partner and feed off each other’s energy.
  • Sign up for exercise programs, such as calisthenics, cycling and yoga. Group fitness classes increase motivation and give you more incentive to show up every day.
  • Use social gatherings to boost your confidence and motivation. Play pick-up sports games with friends and start a new outdoor tradition with your family, like a weekend hike.

Mental health issues, problems at work and other life complications can sap your motivation. When you can’t find inspiration within yourself, you need to find it in other people. Even veteran fitness trainers need extra support from their loved ones. A timely self-esteem boost can affect your journey’s entire trajectory, no matter your experience level.

Balance Leads to Motivation

The three hacks we discussed share one thing in common: They help you achieve balance in your fitness journey. Doing exercises and eating foods you love makes your schedule more tolerable. Proper recovery and maintenance help your performance in the gym and in everyday life. Including other people in your journey ensures you won’t be alone at your lowest points. A balanced lifestyle means you’ll never need to increase your fitness motivation.

Beth, the Managing Editor at Body+Mind, is well-respected in the fitness and nutrition spaces. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and cooking.

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