7 great ways to keep motivation levels up

Published: Sunday 24th January 2016 by The News Editor

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We all know what we need to do to keep fit, but actually getting up and doing it? That’s a different matter entirely.

After all, it’s dark and cold outside, you’ve got TV and biscuits at home, the gym is a whole 10 minutes away… You could put that Pilates DVD on, but your ratty old joggers are at the bottom of the wash basket, and wouldn’t it be better for your wellbeing anyway if you just had a couple of glasses of wine and a catch-up with a friend?

Yep, it’s easy to roll out a seemingly never-ending list of excuses to avoid working out, but it means you’ll be turning your back on those healthy New Year’s resolutions, and welcoming in a world of guilt every time you plonk yourself of the sofa.

So how can we motivate ourselves to actually get out there and exercise – whatever the weather and whatever’s planned in our social calendar?

Here are some top tips for upping your motivation levels…

Get support

“Consider pairing up with a good friend whose company you really enjoy,” says Dr Joanna Helcke, award-winning pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert (www.joannahelcke.com). “If you both want to achieve similar fitness goals, but find it hard to go it alone, then take half an hour together to work out what days and times of the week you can meet up regularly to exercise together. If it’s a 6am, pre-work jog, you are far more likely to do it, even if it’s simply a question of not letting each other down.”

Join a club

“If motivation – or more to the point, lack of – is your bugbear, then fitness classes are a great means of getting the fitness ball rolling. Finding a class that you genuinely enjoy and which is sociable will get you off the sofa and through the doors of the gym,” promises Helcke.

Get one-on-one tuition

Alternatively, and finances permitting, “taking on a really excellent personal trainer can make a huge difference”, explains Helcke, adding: “If one-to-one is prohibitively expensive, then look into group personal training. It is not only far more affordable but can be truly rewarding, fun and effective.”

Listen to motivational music

Retailer QVC quizzed more than 2,000 people to find the best ways to keep motivated and on track during January, and found that 26% relied on music for an extra boost. So, put on your headphones and get buzzed listening to Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars and Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor (apparently the top three motivational songs).

Keep track

“Fitness technology is everywhere these days and it can be a great way of motivating you to do more; tracking your steps, monitoring your heart rate, allowing you to compete against others, and even sending you regular reminders to hit your daily targets,” says Helcke.

Get kitted out

“If you are new to running, it is definitely worth investing in the right pair of running shoes and getting your gait analysed in a specialist running shop,” recommends Helcke. “It will save you many an ache and pain. While you are there, get yourself some great new running clothes – looking the part will encourage you to actually be the part. And if you love fitness clothes, then how about treating yourself to a new piece every time you reach a mini milestone? Your first couch to 5k, your first 10k and perhaps one day, your first half marathon.”

Have visible reminders

Sticking a photo of your slimmer, fitter self on the fridge could be just the thing to put you off snaffling another bite of cheese, or reaching for the Coca-Cola, and acting as a regular reminder of why your exercise efforts are worth it.

Copyright Press Association 2016

Published: Sunday 24th January 2016 by The News Editor

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