Exercise Motivation

If you regularly struggle for motivation when it comes to working out, it often helps to think of an activity rather than exercise. For instance, joining a netball team, playing Frisbee with family or walking around a park are all great ways to improve your fitness without compromising on fun.

To begin, why not draw up your own list? It's important to remember, however, that you needn't exercise for 30 minutes continuously. Instead, try three rounds of 10 minutes, which will produce the same benefits.

Here are some ways to get you started ...

Go Green

Try cycling to work and walking to the shops. The aim? Getting fit and being kind to the planet. Exercise seems much more enjoyable if there are altruistic motives attached.

Carrot and Stick

Aim to set yourself a minimum target, ideally 150 minutes each week, and then reward yourself every time you hit the target. This has flexibility, as you can do very little on some days but clock up the minutes on a day when you feel good and have found something you really enjoy doing.

Score a Goal

Getting in shape boils down to simple maths – burn up more calories than you eat! So when exercising, try not to think of the effort, but focus on your goals instead. Let your mind wander to thoughts of "that's one more inch melting off my waist" or "I'm going look great in my bikini", maybe even "my ex is going to regret it when he next sees me". Whatever your motivation, remember every minute on the treadmill, every repetition on the gym machines, every bead of sweat that drops from your brow, is moving you closer to your goal.

Go Mental

Focus on how exercise makes you feel. If you've had a bad day at work, you often feel calmer after a workout. Stick with it for a short while and you won't feel so lethargic, but you'll begin to notice you feel more energised at work and play. A run, cycle or swim can be excellent routes to stimulating your creativity, so don't sit staring at a blank computer screen, go workout and release the problem-solving potential in your brain.

A matter of taste

From hula-hooping to pole dancing, Zumba to pumping iron, sweaty yoga to hanging upside down on a TRX, there are so many different ways to exercise now – which means there's sure to be something you'll actually enjoy. As a result, set yourself a goal of trying two new things every week.

If you do something you hate – great, cross it off your list and relish the fact that if you've discovered something you don't like, then you're a step closer to finding something you do! You'll get a huge confidence boost from conquering things you've never done before and this method of cross-training is the best for all round fitness gains.

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