Simple Tips For Keeping Your Motivation To Work Out Strong

Being physically active is an important measure of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does exercising help you manage your weight and minimize the risk of disease but it can also sharpen your mental faculties and enhance your ability to be more efficient in everyday activities. According to the World Health Organization, people who overindulge in a sedentary lifestyle carry a 20% to 30% higher risk of earlier death compared to those who exercise on a regular basis.

None of us are strangers to the health benefits of working out, but not everyone knows how to keep moving when demotivation gets in the way. There are multitudes of reasons why we lose interest in exercising. Perhaps we're bored of doing the same old routine over and over again. Maybe our sense of purpose is fading and we have more important things to attend to than losing weight or toning muscles. It could also be that we've been working out for a long time and the progress is not matching our expectations. As previously said, the reasons for our wanting to throw in the towel are varied. But in the end, we must maintain a physically active lifestyle if we want to lead a healthy, happy life in the long run. If you're facing mental hurdles that make you want to wave goodbye to your fitness goals, here are some simple tips that you can use to regain your motivation and get back on track. 

Use visual aids

Before we can believe in a goal enough to want to make it happen, we must have an idea of what it looks like. If you want a fit body, figure out what kind of body you want so you can tweak your workout and diet regimens to match your expectations. You may use Facebook or Instagram, which both offer a wealth of visual resources for fitness training. If you already have a celebrity or fitness influencer in mind, browse their social media accounts to see how they achieved their goals. You can put up posters of your fitspo idol on the walls to serve as a constant reminder of why you should begin exercising. 

You can read all you want about the advantages of exercising, but unless they are vividly etched in your mind, you won't be motivated to put them into action. If it is a lean and sculpted model physique you're dreaming about, you could follow a Victoria's Secret workout, which entails full-body toning exercises targeting your legs, butt, abs, and arms, accompanied by a cardio burn, Mission Lean points out. To achieve a curvaceous, movement-fluid body of a dancer, get ready for dance cardio, interval training, strength training, and bodyweight exercises among others, says CORIO creator Elle Kealy. The point of having visual aids is to make your workout goals more convincing and tailor your lifestyle routine to get into your dream shape.

Practice visualization

After securing visual aids that work for you, start visualizing. Visualization can help you focus on and strive after reaching your goals, whether it's a work promotion, a happy marriage, or a nicer body. According to Jack Can Field, visualization is the conscious process of picturing the outcome you wish to see regardless of your situation. In other words, you see yourself on a roll even when you're on a losing streak. For instance, if you're working towards a lingerie model body, before every workout, picture your face atop the body of Emily Ratajkowski as you walk the streets donning the niftiest of subversive basics. If possible, envision every detail of your desired outcome. How many heads will you turn as you show up in a crop top flaunting your six-pack abs? How jealous will your ex feel when he sees you surfing in a two-piece swimsuit?

Call it daydreaming if you want to, but this technique works because it creates structural tension, which is the purposeful increase of tension to help you stay dead focused on shortening the gap between your desired outcome and your current state of being. The more structural tension you create through visualization, the less likely you slack off during the process. Sports legends the likes of Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tiger Woods, and pitcher Roy Halladay are great examples of how visualizing themselves scoring goals before every game can help improve their athletic performances and achieve their goals, per HuffPost.

Have workout buddies

As an old African proverb goes, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." No matter what you do — working or exercising — there is motivation in numbers. Unless you're super health-conscious or a professional athlete, going at it alone can bore you and sap your morale rapidly. If possible, find yourself a workout buddy or join a workout class where you have an instructor and a group of people who are as serious about getting into shape as you are. It's safe to say that we pick up on the positive habits of those around us. In the journal Obesity, a 2016 study discovered that overweight people tend to lose more weight when they spend time with their fit friends who work out diligently.

According to the CDC, having a workout buddy predisposes you to a wholesome competitive environment, which motivates you to work out harder and achieve better results accordingly. Teamwork also inspires you to experiment with new approaches to wellness and build rapport with your teammates, making every workout session more exciting and worth looking forward to. Even when your energy and interests are waning, having others sharing valuable advice and cheering you on motivates you to show up on a regular basis and give the activity your all.

Put on nice workout clothing

To get yourself into the mood of exercising, wake up early and put on workout gear first thing in the morning. In case you treat a workout more like a nighttime self-care ritual, deck yourself out in sportswear right after having your dinner. You don't have to get into exercising right after putting on activewear, but you can use them to get yourself in the mood. If losing weight is your primary concern, build yourself a buzzy wardrobe of athletic pieces that are functional and aesthetic at the same time. When you're running dry on willpower, retail therapy might just be what the doctor ordered for a renewed interest in working out.

According to a survey conducted by Barbell Apparel (via SWNS Media Group) that polled over 2,000 gym goers, 69% of respondents answered that having nifty workout gear on gave them more motivation and energy to pump iron. Light and sweat-wicking fabrics that enable you to exercise in ultimate comfort are a must-have when choosing workout gear, but stylishness — like asymmetric lines or bold cutouts — is also a key factor if it makes you want to get yourself out there. Or, maybe it's a new pair of shoes that gives you a body image boost. "Sometimes, it's just something as simple as getting a new pair of shoes," professional triathlete Sika Henry tells The Zoe Report.

Drink coffee before working out

To get yourself into the mood for a workout, pop into a café for a cup of coffee while on your way to the gym. According to a study in the journal Sports Medicine, not only can caffeine physically energize us to the point where we can train at our maximum capacity but it can also have a motivating effect on our minds. Research shows that a majority of elite athletes consume caffeine before or during competitions, mainly because the stimulant lessens the awareness of efforts and discomfort even when the intensity of the act remains unchanged. Due to its stimulating effects on the brain, caffeine empowers you to pump iron more intensely during a longer period of time. 

If enhanced athletic performances are your main goal, consider consuming a dosage of three to six milligrams of caffeine per kg of body mass per day for the most optimal results, a study in the journal Nutrients points out. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration has considered it safe for healthy adults to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day — equivalent to four or five cups of coffee. Consuming a higher dose of caffeine might run the risk of side effects, such as muscles tremor, fast heartbeat, insomnia, or the inability to control urination. If you're pregnant, drink no more than two cups of coffee per day.

Grape juice can perk you up

Another energetic drink that makes you want to work out and work out happily is grape juice. Dietician and personal trainer Jim White tells Eat This: "Grape juice is made with Concord grapes, making it a healthy beverage choice that delivers fruit nutrients like polyphenol antioxidants and natural sugars to energize your workout." The unexpected benefit of grape juice for exercisers was proven in a 2015 controlled trial published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

In the study, 28 recreational runners were split into two groups: one was given grape juice, while the other was given a control beverage. After about a month of monitored workouts, researchers discovered that the group who drank grape juice before workouts took longer to run out of steam compared to the other group that didn't drink grape juice. Besides, certain compounds in grapes contain therapeutic properties, which aid in lifting mood and improving your overall mental well-being. Since grape juice is fat-free and cholesterol-free, it is an excellent pre-workout beverage for people who should avoid consuming caffeine, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome, overactive bladder, glaucoma, sleep disorders, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.