We all know that exercise is good for physical and mental health, but many find it hard to stay motivated to make it a regular part of their routine. Here are some tips to keep focused and on track.
- Have a plan. Think of exercise as an important appointment. Planning short, 10-minute snippets of exercise during the day, such as taking a brisk walk at lunch or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, helps break exercise goals down into manageable chunks.
- Set small, realistic goals. Throwing yourself into a new, vigorous activity will only make you sore and discouraged. Take things slowly. Begin by walking a bit further every day, playing tennis a little longer each game or mastering a new yoga pose.
- Reward yourself. If you hit all your objectives for the week, give yourself a small reward.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Realize that there will be times when you’re simply too busy or too tired to exercise. Just get back on track as soon as you can.
- Have an exercise buddy. Knowing someone is expecting you at a fitness class or a morning walk keeps you accountable and motivated.
- Involve family and friends. By encouraging your family and friends to be more active, you’ll stay on track. You’ll also have people supporting you when things get tough.
- Try new things. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re doing the same activities week after week. Try something new. Learn how to curl. Take dance classes. Sign up for paddleboard lessons.
- Use technology. There are many fitness trackers available. Keeping tabs on your progress can be very motivating. You can also try downloading an audio book or podcast to make a solitary walk interesting or stream your favourite TV show while on the treadmill.
Want more help? You can get customized sessions based on your fitness goals through your Members’ Assistance Program (MAP).* Your sessions include detailed workout programs with demo videos to guide you. You can also chat live online with fitness coaches who can help with any fitness, nutrition or recovery questions you have.
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* MAP is operated by Shepell, the largest Canadian-based provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs. Available services vary by region.