Are you finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning for your daily walk and making up excuses to skip the gym on the way home? Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored with their routine. Waning motivation, cutting short and not having your old enthusiasm are signs of a stale exercise regimen. But that doesn't mean you can't re-energize your routine. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Club Industry magazine offer the following 10 tips for staying motivated to stay active.
1) Vary your routine or change your scenery. A new variation on your favorite activity - such as cardio kickboxing instead of Step aerobics, or power yoga instead of working on machines - may be enough to reinvigorate a stale routine. If you've always exercised indoors, move your workout outside for a welcome change of scenery.
2) Try something entirely new. Especially something you never thought you'd do. If you've always stuck to solitary pursuits, sign up for a team sport. Or tackle something you've always shied away from, such as a rock-climbing class.
3) Find a workout buddy. Exercise companions add a social element to any routine. Ask a friend to be your workout partner - you won't skip a workout if someone is waiting for you.
4) Set a new goal. Working out to stay in shape is fine, but setting a goal, such as finishing a 10K race or completing a rough-water swim, will give your daily workouts more meaning.
5) Treat yourself to a workout gadget or accessory. Heart-rate monitors, aquatic toys and other exercise gadgets can make your workouts more fun and challenging.
6) Keep an exercise log to track your progress. Unsure if you're making progress toward your goals? Then keep a workout log, which allows you to keep track of your goals, monitor your progress and adjust your routine as necessary.
7) Don't berate yourself if you miss a workout. Life is full of obstacles, and unexpected appointments, illness and setbacks are bound to happen sooner or later. Don't let a few missed workouts turn into a month of unfulfilled resolutions.
8) Reward yourself. Reaching a fitness goal or milestone is a great excuse to treat yourself to something new. A massage, an evening out, or other "indulgence" may be the key to staying motivated.
9) Focus on how good exercise makes you look and feel. You know that incredibly satisfied and healthy feeling you get immediately after a workout? Remember it! And use it to motivate yourself the next time you're thinking about blowing off your next workout.
10) If all else fails, take a break from exercise. Sometimes a lack of motivation is your body's way of telling you to take a break. If anything hurts, or if your energy is running low, take a break for a few days before resuming your workouts. A little "R and R" may be just what your body needs to renew your motivation.