Regular exercise is a key part of staying healthy and controlling your weight. At some level, we all know that, and many of us put it into practice. But it’s easy to overlook one of the most vital parts of that advice – exercise needs to be done regularly!
You might naturally think that any exercise is better than no exercise, and while there is truth to that in terms of overall fitness, some studies have indicated that irregular exercise can lead to piling on the pounds during periods of inactivity. All the more reason, then, to think about your exercise regime as an on-going project, something you stick to week by week, right through the year. In the long run, this will benefit your body considerably more than promising yourself a few weeks at the gym after the Diwali, Christmas and New Year excesses.
So how do you keep motivated … especially when you’re stuck at home, or work and family pressures are swallowing up your time? There’s no single right answer – we’re all different and motivated by different things, but there are a few tried-and-tested approaches to help boost your motivation for exercise.
Make a minimum commitment, even if that’s just 15 minutes of dedicated exercise a day every day. Exercise by its very nature makes you feel better, and you’ll often find that those 15 minutes turn into half an hour or more, and it all helps.
Work out alongside a buddy or partner – you’ll push and encourage each other to do just that bit more. And if you don’t turn up, you’re letting them down, too.
Your choice of partner makes a real difference here, so team up with someone who you know sticks to a good, regular exercise schedule.
And don’t worry if your workout partner is fitter or more advanced than you; many psychologists believe that this only motivates you to work harder to reach their level!