How to Stay Motivated with Exercise

Devra Swiger doing Pilates on the reformer

Thinking about starting an exercise program is all fine and good unless all you do is think about starting an exercise program. How many times have you or someone you know decided to start a brand new fitness program only to quit after a few weeks, or worse, never start at all. The truth is that most people don’t stick to exercise programs and all those beautiful fit people you see at the gym or the Pilates studio time and time again are in the minority. Yep.
How does one find the motivation to start a program and stick with it day after day and year after year?

woman performing exercises on the pilates chair

Scheduling is everything:
How many times do you get out of bed and say to yourself ‘Gee, I don’t have time to brush my teeth or take a shower’? Probably not very often (or let’s hope so for the sake of your friends, family and co-workers). We are all actually pretty good at setting aside time as long as it is for things we like, but not as good for things we don’t like. That is why finding an exercise program that works well for you is the best solution. Don’t enroll in hot yoga because your friend’s ex mother-in-law swears by it. Do something because it’s fun and doesn’t seem like exercise. Also, set aside some time in the day whether it is first thing in the morning (my personal favorite time), lunch time or after work. Whatever works within your schedule is the best time.

Find something you like:
As stated above, if you choose an exercise program you don’t like, you won’t do it. I don’t know how many people I know who pay for annual gym memberships and never go. That’s not only a lot of money down the drain, it’s the best way possible to not stay in shape. Don’t listen to people who say walking is not enough or you have to work-out for at least an hour to get any benefit. Anything is better than nothing.

Invest a little money:
That’s the last thing anyone wants to hear. We spend enough money already, but spending money on your health is always money well spent. A client of mine confessed that her monthly medicine bills were over $300. She also had various co-pays and deductibles. Much of what was ailing her could be fixed by a regular exercise program. When she started working out with me twice a week, the reduction in her medical bills went down considerably. People who complain that private training is pricey often spend way more on medical related bills.
Walking and running may be free, but a good pair of shoes is necessary. Personal Pilates training is expensive and the better the coach, the more expensive it will be. Just remember, you always get what you pay for.

As someone who has been teaching fitness for well over 20 years, I can tell you that people always feel better when they start moving. Their depression decreases, their health improves and they have a much healthier attitude towards life. Once they find a suitable exercise plan, a time of day where they can spend time doing it and then spend a little money getting going they remain motivated for a very long time.

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