No one likes being sick — it makes you feel unproductive, prevents you from meeting with friends and loved ones, and it’s an overall miserable time. These days, doing what we can to stay fit and healthy is our best bet to keep that doctor’s appointment at bay. Studies have long shown that regular physical activity offers significant health benefits, and it works the other way around — people who aren’t active enough have a 20-30% increased risk of death. A sedentary lifestyle may have its comforts, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be fitter in order to care for our bodies.
A few tips to help you stay fit!
Aside from ensuring good health in the long term, staying fit helps you participate in activities like sports and travel without having to worry about possible health risks. Still, staying fit can be challenging, especially when it comes to motivation. All it takes is a cheat day (or two) to tempt you into stopping and spoiling yourself instead. Today, we’ll explore some of the ways you can motivate yourself to stay healthy:
Stay fit by setting the right goals
Proper goal-setting is key to staying motivated on your health journey. Keeping in mind the reason and purpose for staying fit will prevent you from getting distracted or losing motivation. One such method of goal-setting is mental contrasting with implementation intentions, in which one engages in a goal-setting process by:
- envisioning your wish
- defining the most impactful outcome
- imagining and picking the most likely obstacle
- forming a plan to overcome this obstacle
Effective goal-setting involves actively envisioning your intended outcome. This way, you don’t lose sight of your goal of staying fit halfway through the process.
Self-love isn’t a new concept, but it should be an integral part of your health journey. While it takes a certain dedication to stick to your fitness journey, remember not to be too hard on yourself. When trying to find the motivation for losing weight and staying healthy, it helps to appreciate what your body is capable of. Allison Grupski, PhD, explains that even if you don’t like how your arms look, for example, you can instead focus on the fact that they’re strong enough to “scoop your kids up into big bear hugs.” This mindset enables you to keep perspective on why you want to stay fit in the first place while maintaining a realistic view of your goals that won’t put you through harmful mental and physical pressures.
One way of cultivating self-love to get you through your fitness journey is by introducing a social aspect to the process through a like-minded community of members striving for similar goals. This allows you to have mutual accountability and some friendly competition to keep the motivation going.
Being wary of bad habits
A huge part of staying fit is establishing new, healthier habits to replace old and unhealthy habits. From unhealthy eating habits to a poor work-life balance that leads to a lack of sleep or exercise — evaluating the aspects of your daily life that you can avoid or replace with healthier alternatives helps remove potential distractions from your fitness journey. For example, we previously posted about the harmful impacts that drinking may have on your work, whether you drink weekly or every day. Having a greater knowledge of the effect alcohol can have on your productivity and mental well-being can help you decide whether you need to cut back or even quit all together. Stopping bad habits and engaging in good habits can be a huge motivational boost as you will soon feel better.
Old habits die hard, but aligning your new practices with your goal of staying fit and healthy can help motivate you in the long run while reducing potential health risks from your routine. Ultimately, motivation isn’t hard to find, but actively taking steps to stay motivated is what will propel you further in your fitness journey.