Ten steps to staying motivated

Finding a workout partner or group can help keep you motivated.  Photo contributed by Ingird Mitchell

Finding a workout partner or group can help keep you motivated.
Photo contributed by Ingird Mitchell

We all have days where getting out the door is the hardest part of the workout. How do we stay fresh and excited about our activities rather than getting stale and bored? You may find some helpful strategies in my suggestions below.

Find a group or just one training partner. Being accountable to someone else not only makes us more dependable, but we’re also likely to go that extra mile when we have companionship. When open water (lake) swimming it’s a must. Training partners become our biggest supporters.

Set a specific time each day. Put the activity into your daily routine so that you’re sure to make time for it. Otherwise, it’s too easy to put it off until you run out of daylight or desire.

Vary your choice of workout. We are not meant to only run, or bike, or swim, so choose options to alternate. Not only will variety keep boredom at bay, it’ll also help with injury prevention.

Vary the location of the workout. Choose different trails, a different bike route, or a different lake. Explore your environment and you’ll find that time flies.

Get some new gear. New shoes, new bike, new kayak, or just some new socks.

Get a coach. They can assist with training principles to prevent injury and add variety. Also, a coach may ensure you’re practising the correct technique.

Join a camp. There are many benefits to a weekend or week-long clinic. Distractions are removed, there’s good coaching, a dedicated amount of intense training in your chosen sport, and other people to help motivate you. A camp could also lead to future training partners or groups.

Keep track of your workouts. Try setting a weekly plan and see how closely you’re able to stick with it; make adjustments to the plan for the following week. Keeping a training diary, recording activity, time or distance, location, how you felt — all of this information can help you set goals and feel a sense of achievement when you meet them.

Make a list of all the reasons why you should, or want to, work out. It may be for social contacts, weight control, preparation, to feel fit and healthy, or to compete. Whatever your personal reasons, write them out, post them on your refrigerator, and read regularly.

Shift your focus from obligation to enjoyment. You should feel excited about getting out on your bike, checking out some new trails, or hiking to the top of the mountain with your soul mate. Attitude is everything.

Hopefully, a couple of these suggestions fit with your personality and needs. I like routine and lists to keep me motivated. My partner is more spontaneous and drawn to explore new routes. Find what works for you.

About Ingrid Mitchell

Ingrid has a BA & a BPE from McMaster University & an MA in Exercise
Physiology from the University of Western Ontario. She placed 6th at the 2011 World Masters in Nordic and she is a Level 3 Nordic instructor.