BELONG: FINDING THE RIGHT EXERCISE MOTIVATION FOR YOU
Just like many things in life, workouts have a honeymoon period. You may start a new weight loss journey and be totally into it for the first few weeks. As you start to see results, your weight loss motivation may go up even more. But as your exercise routine starts to become, well, routine, your enthusiasm may wane. This is the point where a full body workout and healthy eating plan can either become a part of your daily life or a fleeting fad. The right motivation is critical at this fork in the road.
Here are some tips to get you through:
Set reachable goals
As you embark on a weight loss journey, it helps to keep your eye on the prize, but it’s also important to reward yourself for goals you achieve along the way. Think about how much weight you’d like to lose and how you’d like to go about it. Chances are, your strategy will involve fitness relationship goals, a healthy eating plan, and a vision of a healthier, happier you. To keep your motivation high and lose weight at a decent pace, set mini goals on the way. Research shows, goal setting helps boost performance in all types of exercisers, from those who engage in gym workouts to elite athletes. In one study (1) published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, researchers looked at the effects of goal-setting in college-level rugby players. They found that the players who set clear fitness relationship goals showed enhancements in the specific areas of performance they set out to improve. In terms of short-term goals, start by hitting the Curves Circuit two to three times a week as you build up to 30 minutes, five days a week. Or, if you have 40 pounds to lose, start by losing five pounds, then five more, etc. When you hit a mini-goal, reward yourself with something like a trip to the movies or a new piece of workout gear.
Research shows, adding a little healthy competition can give you the motivation you need to keep losing weight. In a study (2) done at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found healthy competition motivates people in an online social network to exercise more than friendly encouragement alone. In another study (3) published in the journal Obesity, researchers found engaging in team-based competitions can help you lose 20 percent more weight than going about it alone. So, go ahead and recruit a group of your Curves buddies to register for a charity walk or 5K to boost weight loss motivation for all!
Hit Curves in the a.m.
You’ll be much less likely to skip a morning gym workout than one you schedule later in the day. Researchers at the National Center for Medicine and Science in Sport found that athletic performance is better in those who exercise in the morning (4) compared to people who engage in their physical activity later in the day. Plus, you’ll be less likely to get sidelined with an unexpected call or last-minute lunch meeting. If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning to get to your full body workout, lay all your gear out the night before—or better yet, sleep in your gym clothes—so you can get up and go.
Avoid unrealistic images
To boost weight loss motivation, you may be tempted to post a photo of a skinny model in a bathing suit near your fridge to discourage yourself from veering off your healthy eating plan. However, a study (5) done in the Netherlands found these images may have the opposite effect. Researchers found women who posted pictures of slender models on their weight loss diaries were less likely to lose weight than women who did not post these images. It seems that women who looked at the models saw their weight loss and fitness relationship goals as less attainable than women who didn’t look at them. If you’d like to try using an image as encouragement, post a photograph of yourself looking happy and healthy, and aim to become a trimmer version of that you. Or, track your progress with weekly photos of yourself to illustrate what you’ve accomplished so far.
Make your environment conducive to getting in shape
You won’t be as likely to drop kilos when there are biscuits and sweets at every turn. For maximum weight loss encouragement, set up your living space to reflect your new lifestyle. Replace the biscuit jar with a fruit bowl. Keep fitness shoes within easy reach so you will be more likely to put them on and head to your gym workout at Curves. Take away roadblocks that could get between you and your fitness relationship goals and you’ll be more likely to stay on course for success.
Treat yourself with respect
You may be tempted to shame yourself into weight loss motivation, but negative reinforcement can backfire, increasing stress hormones (6) and stimulating you to veer off your healthy eating plan. Instead, remind yourself that you’re the one who got your workout plan and healthy diet off the ground in the first place. You’re the one who had the courage to change the course of your life by eliminating unhealthy habits and adopting healthy ones like your membership at Curves. And you’re the one doing all the good things for your body by getting in shape. With each step you take during your full body workout at Curves, you be one step closer to your ultimate weight loss goals.