How To Motivate Yourself To Workout

Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick | Founder Wild Women On Top

It’s been nearly two months since lockdown cut us off from our regular hiking adventures.

If you’re anything like me, the past two months has been a rollercoaster of emotions; uncertainty, fear, disbelief, astonishment, worry, disappointment, frustration, anger, acceptance, love, gratitude and, finally, a return of optimism. Through all this, it’s natural for motivation to fluctuate, and it’s definitely time to forgive yourself if your motivation to move and workout has all but evaporated.

However, if you’ve spent the past two months shifting from your home desk to the couch and back again, you might be feeling more than a bit 'meh'.

Mental health experts have been reporting a massive increase in mental health issues flowing from the COVID-19 pandemic and we know that lack of movement is a major contributor to this.

But now, with restrictions easing slowly, it’s time to re-build your routine and feel fabulous again.  

Grab a friend

Before bed on Sunday night, text six friends and invite them to join you on a half-hour morning walk. Get a routine, so each sunrise or sunset you’ve got a buddy. Or ask your partner, your kids, or your dog. Once you’re committed to a buddy, you’ll bounce out of bed so you don’t disappoint them. And once you’re moving, you’ll feel fabulous.

Get a routine

Some of us are morning people and some aren’t. Take a long hard look at yourself and work out what you are, then stick to it.

For mums, it’s often easier to commit early in the morning before family stuff gets in the way, but if you’re a night person, lock it in before or after dinner. The secret is the daily ritual. The daily practice. Aim to walk with a buddy every day and if you miss one or two, don’t sweat it.

Focus on the mood-elevating effects of moving

It’s scientifically proven that exercise elevates mood. When you're feeling lethargic and ready to ditch your walk, remind yourself how good you’ll feel within five minutes. Put your runners on and just walk out the front door. You’ll be amazed how quickly your limbic system (the mood part of your brain) kicks in.

Think about how good it feels to have fresh air in your lungs, the wind in your hair, the morning sun on your face, and the happy hormones flooding your body. Getting out is the hardest part. Once you've done that, you've got joy on your side.

Witnessing the beauty of sunrise or sunset also increases the level of serotonin in your body - giving you a free, extra dose of the happiness hormone.

Set mini, achievable adventure goals

Mini adventures will keep your motivation flowing and keep you connected to your adventurous friends. Maybe you diarise a half-day hiking adventure every Sunday morning and a full day hike once a month. If you’ve got kids, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s your partner, mum, in-laws, or a friend who can care for them while you’re walking.

Making progress every week, every month and every season will keep you focused on your daily walking and the little things that will lead you back into the wilderness with your tribe. 

Treat yourself

If you need a more tantalising treat to motivate you every day, add more magic to your walk like the promise of a coffee en-route, a sunset wine at the end, a cuppa tea in the park or even breaky outdoors. Those little rewards can be the push you need to get moving more.

Stay accountable

Don't be afraid to share your goals with the people around you. Tell your friends, your family, your partner, and your colleagues about what you want to achieve and why. Sharing your ambitions with the people closest to you will help keep you accountable and motivate you to stay on track.

Track your progress and celebrate your wins 

Tracking your progress every day, every week, and every month, does wonders for your motivation and self-esteem. These days, it's easy to track your progress. There are mobile apps and smart watches which measure how many kilometres you've walked or the number of steps you've done. Share your awesome results with your community and celebrate the wins. It'll help keep you focused on reaching your mini milestones and, ultimately, your dream adventure!

Give back

Finding a hiking adventure that includes helping others is great for your motivation as well as head, your heart, and the community. Fundraising for a cause that you feel passionate about gives you warm fuzzy feels, making you happier, healthier, and more committed to your goal. It also takes away that little bit of guilt you might feel if you think that exercising every day is indulgent while giving you an extra sense of purpose.

Want to meet women just like you who love hiking and adventure? Join us in the Wild Women Community!

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