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Helpful Tips for Staying Motivated During Exercise


Helpful Tips for Staying Motivated During Exercise

Image Source: Svitlana Hulko / Shutterstock

Helpful Tips for Staying Motivated During Exercise

Even though numerous studies confirm the benefits of physical activity, sometimes it’s challenging to find the motivation to work out. Common obstacles include self-doubt, comparing oneself to others, cognitive distortions such as all-or-nothing thinking, and the belief that exercise is only possible when you feel like it.

If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated, movement can be a powerful tool to get you going. Erica Hornthal, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and licensed clinical professional counselor, offers some movement-based strategies to overcome emotional and cognitive barriers and boost motivation.

1. Sync with a Rhythm or Beat

Moving to music can increase mindfulness, reduce psychological stress, and improve the quality of life. Dancing or swaying to a beat can offer a pleasant break and help you feel more centered and relaxed, making exercise seem less daunting.

2. Engage in Gentle Swinging, Swaying, or Rocking

Connecting with your body through small movements like tapping your toe can help shift your focus from your mind to your physical presence. Even minor movements can have a significant impact on your motivation and pave the way for more substantial changes in your workout routine.

3. Adjust Your Posture

Your physical posture can influence your mental state and readiness to exercise. Improving your posture by straightening your spine and rolling back your shoulders can enhance brain activity, stimulate new ideas, and improve your mood, making it easier to engage in physical activity.

4. Change Direction or Pivot

Variety in movement patterns can positively influence your thoughts and motivation levels. Exploring different planes of motion and activities like side lunges in addition to forward movements can offer new perspectives, prevent injuries, and add excitement to your workout routine.

5. Focus on Your Breathing

Using your breath as a guide can help center your thoughts and relieve any mental blocks hindering your motivation. Concentrating on your breath in a meditative way can quiet your mind, reduce stress, and create a more conducive environment for movement and exercise.

Maintaining momentum through small movements can lead to increased motivation both physically and psychologically. Remember, starting with simple movements can help kickstart your motivation and make exercise more enjoyable and sustainable.

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