Whether you’re new to the exercise scene or a seasoned pro, sidestep your workout speed bumps with these motivational exercise tips from the experts.
Start a fitness piggy bank
Every time you do a workout, put RM2 to your fit jar. At the end of each month, take that money you could’ve spent on a muffin or latte to your favourite sportswear store and treat yourself to some new exercise gear.
Exercise with a mate
A 2010 UK poll of 3000 women found that the average female loses more than 4.5kg if she has a friend who trains with her and eats healthily, too. The same research also found that 61 per cent of women aren’t motivated to exercise alone, whereas seven out of 10 find working out less of a chore when they do it with a friend.
Ditch the mirrors
If you’re starting an exercise routine, don’t work out in front of a mirror. Research published in the journal Health Psychology in 2003 found that women new to exercise who could see themselves doing cardio felt more uneasy, negative and fatigued after 20 minutes than those who couldn’t â€“ no matter their original view of their bodies.
You don’t have to exercise in one big slog to get results. In a 20-week US study, women who did four 10-minute exercise sessions daily lost about 30 per cent more weight than those who exercised continuously for 40 minutes. Unmotivated to move? Commit to doing just five minutes of exercise (that’s 300 seconds) and see how you feel after that â€“ it’s likely you’ll want to continue!
Turn your commute into a workout
People who cycle or walk to work average 41 minutes daily of physical activity, whereas those who go by car, taxi or motorbike get just eight minutes per day. For extra incentive, have a healthy or pampering treat waiting for you at each end of the commute.
Use exercise apps
Use instructional exercise apps that take the thinking out of training and log your workouts. Popular apps that proved effective are Runtastic,Fitocracy, IntervalPro and Nike+.
Use a pedometer
Wear a heart-rate monitor and count your kilojoule burn in a session, use an exercise tracking app like Lorna Jane, or invest in a pedometer. Seeing the numbers rack up is addictive and gives you a quantifiable goal, but that’s not the only drawpoint: Australian research shows that taking 10,000 steps daily plus exercising three times a week can add five years to your life and boost brain function by four per cent. To put that into perspective, the average office worker takes 2000 to 3000 steps a day.
Hang some fit-spiration
Place photos of the body you’d like â€“ whether it’s an old picture of you or a picture of someone else â€“ around your house, in your car, at work, etc. The more you visualise your goal, the better chance you have of reaching it.. And one on the fridge is a must, a it’ll make you think twice when going for a candy bar or ice-cream.
Exercise with fit people
Research from Kansas State University in 2012 shows that you can boost your workout time and intensity by up to 90 per cent by exercising with someone who is 40 per cent more advanced (fitness-wise) than you. And if you exercise in a team where youâ€™re the weakest link, your performance skyrockets to 200 per cent.
When you reach a small (or big) goal â€“ celebrate! Take yourself out and buy new clothes or a new fitness book, enjoy a massage, see a movie â€“ treat yourself. But stay away from food rewards.MYNEWSHUB/Marie Claire