The psychological factor plays an essential part in finding motivation, not only to start working out, but also to stick to an exercise routine in the long run. It is very important to create your own exercise routine, because that is where your motivation to work out starts. Motivation offers purpose and direction to your behavior, finding the internal force to overcome all possible excuses and to start working out. For sportspeople, the motivation for training can stem from the desire to compete and to win. For others, it can stem from the desire to be healthy or to live longer for the sake of their children, whereas for the majority, losing weight is the main objective.

Many of us believe that motivation will come to us if only we wait long enough: one day, we will finally wake up wanting to work out. The truth is that motivation is something that we can and should create for ourselves.

Objectives to find your motivation

The first step is having something to work on. It doesn't matter if your purpose is to lose weight or to be in good shape in order to run a marathon - anything that gives you a good reason to start working out is enough. Set yourself daily objectives ("Today I will take 20 minutes' walk"), weekly objectives ("I will do at least 3 training sessions this week") or even hourly objectives ("I will stand up every 45 minutes and go for a walk").

What is important is for you to always have something, great or small, to work for - that will keep you motivated.

Discipline and training

Create your own routines and develop the necessary discipline to remain connected to a training programme. Seriously consider waking up early in the morning. Choose 2-3 days a week for you to work out, and turn this habit into routine. You can also create a ritual around training sessions - for example, a few minutes' stretching before you start. Besides, you can listen to a feel-good tune which gets you in the mood for working out. 

Training flexibility

Routines are useful, if they are not too rigid. Perhaps you are planning to jog for 7 minutes four times a week, but there might come a day when you are too tired or you don't have time. It is very important for you to have a back-up plan. Allow yourself to walk instead of jogging, or to alternate jogging with walking. If you must work till late, try to find some spare time in your schedule for a quick walk at lunchtime, or to use your breaks for taking the stairs. Everything counts.

Commitment for lifestyle change.

Being healthy is not a choice you make only once - it is a choice you make every day. Setting up objectives will keep you on the right track. Take a few minutes every morning to think, or even write in a diary about what you would like to achieve on that day and how you would do it, what your objectives are and how you will find the motivation to reach them. 

Remind yourself of your objectives and take some time to appreciate how far you've come reaching them. Following your own progress in a diary helps you: notice the way clothes fit, when you have to upgrade to heavier weights or your capacity to run for a longer time frame.

Fun and sport

Physical exercise, preparation, discipline and the commitment you need might sound like any other duty. But working out can be a pleasant part of daily life. If the activity that you carry out does not make you happy, find something that does. And make some time for unstructured movements as well: take a walk, jump into a large pile of leaves or dance to your favorite music. Any activity is movement, enjoy life through a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

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Text: Diana Ungureanu