4. Put it on paper
Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise and writing your goals down on paper may help you stay motivated.
You may also find it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts and tracking your progress can help you work toward your goals, and remind you that you're making progress.
5. Join forces with friends, neighbors or others
You're not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club.
6. Reward yourself
After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.
External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.
7. Be flexible
If you're too busy to work out or simply don't feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.
Now that you've regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.
Nov. 27, 2015
See more In-depth
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- Tips to help you get more active. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
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- Don't work out alone — Fitness peer support. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/StayingMotivatedforFitness/Dont-Work-Out-Alone---Fitness-Peer-Support_UCM_462207_Article.jsp#.VjffIdiFODY. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
- Bouchard C, et al. Less sitting, more physical activity, or higher fitness? Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In press. Accessed Oct. 28, 2015.
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- Matthews CE, et al. Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;95:437.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 3, 2015.