Healthy, Happy and Motivated: Let’s Get Started
How many times have you hit the snooze button to skip your morning workout? How often does something come up during your work day that causes you to miss your evening workout? Maybe you once were an avid gym-goer, but you are struggling to find the motivation to get back into it. Or maybe you haven’t been able to stick to an exercise program for longer than it takes to Google search “how to get fit fast.”
Whatever hurdles you’ve faced, the barriers to exercise are real. Lack of time, lack of energy, lack of motivation, lack of support, lack of enjoyment and many many more.
It's never too late to set yourself up for success, both personally and professionally. In this FitBliss 3-part blog series, we will discuss how to find time and motivation to stay active while you juggle work, personal, family, and social commitments.
What is Motivation?
There are two types of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is doing something because you enjoy it or you are interested in it. Think of something you like doing, whether it’s reading, cooking, or catching up with friends. You probably don’t have to think twice about doing these things because you genuinely love the feeling you get from doing them. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for an external reward. If you join the company steps challenge solely to win that Amazon gift card, you are extrinsically motivated. And hey, there is no shame in that!
Research has shown, however, that intrinsic motivation is favorable for long term adherence to an activity. Note: intrinsic vs extrinsic is not a story of good vs evil. In fact, external rewards can be used as motivation to try new activities that wouldn’t have otherwise caught your attention. Over time, as these new skills are mastered, the activity becomes enjoyable, personally rewarding, or even exciting, and there is a shift towards intrinsic motivation to engage in the activity. Keep reading to find out why intrinsic motivation is so important.
FitTip: Always ask yourself “why” you do what you do. External rewards will eventually fall away so make sure your “why” has more internal motivators because they will be what keep you engaged in the long run (literally!).
With Trivia Night, Taco Tuesday, half-priced wine Wednesday, and that new burger place around the corner, there are plenty of opportunities each week to get out of the house for food, drinks, and socializing. We all probably agree that Friday night happy hour with your crew sounds like a lot more fun than hitting the gym by yourself, but what if you can still have your happy hour and feel better for it? In this third and final FitBliss blog series on exercise motivation, we will look at balancing your social life with staying active.
One of the, if not the most, frequently reported barriers to exercise is lack of time. So how is it that we still find time to look at social media, go out to dinner, and watch TV? Unfortunately, we don't get bonus minutes (or hours!) for these extracurricular activities. They are simply pastimes that we enjoy doing, and that’s fine, but if we don’t prioritize our health, will we have time to visit the doctor regularly, manage prescription drugs, and deal with a chronic health condition?
There are so many amazing benefits to exercise and when we start taking our health seriously, we won’t have to find time to be active, we will make time. The good thing about being active with friends is that it makes it a lot more fun!
Be socially active
There are so many great ways for your social life to mingle with exercise. Find a nearby hike and gather some friends to go with you over the weekend. Instead of going straight to the bar on a weeknight, grab your friends and take a yoga class beforehand. Meet your friends for a Sunday morning spin class before strolling the local farmers market (to stock up on all of your fresh fruits and veggies, of course!).
If classes aren’t your thing, head to the basketball court, soccer field, tennis court or swimming pool. Sports are a great way to be social and active at the same time. There are a handful of social leagues that don’t require you to have the greatest skills, just a great attitude.
FitTip: A quick google search for social sports in your area will help give you some inspiration. And take a friend with you!
Think outside the screen
It might sound silly, but set yourself a social media timer and for every 5 minutes of scrolling, do 5 minutes of something (anything!) else. Stand up and do some light stretches while you talk to your roommate. Call a family member and take a short walk. Heck, put some music on and divvy up some household chores with your significant other. You know that closet won't Spring Clean itself!
FitTip: Be creative and find ways to sneak in physical activity throughout the day. Even household chores burn calories!
Try to skip the social media time warp when you have time to kill before meeting your friends for dinner. Instead, pop on a podcast and hit the pavement. If it’s too far to walk to dinner, have your Uber drop you off a few blocks away and do a couple laps of the block if you get to the restaurant early.
Use the FitBliss platform to get your colleagues, friends, or family members to sign up for a charity run or bike ride and train as a team. Grab a coffee after your training sessions or plan a movie night after you accomplish a training goal. You’ll feel great for your contribution to charity and for your commitment to your training buddies and yourself! Not to mention, you’ll reduce stress, improve your mood, increase your energy, and much more. Chances are you’ll be the first person signing up for the next charity ride!
FitTip: Discuss your training schedule with your team and put it in writing to help hold each other accountable.
And lastly, here's a fun one... Get your friends together for your favorite sporting event on TV and incorporate some fitness challenges alongside the chips and guac. You can try every first down = 10 squats, every 3 point shot = 10 push ups, or every home run = 30 jumping jacks. Not a sports fan? Have your friends over to watch The Bachelor(ette) and listen up for the most used quotes. “The right reasons” = 20 lunges, “looking for love” = 20 mountain climbers, and “can I steal you for a second?” = 20 sit ups. Give it a try before laughing this one off!
Motivation is something so many of us struggle with so do your best to identify your intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and try to stay positive even when you have a set back. Every day is a fresh start and an opportunity to get back on track. You got this!
For more ideas on how to sneak physical activity into your day, check out part 1 of this blog series on the Busy Business Traveler. If you're expecting a new bundle of joy or already have your hands full, check out part 2 of this blog series on Staying Active as a Family.
Kelsey Radloff, CPT
FitBliss Customer Success & Program Manager
Kelsey is the FitBliss Customer Success & Program Manager. Kelsey is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and an ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist. In addition to her full time work with FitBliss, she teaches group fitness classes at a variety of studios in San Francisco and also trains clients individually. Kelsey graduated from UC, Santa Barbara with a BA in Business Economics and a minor in Exercise and Health Science. She continued her education to obtain her MA in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University. She is excited about helping people balance health and wellness in the workplace and at different stages of life.
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