We are all humans, and there are inevitably days when we would rather relax and put our feet up than sweat our backsides off in the gym. And while it is perfectly okay to have a relaxing day to yourself once in a while, taking a rest day (or two) from the gym often leaves most of feeling unmotivated and looking for excuses to not exercise.
So, whether you are a professional athlete or just a regular fitness junkie who struggles with staying consistent in their workout regimen, here are a few ways to supercharge your motivation and determination so that you never skip a leg day again.
Time it Right
Timing is essential to all decisions and activities in life and experts believe morning is the perfect time to sneak out for a quick leisurely stroll or a fast paced military style workout, whatever floats your boat. Morning is the optimum time to prepare the brain since it is eager to learn and acquire habits that will stay with you throughout the day.
Additionally, after a day of work, you are probably too tired or mentally exhausted to engage in further physical activities which is why it is important to get it over with in the mornings when you are fresh as a daisy with the highest levels of motivation and a rewarding workout can do just the trick to tackle the busy day ahead.
Break Down your Goals into Mini-Goals
The first step to success in any walk of life is setting goals before pursuing and eventually achieving those goals and it is no different when it comes to fitness and health.
Breaking down your goals into smaller time frames or mini goals will help you stick to your regimen for multiple reasons; it will give you a sense of achievement every time a particular mini goal is achieved and it also helps to avoid being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the long term goals.
It is also important to be realistic when setting goals to make sure that you are not set up for disappointment whilst also making progress attainable and achievable.
Breakdown your Workout
Whilst we would love to be done and dusted with a complete workout routine in one go, for some of us that might be a big undertaking or a huge commitment simply due to shortage of time or other more pressing commitments in or professional life.
Breaking up your workout into shorter spurs can be beneficial in maintaining motivation; instead of one hour long grueling workout session, why not break it down to maybe 15 minutes of stretching in the morning followed by a 30 minutes of afternoon jog and a few laps in the pool at night? Studies show that working out with breaks in between delivers similar results to a complete workout session completed in one go.
Always be Prepared
Sometimes, even the smallest of excuses like going to get your workout clothes from home or even changing into your exercise outfit can throw you off the rails and sabotage your fitness discipline, which is why it might not be a bad idea to travel with your training gear or even sleeping in your exercise clothes at night for a morning workout!
This shall give you a mental boost and additional motivation to wake up with no excuses whilst preparing you mentally for the morning commitment.
Let Music Spice Up your Workout
Music is key to a good workout since it relaxes and soothes the brain, distracting it from physical fatigue whilst also elevating your mood, which is why it is important to create suitable playlists for your workouts and changing them regularly to keep it from getting mundane.
According to research, it is human intuition to synchronize our bodies to the beat of a song by invoking a rhythm response, which is one of the reasons why people who otherwise wouldn’t, tend to nod their heads or tap their feet when listening to a song they can associate with.
Synchronized movement with the music also helps the body to avoid excessive movement or energy wastage because there is an increased level of coordination between the different parts of the body, making movement more efficient. One word of advice though, make sure you plug in your iPod in a safe area with no traffic or physical hazards since even though it is great to enjoy music to prolong and intensify your workout, safety always comes first!