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Fitness Motivation – How To Get Running Again
As the days get shorter and colder, it can feel more challenging to muster up the motivation to get moving. I get it. When I was asked to write this piece about running, I also balked. But for another reason, I share below. If you're looking for some fitness motivation and running or workout inspo, then this article is for you!
I used to love running. From my early twenties until about 3-4 years ago (I'm now 50), I ran often. I'd go for around 30-40mins, 3 times a week. Then, my knees and hips began aching halfway through each run, and I thought because of my age, that was it! So I gave up running and focused on other types of workouts instead.
When I was asked to write about fitness motivation, particularly when it came to running, I had a bit of an internal tanty. You see, I'd been telling myself a story that running wasn't right for me anymore. "I used to be a and runner. But that was then. I'm too old now." Whaaa whaaa whaa.
So yesterday, I decided to do a little experiment. When the sun came back out after days of pretty miserable autumn weather, I thought, let's just see what happens if I put on my running shoes and venture out for a bit of a walk.
Popped on my running gear. Grabbed my headphones and walked out the door before I changed my mind.
Turned out, it was a glorious morning full of fall colour and bright skies. And before I knew it, my "walk" turned into long strides, and I began running for stretches here and there. It felt SO GOOD. I had no idea how much I'd missed it! And by the end of my time outside, I'd run for perhaps half of what I thought I'd be only walking.
Don't get me wrong, walking is fantastic for the body, but as a previous runner, finding a little of my old groove yesterday felt glorious!
And what it came down to was being playful with myself. Getting outside the broken record, thinking of "This ain't for me." And asking myself, how could this feel easy?
Before jumping into more specific ways to find fitness and runner motivation, let's begin by looking at:
20 Fabulous Reasons to Exercise and Complete Regular Workouts
- Builds aerobic power and immune function while reducing blood pressure
- Reduces body fat, increases our lean body mass, and keeps bones strong
- Reduces day-to-day stress
- Boosts our mood and makes us happier
- Amps our confidence in how we look and what we can achieve
- Clears the mind, improves our focus, and increases memory
- Elevates our energy levels
- Eases anxiety and depression
- Improves sleep
- Brings structure and routine to chaotic times
- Is an excellent example of self-love
If looking at that list isn't enough to get us moving, let's look at some specific fitness and running motivation techniques.
5 Tips to Find Your Fitness Motivation Again… and Keep It!
1) Get Realistic – Ask Yourself: Are my fitness goals, MINE? And do I believe I can achieve them?
Suppose you're currently training for a marathon only because it sounded cool that Susie in marketing is doing that. In that case, your motivation is probably going to feel bleh.
But! You have the power to turn that around by setting yourself a goal that makes YOU want to jump out of bed in the morning (on repeat!), knowing deep in your bones that you can do it!
2) Think and talk about what you ARE doing, instead of what NOT. The way we speak to ourselves can make all the motivational difference. So instead of thinking, "Don't skip the workout today," think to yourself, "I'm going to feel great after today's workout." It's all about mindset.
3) Accountability counts. While getting a personal trainer can be an incredibly effective way of being held accountable. Having a training buddy can be the next best thing – without the cost. Ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable for sticking to your workouts, with consequences if you don't. And a reward for making it to your goal!
4) Start with One Simple Change. Rather than trying to conquer our health all at once, take small steps in the right direction. These actions will then turn into the habits that keep you on track to reach your health goals instead of giving up because you're overwhelmed.
Imagine starting Keto, intermittent fasting, and HIIT workouts. The same week you give up coffee, sugar, vino, and decide to go for that promotion at work. Eek!
When we do this, we end up getting overwhelmed to the point of wanting to quit faster than if we'd stuck to making One Simple Change. The Juice Plus+ Campaign that helps kick-start and supports a fitness-based lifestyle.
5) Ask yourself, "What if I don't?" Here's a little tough love that works.
Yes, picturing yourself wearing that bikini or those swim shorts can be motivating. But for some people, imagining what might happen if you don't hold yourself accountable to the goals you've set can be even more inspiring.
Next time a few days have passed on going to the gym, eating healthy, or doing whatever it is you've committed to, ask yourself:
"What will my life be like in five, 10, or even 20 years from now if I keep flaking out on myself?"
Then imagine how that will feel and how much you will have missed out on in life if you do not honor NOW the healthy goals you've set yourself.
When needed, getting tough with ourselves is essential if we're going to rock this one sweet life we have!
Wondering what to Eat & Drink After a Workout? Check that our HERE.
4 Tips to Find Your Running Motivation Again
These are for you if you've fallen off the running trail and want to get back on!
1) Use your shoes. Keep your running shoes somewhere you see them often. Keep a second pair at the office or your at boyfriend/girlfriend's place. Seeing them serves as a reminder, and you won't be able to use the excuse, "Oh, I forgot my shoes."
2) Ease back into it. Getting back into a running routine can feel overwhelming when you've been out for a while.
Build back up to where you left off by taking it slowly. For example, if you were used to running 4-5 times a week, start back the first week by going only once or twice. Then 2-3 times the next week, and so on.
Another way to remove the overwhelm is to commit to shorter runs, to begin with, either in time or distance.
3) Set a performance-based goal. This could be something like running a certain distance in under a set time. Or completing a race or marathon. When your running motivation has tanked, setting yourself a new performance-based goal can be just the thing to rev things up again!
4) Bring on the play by employing some mind games. Only the fun and useful type, of course!
Engage your imagination to get you closer to whatever finishing line you've set yourself. Pretend there's a crowd and it's going wild!
Wild for you, and ONLY you!
Sticking to your goals, day in and day out, IS tough, and sometimes you need to use whatever works.
Next time you're struggling to get out the door for your run, imagine you're a professional athlete. And the audience is watching, expecting you to give it your all.
Might sound goofy, but it works!
Love a good quote to keep you motivated?
Then try this one for size the next time you're struggling to jump out of bed. Socrates used to tell his students they needed to "Approach life with the same intensity a man whose face is underwater struggles for oxygen."
Gets me outta bed, every time!
Now it's over to you. We'd love to hear your thoughts! What's one simple change you're going to use to incorporate more running into your lifestyle?