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Exercise Motivation: How to Overcome Procrastination

Nov 24, 2010

Motivate yourself to exercise and overcome procrastination using a few simple techniques. Setting achievable goals, choosing enjoyable fitness activities and working out with a friend are just a few examples of ways to overcome exercise procrastination.

Set Achievable Goals

One of the ways to stay motivated to exercise is to set realistic goals. It is difficult to overcome procrastination if you have overworked your muscles and are feeling overly sore after you exercise. If you have not exercised for some time, start slowly and build gradually.

This advice will mean different things to different people. It may mean that you start out by just walking around the block. Each day you might add an extra half a block or block to your walk. Whatever goal you set, increase it gradually each day. This way, you will avoid overworking your muscles and you will feel gratified by having achieved your daily goal.

Exercise for a Minimum Amount of Time

Self-help experts recommend that when you are dealing with procrastination in any aspect of your life, if you tell yourself that you will devote just 10 or 15 minutes to the task, you will set a healthy process in motion. Setting a fixed period of time for exercise will motivate you to overcome procrastination. You know that you can stop whatever activity you have chosen after the set 15 minutes, for example. Many people find that when they approach a task this way, they gain momentum in the middle of the activity and want to continue beyond the minimum goal they have set for themselves.

Choose Enjoyable Forms of Exercise

One of the reasons that people avoid exercise is that they find it boring or strenuous. Think about what types of activities you enjoy most and what you really do not like about exercising. For example, maybe you just do not like the feeling of being hot and sweaty after a workout. In that case, you might consider swimming on a regular basis. Maybe you feel confined while exercising in a gym or at home. In that case, you might choose outdoor activities such as walking, jogging or cycling.

Exercise with a Friend

For some people, exercise is a lonely activity. If you do not enjoy exercising alone, find a workout partner who is at your fitness level and who enjoys the activities you enjoy. Just knowing that you have committed to meet up with a friend at the gym for an aerobics class or at the nearby track to jog will motivate you to keep your promise. Exercising with someone whose company you enjoy can also make the time go faster.

Reward Yourself

To stay motivated and overcome procrastination, when you find that you are meeting the goals you have set out for yourself, reward yourself on a regular basis. A healthy snack after a workout, a new workout outfit, or an evening out with your exercise buddies may be good ways to reward yourself for sticking to your fitness goals.  

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