Mastering Motivation

By: LINDSEY MURRAY

Edited by: ARYA ROERIG

“I’m going to go to work out!” This is probably an often uttered sentence in most people’s day. However, more often times than not, it is followed by  “later” or “tomorrow.” We all know how easy it is to say we are going to exercise, but actually getting off our butts and heading to the gym is a completely different story.

As Americans, the hardest part about living a healthy life is not an inadequate exercise regime. It’s that we procrastinate getting our physical activity in for so long that we never actually end up working out. One of the key components in establishing a regular workout routine is motivation. Finding an enjoyable way to keep active can be tough, especially for beginners, which makes putting off exercise and making excuses that much easier.

WebMD suggests making exercise plans with someone who will hold you accountable for your workout. The health and fitness website explains that treating exercise like an appointment will make following through with plans much more likely.

“No matter how much I want to blow off the gym that day I force myself to go knowing that a friend is depending on me” says Gabby Haviland, a Division II field hockey player for Misericordia University, who uses the buddy system to keep herself motivated. Haviland also relies on her buddy to keep her spirits up throughout her workout. “Having a friend there to push me makes me want to work that much harder.”

For others a reward at the completion of physical activity is enough incentive to keep them going for hours. According to the Center for Disease Control, research shows that incentives and rewards have been proven to increase physical activity. Kiera Blessing, a sophomore at Boston University, uses self-indulgence to keep up with her everyday fitness routine.

“I tell myself for every extra mile I run, I can reward myself with an extra piece of chocolate for dessert that night,” she says.

This form of motivation can take some extra will power and self-discipline, but can be truly beneficial in the long run. According to Blessing no workout equals no dessert, but her chocolate allowance after a run has really kept her motivated.

“I was able to shave ten seconds off my mile, all due to my love of Hershey’s kisses,” she proudly boasts.

These are just two examples of the many ways to get motivated to stay active. However, finding a physical activity you love is the ultimate motivation for keeping fit.  Those who fight through the initial wall that accompanies being active find that fitness is more of a treat than a burden in the future.  Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer to find something enjoyable or if you are not obsessed with running after going for a jog for the first time in months. Keep motivated and in return you’ll find yourself feeling better and  discovering that making time for the gym is less and less difficult.

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