Just as there are diet plateaus, your exercise routine can become, well, routine, causing you to stall out and lose interest. That can lead to backtracking and losses in your overall fitness level.
Recharge your enthusiasm with small changes that can be as simple as taking a new route when running or biking or trying a new exercise discipline through classes at the gym.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, with its own employees, motivational signs made a difference.
You can go old school and print out a message that motivates you and tack it on your fridge. Or go high-tech with a free or low-cost interactive smartphone app, like My Fitness Pal, that offers motivational tips, sends reminders to keep you on track, and has progressive exercise programs that challenge you to aim for higher fitness levels.
But it’s better not to go it alone — get social with exercise. Plan get-togethers with family and friends that are exercise-based, from a nature walk to a trip to a museum. Get creative with fitness ideas that are fun.
Exercising for a cause is a great motivator. Train for and participate in a run or bike trip that raises awareness and money for a nonprofit that has meaning to you and your family. It could be an organization funding research for a disease cure or one that assists the needy in your own community.
Also take a few minutes to review your short- and long-term goals, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests. If you’ve already reached the fitness milestones you first set for yourself, challenge yourself by setting new ones. And don’t forget to reward yourself as you accomplish each one.
The American College of Sports Medicine offers more ways to find sources of motivation from within to help you stay on the fitness track.