Whether you’re trying a new type of workout or coming back from an exercise hiatus, setting a specific goal is a proven motivation booster—but don’t make it about weight loss. To get started, it’s usually better to set a behavior goal, like the number of times a week you’re going to work out. Actions are within your realm of control, unlike weight loss, which can be affected by a lot of things, like stress and hormones. Focusing on healthy behaviours instead of a number on the scale will also make you less likely to resort to drastic measures like a crash diet.
If the thought of slogging away on a treadmill is what kept you from the gym all winter, think of exercise as your excuse to get outside and enjoy some fresh, spring air. It makes exercise more enjoyable because you’re just so excited to see the sun again.
Joining a fitness group not only makes exercising more fun, it also make it harder to bail on your workout. With a group, you have built-in accountability, and ideally, you’ll make friends in the group who are going to keep you on track, and you’ll do the same for them.
Team sports are all about camaraderie, and there is nothing like building a friendship over a sport to get you and keep you motivated, says Bowen. You might be tempted to not go to a gym and work out, but when your team is there to play softball with you it’s like a two for one.
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