Getting and Staying Motivated

It is never too late to start being active and get fit. Exercise can add years to your life and life to your years. Exercise is an integral part of healthy living and we need to make room for it every day, just as we make room for eating and brushing teeth.

As you build exercise into your every day routine and exercise becomes more and more part of your identity you will find that fitting it in is less of an effort.

Tips for Getting Motivated

  • Choose a place and time that is convenient to you and is accessible daily. You will want to have a year-round plan, so you may have separate places for warm and cold months.
  • Make it as enjoyable as you can! Involving a friend or your spouse can help. You could also take up a new sport or activity and meet new people.
  • Make it safe. Start any exercise program by gradually building up your time, then increasing your intensity.
  • Make sure you add variety. Have options for days when the weather conditions are not ideal.

Tips for Making It Stick

Focus on Your Reasons for Exercise

It is important to keep reminding yourself of the reasons why exercise is important to you.

Set Goals

Set a daily, short term, long term and dream goal. Make a goal for your first week, for example, to exercise at least four times for a total of 200 minutes. When you think about exercise for the whole year, it may be necessary to have different exercise goals for the warm and cold months. In the Ottawa region, because of our hot summers and variable conditions in the winter, you need to have a plan for indoor exercise. The ultimate goal is 200 to 400 minutes of regular exercise each week.

Think of the Benefits

To help you get started each time, think of how good you feel afterwards. Some people feel energized, others may feel more relaxed while others simply feel a sense of accomplishment.

Believe in Yourself

Know that you can do it. Believe in yourself. People who believe that they have the skills and knowledge to exercise will stick to it.

Use Positive Self-Talk

How you speak to yourself when you are tired or busy can make all the difference in whether or not you complete your workout that day.

Get Support

Let others know what they can do to help you achieve your goals. It may be someone to exercise with, to provide advice or simply encourage you through difficult times.

Reward Yourself

When you have reached milestones or achieved your short or long-term goal, reward yourself.

Eliminate Barriers

Identify the barriers and temptations that prevent you from staying fit and actively work to eliminate them. Let the rehabilitation professionals help you, if needed.

Incorporate Variety

Choose different activities depending on the season to add variety to your program. You could train in the off-season for the activity you enjoy most.

Monitor Yourself

Pedometers measure your steps taken throughout the day. Attempt to reach 10,000 steps per day. You can also use a heart rate monitor to ensure you are exercising at an appropriate training level.

Keep a Log

Use your appointment calendar and record the date, time, and place of your exercise. You can make it as detailed as you like.

The top four reasons people participate in fitness training are fitness, weight management, improved appearance and fun.