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Your comfy sofa is calling, you're tired after a day at work, episode 128 of season 14 of your favourite series is on, or you quite simply can't be bothered: there are approximately 1001 good reasons not to do sport.However, day after day, you feel less fit, get out of breath easily, find it hard to go up steps without getting breathless… This is a signIt may be a good idea to do some regular physical activity… But how do you get motivated?
When you get back into sport after a long break, needless to say that the most difficult thing is to stay motivated in the long-term. Most people tend to aim too high, too quickly. And the more disappointed you will be when you do not attain the objectives set.
There is clearly no point in running a marathon after two weeks of running training, or bench pressing 100 kg 5 days after joining your local gym. The key is to make gradual progress!
Start by setting yourself a programme that is suited to your current level of ability so that you do not get demotivated. By taking things step by step, you will stay inspired and calmly work towards your target.
I don't have enough time A really poor excuse. Review the situation (calmly): How many hours per day do you spend on your smartphone or watching the TV/computer? A large proportion of this time could be devoted to practising a sport. So, it's time to gradually change your habits.
Optimise the time you spend during the day: start by dedicating 30 minutes of your time before going to work in the morning or in the evening before dinner to do the physical activity that appeals to you the most. Walk or run around the block, exercise your abs, relax by doing a Yoga or Pilates class, etc.The possibilities are endless!
Unplug all your multimedia devices before your workout at home or at the gym: this way, you won't be tempted to glance at your screen whenever you get a chance.
On an ongoing basis, after several weeks of doing your sport, you will sometimes feel as if you are not making any progress and that all of the effort you are making is pointless. This is the best way to get demotivated and stop exercising. But hang in there!
To stay fully motivated and make the most of your physical activity, get yourself a small logbook: you can use it to make a note of everything you have done, after each workout.
when you look back at your notes for the past days and weeks, you will soon see the progress you have made.
What could be more motivating than observing that, just three months ago, you were unable to run for 20 minutes in one go, whereas you are now able to run for 10 km without stopping?
One of the most important things when you want to stay inspired to do sports is to measure your progress.
Do you love running? Try to improve your personal best time over 5 or 10 km. Does weight training appeal to you? Beat your own record for press-ups or pull-ups. Are you a tennis player at heart? Try to win a set by playing against a rival that you considered unbeatable just a few months ago.
The closer you get to your objective, the greater the satisfaction.
Training by yourself isn't always fun. Yet the solution is easy to find: motivate your friends and family to get them to join you on your sporting journey! Doing sport as part of a group will give you a boost and makes it more difficult to cancel a session when you have made a commitment to meet up with a friend or colleague.
You can also practise a team sport that involves a commitment on your part. The possibilities are endless! football, basketball, handball, volleyball…
Joining a team also means having team-mates who are relying on you attending each training session and each match. This makes it more difficult to find excuses to avoid physical activity.
Buying recent sports gear (a new racket, new trainers, a new top, etc.) often makes you want to try it out as soon as possible!
Also, leave your new gear in full view: on your bed, in your living room, etc.This will make you want to use it as quickly as possible. However, take care to stay within your budget: the idea is not to have to eat pasta in order to finish the month, however important pasta is for sports.
What better commitment could you do than to promise your partner, friend, work colleague or even a member of your family that, this time, you are really going to stick to your sport over the long term?
Why not draw up a contract signed with your own blood – okay, that may be going a bit too far, but you get the idea – that you sign nevertheless: you will no longer have the choice and this "moral pact" will pledge your word of honour.
You will also be making this promise to yourself: the simple fact of the pronouncing your commitment will urge you to complete the set objective.
Sport is not only about suffering and hardship. Practising sports is often equated to going on a crash diet and having to be careful about everything you do… It all depends on your objective!
Whatever the situation, it is always a positive and pleasant experience to reward yourself for the objectives you have attained. This can involve treating yourself to a nice meal, for which you will have no reason to feel guilty. You could also treat yourself to a new pair of sports trainers (for example) to reward yourself for your progress. Sport should ultimately be about enjoying yourself.
When getting back into sport, you should avoid a complete transformation of your habits. Physical activity should not be experienced as an obligation. Instead it should be a pleasure experience that gradually becomes a need. Initially, in order to gently transform your routine, why not divide up your training sessions? If one hour of sport in your day is too difficult for you, you can break it up by doing 2 x 30 minutes, depending on your schedule.
It's better to do short training sessions regularly (3 or 4 times a week) than one big sport session lasting 2 hours.
Regularity is key to your success in the long-term.
It may seem silly to say so. Yet it is still good to remember: the only person you can rely on is yourself. If you exercise, it is for your own benefit and no-one else.
So be kind to yourself. Do not compare yourself with others: each person is on their own journey, has their own level of ability, their own story, etc.
And here's the good news: everyone can make progress, and the results will follow. Another piece of good news? You do not even have to make progress. Being consistent is already not bad!
We hope that you will find this advice useful to get involved in sport over the long-term, at last.
Feel free to share your advice and tips for staying motivated with us!
Experienced cycling enthusiast. Up-and-coming runner. A budding triathlete.~
Bronze certificate in (French) billiards!~