As we approach the colder months finding the motivation to continue or commence regular exercise can become much harder. A lack of motivation is an extremely common response when speaking to people about why they do not exercise regularly. There are many things that can lead to a decrease in motivation, and it may be difficult to pinpoint one cause.
Although, the good news is that there are many strategies you can try to improve your motivation and reduce the likelihood of saying no to exercise. Some particularly useful and effective strategies that have been mentioned in our previous articles include setting SMART goals or exercising in a group-based setting. Some other simple strategies include planning exercise with a friend or colleague to keep you accountable and make it harder to say no or cancel exercise.
Other commonly reported barriers to exercise that are often coincide with a lack of motivation include.
- Fatigue – Often people report being too lethargic to exercise and are concerned that it is only going to increase their fatigue levels. However, it is important to remember that exercise has been shown to improve energy levels and can improve quality of sleep. To assist with this barrier, try planning exercise for a time that you feel less fatigued which may be first thing in the morning or during a lunch break at work.
- Boredom – If you have been sticking to a similar exercise routine for a long time you may find that it is becoming stale, and you are bored. Or you may think that exercise in general is boring. It may be time to change it up and try a different form of exercise, there are countless types of exercise and ways to meet the physical activity guidelines.
- Lack of time – This is an extremely common barrier. The easiest way to combat this initially is to plan your days/week. Write down exactly what your schedule looks like and try to find gaps, remember something is better than nothing!
- Lack of appropriate equipment – This is another misconception that can deter people from exercise. There are many highly effective exercises that can be completed with little to no equipment at all. This may be as simple as going for a walk or using household items as weights such as a bottle filled with water.
Additionally, if you are new to exercise you may find it daunting getting started especially if you are unsure about what you should be doing. To assist with this, it may be worthwhile speaking with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who can help you plan safe and effective exercise.