I love to run, work out, and basically anything that involves exercise (some people may think I’m a little crazy for that) but I have always believed that being active is a great stress reliever. I’m never in a bad mood after a run or a workout.
Although it can be hard to stay motivated to get out and run or go to the gym, the benefits really do outweigh the costs. Running improves metabolism, increases bone density, lowers the risk of getting diabetes, and lowers the risk of getting certain cancers. Any kind of exercise keeps you fit and happier. If none of those things appeal to you, you get to wear cute fitness clothing.
Here are some tips for staying motivated to exercise:
Set a time for you to workout. Finding time to exercise can be one of the biggest hurdles when first starting to get in shape. Setting a time for yourself and designating days where you will go to the gym will help you make that time between classes.
Write it down in your planner. Writing down when you’re going to exercise helps you stay on track (and also gives you something to check off on your to-do list). It also serves as a reminder that last week you said you would hit the gym today.
Find a friend to go to the gym with. Finding someone to go on a run with you or attend that yoga class will help you stay motivated. You have more of an obligation to keep your commitment, plus you can encourage each other to keep moving.
Sign up for intramural sports. This helps you mix up your work out routine a little bit and tends to be more fun than exercising by yourself. It also helps you stick to your schedule since games usually have a set time and day every week.
Reward yourself. Buy that shirt or bracelet. Rewarding yourself for not missing a day in a month or other signs of progress will make you want to work out even if you’re not feeling it. Set up a checklist or write down what you did each day to track your progress effectively.
Buy fitness clothing that makes you want to workout. Buy clothing that isn’t just appealing to the eye, but is comfortable too. Feeling confident in what you’re wearing while you try to venture out your comfort zone can be a big help. Shoes with adequate support are an important part of staying injure free, especially if you’re a runner. Plus who doesn’t want to show off those new running leggings.
Remember that you won’t see progress right away. You will sleep in on some days or just skip because you’re not feeling it that day. Try not to feel down about your slow improvement or lack of a completely sculpted body. Focus on what you have accomplished and on becoming healthier.
Getting enough rest each night and keeping yourself from exercising when sick are also vital to staying fit. My first semester of college, I would force myself to go running or work out even when I was sick, which ended up making me feel even worse. I don’t recommend running in the cold while sick, you will feel like you’re dying afterwards.
One of the most important things to remember when trying to stay motivated in college is to not compare yourself to others- whether it’s at the gym or to the celebrities you see on Instagram, this can one be of the hardest things to overcome. Everyone moves at their own pace. Focus on what’s best for you and your body.