1. If you are overweight, you need to lose the excess fat to have maximum energy. Carrying around extra pounds is fatiguing. For me, exercising was a lot more fun after I got in shape. The key is to start slow & be consistent - the amount & length doesn't matter, building the habit is what matters because eventually you grow into it. I was so out of shape when I started that I could only handle like 5 minutes on the treadmill before becoming exhausted (and feeling like puking...it was terrible). But eventually that grew to 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, etc. Now exercising is actually FUN!
2. If you are too tired to exercise...go to bed early. Motivation comes from getting lots of sleep. A lack of sleep kills motivation. Simple as that. I will preach the benefits of an early bedtime forever...going to bed early & getting lots of sleep provides you with tons of natural energy & motivation. Otherwise, you have to use willpower, and that burns out in pretty short order when you're tired. And also sucks the fun out of it, so then you don't even look forward to doing it - it becomes a chore when you're tired.
Join a local competitive team. This is bottom line one of the best methods that has worked for myself. You are turning your activity to something of a social event, and making yourself feel "obligated" to come to every practice, and show how much you are improving to your coach. After three-four weeks, it becomes something that you "just can't ever miss". Your days start blending together, and you're enjoying the process. (-:
I miss swimming so much...sigh...I'm living in a new city and there is a team I can join but its FAR. I miss the Los Angeles masters swim scene...pools all over town, super competitive and yet welcoming to newbies or people who just love the water like me....got to share the pool with some olympians a few times....which is really motivating to watch their sessions and learn from them...
They got swimming out here in Texas too...its just not on that level.......its not as big of a city.......plus in LA we got the whole open water swim meetups going year round and distance ocean swimming in the summer.....
Oh well, I'll get back to it soon...I used the last year to get very comfortable on my bike riding a few thousand miles so everything is coming together nicely...
Yes, I'm commuting to classes/lecture at Cal on a daily basis these days 6 miles there and back. Not having as much of edge as those who've been pressing on a gas pedal on the way across the street. It's not at all easy, considering they push you to your limit by the end of each session, that even pressing slightly on a pedal is painstaking.
How far is your commute? Is it at all hilly where you are at the moment?
To the OP: what you should see this as, on top of my input, is when you feel you just need to go to practice no matter what. If you sprang your ankle, at least go to the practice and watch. Don't sit at home. At the point where you'd schedule around appointments and prioritize.
This may seem silly of a story for an analogy, but a very long time ago, I used to walk to school on a daily basis, and throw a pebble into the river where I'm walking over the bridge. Day in and day out, including on Sat/Sun, I'd go study outside on campus and alwas throw one of the pebbles on the ground. One day, I was running late. Was sprinting to school, and almost made it on time, until I realized about a mile back, that I didn't throw a pebble. Ran all the way to the bridge, threw the rock into the water, and ended up missing my first class of the day.
Of course, school should have been a priority, but putting your training routine to this much dedication will take you quite far.
Yeah, totally - it's about the habit, not the quantity or quality, because that will come automatically as you keep working at it. I loathe routine, but I've learned I have to stick with a routine because if I don't treat things like they're appointments, the time just slips away & I don't accomplish what I want to. Plus, things just have a way of growing as you keep doing them - you lift heavier weights, swim faster laps, run more miles, build more endurance, gain more muscle mass, etc. The key isn't having super awesome willpower or anything like that, it's simply choosing to create a habit & stick with it.
Eli's advice about going to practice if you're injured, even just to watch, is actually pretty profound, because it keeps you in the habit even when you're not physically able to do anything. Habiit is huge, it's all about habit for me. That, and going to bed early so that I have the motivation & energy to push at that habit every day!
Try Hoop Dancing (with a hula hoop). It's a lot of fun - and surprisingly high intensity (apparently - IF you can learn to keep the thing up! However, WHILST you're learning to keep it up, it's SO funny!!). I suggest you check out some You-tube videos - you might get inspired; I certainly did.
I don't agree with that.
I don't like working out (generally speaking), especially cardio - it can be really, really boring. But I also recognize that it's good for me, and that it is required for me to feel as good as I possibly can. If I don't exercise for a few days in a row, I start not feeling as good - less energy, worse digestion & bowel movements, lose my peppy mood, etc. And not only does it make me feel better on a day-to-day basis, but it also has long-term health benefits. For example, the American Heart Association still recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, 5 days a week, to lower the risk for heart attack & stroke:
I happen to enjoy calisthenics more than say endurance running or weightlifting, but man, I sure don't love it haha. If I had my choice, I would NEVER exercise, I kid you not. Sure, I like riding my bike from time to time, but I'm not anywhere near the level say DurianRider is at as far as enjoying bike riding to a large extent. If I could just have the perfect body with no effort, sure, I'd take that as an option!
Anyway, I think unless you're either (1) super into a specific fitness hobby (like DurianRider is with biking, or Arnold is with weightlifting), or (2) just a naturally high-energy person who can't help but exercise, then you absolutely need motivation to exercise on a daily basis. Science has proven time & time again how beneficial exercise is for your body & also for your mind. It builds muscle, helps you sleep better, improves your appetite, helps food digest, and so much more. To me, that means it's worth pursuing even if I'm not naturally inclined to do exercise - even if I have to muster up the motivation to make it happen.
I don't work out every day because I love doing it. In fact, I really don't and I would rather sleep in or surf the net or watch Netflix or eat cookies or do virtually anything else haha. To me, working out is about commitment, not about mood. And in particular, commitment to a doable plan so that you're not just aimlessly chasing a vague goal (although I am very goal-oriented & some people may just like working out for the sake of being healthy or whatever). Like for me, I am a very low-energy person by nature. I am hypoglycemic, which means that my energy tanks if I'm not super careful about my bedtime & my food intake. So on any given day, I'm usually not highly motivated to exercise - but since I've made a commitment to myself, I do my best to plow through it anyway. And I usually ramp up within a few minutes & get into the groove of things and kind of overcome that initial speedbump barrier of not feeling into it, so it's more of a mental barrier & a short barrier for the first five minutes of working out than a real long-term barrier, you know?
Plus, there are ways you can increase the odds in your favor to feel highly motivated to exercise, if you're willing to make some sacrifices. Go to bed early for a few days. Go fully raw for a few days. Lose (or gain) the weight you need for your body to get to your ideal weight so that you're not lugging around extra pounds (or lacking in muscle). I know that when I stay up late & eat crap food, my motivation to exercise tanks HARD lol. And that's because I don't feel like it!
I think long-term, the best approach is to improve your habits so that you're not constantly fighting yourself. You absolutely can use motivation to do it on a daily basis, but that's a really hard way to do it! The hardest time to get started exercising is when you're already overweight (or very underweight), don't go to bed early, don't get enough sleep, and are not eating a healthy diet (fruitarian or otherwise), because then you simply don't feel like it every day, so it's a real chore to do. Once you gain some traction by making it a habit, getting enough sleep so that you wake up feeling energetic & motivated, clean up your diet so that your food is giving you lots of energy, etc., then exercise becomes a lot easier to do & even fun and enjoyable to do. But even then, for me at least, I wouldn't say I love it - being in-shape, well-rested, and well-fed certainly makes it more enjoyable, but I would have to say that motivation plays a crucial role in the majority of people's long-term fitness plans, because otherwise it's just so easy to slide back into a low-energy lifestyle.
This is something I'm working on myself!
I've found having a workout buddy is super helpful, if you both try to keep the other accountable for going to the gym/going on runs/whatever. However, even with a buddy sometimes they can't workout when you can. Personally, I don't like going to the gym by myself, I find it boring and I don't really push myself. So I've created a fun playlist full of dance music and I'll set the timer on my microwave to 30 or 60 minutes and just dance around my apartment.
I don't think anything is more motivating than having a workout buddy (or trainer) because that gives you both accountability & the social aspect, and more or less removes the discipline requirement from your shoulders because everything is way more fun when you're doing it with someone else - it externalizes the motivation so that you're not just fighting yourself in your head to go workout. The problem is, of course, having someone who is always available to workout when you are haha!