By Marc Courtiol
For all types of natural-health enthusiasts, the single greatest challenge in maintaining this lifestyle is finding the motivation to keep it up day in and day out. Staying at the peak of one’s health requires everyday commitment and daily effort, even in those moments when we feel we would rather do anything but exercise. This is the factor that separates truly healthy people from those for whom health is a constant struggle. But even if you usually have trouble finding motivation, there are ways around this problem. Here are a few ideas.
1. Think long term
When one makes the decision to get fit, there is a temptation to expect fast results. When you go out for that walk or have a hearty yoga session, you want to see the results right away. But unfortunately the body just does not work this way. Isolated exercise sessions are not what leads to good health. Good health comes from living a positive lifestyle over months and years.
Of course, we all know this on an intellectual level, but that does not stop us from feeling a little disappointed when results do not come fast. But just keep it up a little longer and things will turn around. Eat healthy and have a good exercise routine, and you will certainly begin to see results in a month or two. Have faith in your body.
2. Set daily attainable goals
Although the results are long term, it is nice to give yourself an attainable goal every day, even if only for that sense of satisfaction you get after a good workout. For example, you may set a number of steps you want to get in the day and use a pedometer to count them. Or you might set an absolute amount of time that you want to exercise, and when you reach that time you will feel satisfied.
3. Nobody is perfect
Everyone’s body is different, and we all have different lifestyles and backgrounds. So if you feel you have been working hard to be healthy yet cannot seem to achieve the type of physique you see on magazine covers, do not let it bother you. If you feel great and are reasonably happy with how you look, do not discount that. Leave the physical perfection to the actors and models who have the time to devote their lives to it.
4. Make it fun
In your efforts to get fit, you will likely encounter all kinds of advice bout what kinds of exercise are best. In the end, however, it is up to you to decide how you spend your fitness time. Most natural-health advocates speak highly of yoga, for instance, but if you just cannot seem to enjoy yoga you do not have to do it. Find other exercise techniques that allow you to have some enjoyment. Some people love yoga. Some people prefer running or walking out in the fresh air. You might even prefer, say, riding an exercise bike in front of the TV. Nobody can tell you your way is right or wrong.
5. Exercise in manageable sessions
If you are daunted by the idea of exercising for an hour straight every day, break it up into two or three smaller daily sessions. In fact, many people find this the best way to exercise. You can get a boost of post-exercise energy in the morning, maybe get in a few more minutes at lunch, and top it off with a full but relatively quick workout soon before or after dinner. This way of exercising is great also because you can do multiple types of exercise each day, which keeps things interesting.