Every jogger knows that there are times when no amount of personal cajoling, bargaining, or reasoning is enough to convince one's body to get up and move. Sometimes motivation is hard to come by, especially since running can take such a toll on your body.
If you're determined to jog for health, fitness, weight loss, or other reasons, however, there are numerous tactics you can try to increase your level of motivation. In addition to standard ideas like finding the best time of day to run or setting an annoying alarm clock to get you up in the morning, there are plenty of strategies that can help you dig deep for motivation or even make the process more fun.
You needn't beat yourself up when your motivation goes down the drain. Instead, try some of these motivational tactics to help you stay consistent with your jogging routine.
You should also consider joining our 30 Day Running Challenge!
Some people have health problems right now. Perhaps you're carrying extra weight, your cholesterol is through the roof, or you recently found out you are pre-diabetic. These are all great motivators to pull on your shoes and hit the ground running.
Even if you're feeling pretty fit, however, you might want to think about your family's medical history. Do your parents, grandparents, or other relatives suffer from health problems that are hereditary and likely to affect you in the future?
If so, this could become your motivation for running. Whenever you'd rather sleep in or plop down on the couch instead of running, start thinking about quality of life and what a difference your daily run can make now and in the future.
Your Loved Ones
There are probably several people in your life that rely on you in some capacity. Your children need you around to raise them, but you also want to have the stamina to participate in their play and you also want to set a good example of health and fitness for them to follow.
Your spouse, parents, or siblings may also need you for financial or moral support. Plus, these people love you and they want you to lead a long, healthy, and happy life. Perhaps you'll have more luck motivating yourself to run when you think about the impact to your loved ones' lives should you fall ill or suffer a premature demise.
Perhaps what's holding you back in terms of motivation is a lack of support. Or maybe you're bored or lonely running by yourself. In this case, exercise buddies can solve your motivational problems.
Whether you ask family members or friends to join you in running for health and fitness, you sign up for a local running club, or you find online support communities like SparkPeople where other members can offer encouragement and advice, finding the support network you need could boost your motivation.
Need a buddy? You should considerjoining our 30 Day Running Challenge!
Make it Fun
Did you know there are apps you can download to help turn your daily jog into a game? Plenty of people already use their smartphones for tunes, navigation, and step tracking during runs, so why not turn your daily exercise into a fun game?
One of the most popular apps for joggers is called "Zombies, Run!" for Apple and Android. This game offers story lines in which you have to reach a destination without getting eaten by zombies.
It works with treadmills or outdoor jogs and users can choose from settings that include walking, jogging, or flat-out running. With songs pulled from your own playlist to spice up the running narration, you're sure to have a fun workout every time you hit the pavement.
Other running apps you may want to check out include Beatburn Treadmill/Outdoor Trainer, which selects music from your playlist to match the tempo of your feet hitting the turf, or Pact, an app that asks you to set milestones and then gives you rewards for hitting them (or makes you pay for failure).
Sign Up for Races
Almost nothing will motivate you to train and prepare more than an upcoming test, and that's exactly what a race is for a runner. It's a test of your strength, stamina, and endurance that requires you to stick to a schedule of running to prepare for competition.
You may not necessarily be running for time, to qualify for future races, or with the goal of finishing first, but you almost certainly want to make it to the finish line. Every runner has different goals going into a race, but once you've signed up and paid the fee, the last thing you want is to fail, especially in front of family, friends, and other supporters. Signing up for a race is a great way to motivate yourself to get off the couch and stick to your running schedule.
Is running the answer to your weight loss woes?
41% of Americans make new year resolutions, with exercise and weight loss topping the list of desired changes. That's perhaps not surprising when you consider that over 45% of Americans aren't getting enough aerobic exercise and 2 in 3 are overweight.
But what's the solution?