Finding motivation to be active can be difficult. Between school, work and extracurricular activities, there are many commitments competing for your time and energy. While it may not seem as important as school, caring for your health and wellness can have a positive impact on your academic performance, energy and mood. By staying active, you may actually feel better about other areas of your life! Here are are some tips to help you stay motivated:
Make it Social
You're not in this alone. Invite friends or family members to be active with you! Research shows that you are more likely to stay active long-term if you have people to share the experience with. You can make it social by:
- Joining an Rec Sports Team
- Getting friends together to take a PE class or Campus Recreation Class
- Inviting a friend to join you for a walking break or meeting
- Inviting a friend to ride the Davis Bike Loop
- Doing a YouTube video at home with your roommates
Make it Fun
Find activities that you enjoy, then vary your routine to keep it interesting. If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a martial arts class. Remember, being active doesn't have to be boring, and you're more likely to stick with it if you're having fun!
Take Advantage of Technology
- Find wearable technology that suits your needs
- Challenge your friends to competitions through apps
- Join a community that supports and motivates each other to stay active
- Use apps like SWORKIT or 7-Minute Workout for workouts you can do anywhere without equipment
- Set daily reminders to move on your phone
Make Movement Part of Your Daily Routine
The best way to begin adding more movement to your day is to think of it in terms of small, frequent breaks instead of as one large chunk of time.
- Break up prolonged periods of sitting (60+ minutes) by standing up and stretching
- Get off the bus a few stops early, or park further away from class or work and walk the rest of the way
- Schedule time to be active as you would any other important activity
- Walk the arboretum at lunch
- Take the stairs, if you’re able
If you're too busy to be active or simply don't feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back to your routine once you feel rejuvenated.
Don’t Push Yourself too Hard
If you push yourself too hard day after day you will get tired, increase your risks of getting injured, and lose motivation very quickly. It’s important to listen to your body and vary the intensity and type of movement you do. To learn more about overexercising, read the article "Are You Getting too much Exercise?".
Put it on paper
What is your goal? Are you hoping to boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular movement and writing your goals down on paper may help you stay motivated. Bonus points for sharing your goals with a friend!
After being active, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that movement gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to staying active. External rewards can help too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to something you enjoy!