Boosting Your Motivation and Consistency
by Caitlyn Macaluso
The excitement we all felt when the new fall semester began may be starting to cool down. Schedules and to-do lists are filling up and sometimes it’s a challenge to find the time or motivation to be active. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy adults (18–65 years old) participate in moderate-intensity activity for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you do just that.
Ways to stay motivated and consistent with your movement.
- Schedule movement like a class or meeting. Make it a non negotiable. When you plan your week, plan your workouts. Then stick to the plan.
- Lose the all or nothing attitude. In a perfect world, you’ll stick to the plan you set in tip #1, but we all know the world isn’t perfect. Things will occasionally get in the way of our plans. But don’t let one day without movement derail your whole week. If you don’t get your movement in on Tuesday, start fresh on Wednesday.
- Take it outside. Do you feel that chill? It’s less than triple digits outside. Go enjoy it! Go for a walk, run, or bike ride.
- Find a buddy. Accountability is a magical thing. Make plans with each other to go to the weight room, cardio theater, or a TeXercise class. You are much more likely to show up if someone else is expecting you, plus everything is better with a friend! Pro tip: pair this with another tip on this list and the mid semester slump won’t stand a chance against you.
- Mix it up/try something new. Variety keeps things interesting, and you may discover something you love! RecSports offers everything from adventure trips to intramural sports leagues, tournaments and special events to a wide variety of TeXercise classes, and much more! Take a chance and try something new.
- Set a goal. Give yourself something to work for. You could do something formal like signing up for a race (we’re partial to the Longhorn Run) or pick an exercise to improve. Want to increase your upper body strength? Set a push-up goal. Start with three sets of 5–10 push-ups (on knees or toes) and add an extra five push-ups every few weeks. You can do something similar with any exercise.
Ways to sneak in extra movement.
- Take short movement breaks. Throughout the day or when you’re studying, take a few five-minute breaks for push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, or even just to stretch. It will help clear your head and increase focus. Couple this with the movement goal above and you may surprise yourself with how strong you get!
- “Commercial Break” challenges. Watching real TV or Hulu/YouTube with ads? Get up and move during commercial breaks! Suggested movement: run in place, jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, triceps dips, or burpees. No commercials? No problem! Make up a game for your favorite show. Move every time a common phrase/tagline is spoken, someone takes a sip of coffee, or a specific character is on screen. Get creative!
- Take the stairs, park further away, etc. An oldie, but a goodie. Little bits of movement add up! Get in the habit of moving a little more throughout the day by taking the stairs and parking a little further away than usual, your health will thank you!
- Dance party. When in doubt, dance it out! Put on your favorite jams and MOVE. You’ll increase your heart rate and your mood. Win/Win!
When we move regularly, we are usually motivated to continue moving regularly. But the same goes the other way, when we are sedentary, it’s often hard to flip the switch and get back into the movement cycle. When you find yourself in the sedentary place, start small. Small change is lasting change. Peek back at this list and set some small goals for yourself. And enlist a friend! An accountability partner always increases your chance of success.
About the Author
Caitlyn Macaluso is a certified group fitness instructor at The University of Texas at Austin. Caitlyn has a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science from Oakland University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin. Caitlyn is currently the Marketing Director at FVF Law and teaches Cardio Kickboxing and Mind Body Fusion in the TeXercise program at RecSports.