Motivation: Key to Fitness Success
By Sumayyah Meehan
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
-Thomas A. Edison
When embarking on a new Muslimah fitness regimen it is easy to get excited about the prospects of slimming down and getting healthy. But within only a matter of days, many newfound fitness gurus crash and burn in a blaze of glory with aching muscles and growling tummies. They go back to their sedentary lifestyles and, worse yet, their unhealthy eating habits. It does not have to be this way! The key to finding success with Muslimah fitness is to stay motivated while traveling down the, often bumpy, road to a healthier lifestyle.
There are several ways to keep your motivation ebbing and flowing. Follow these strategies to keep your body moving for a better quality of life and Muslimah fitness!
Define your Goals
Putting your goals down on paper is an excellent way to make them real and larger than life. Just having some idea of what your fitness goals are floating around in your brain will do nothing to motivate you. But seeing your current weight and goal weight written down on paper brings your goals to life. The same goes for your current eating patterns and the ones you wish to have as well as the timeframe for completion of your fitness goals. Hang the paper, with your fitness goals written on it, in a place where it will always get in your way to continuously remind you of what you want to achieve and motivating you to do it.
Life has a way of interrupting the tasks we plan to do each day and exercise is one of those tasks that always gets pushed aside in favor of more “important” activities. That’s why it is fundamentally necessary to create an exercise schedule and stick to it no matter what. Think of your daily slot of exercise time as an appointment that cannot be broken. No one would dream of canceling an important meeting or doctor’s visit, so why should exercising for your health be any less important? Invest in a monthly planner and schedule your exercise workouts on a week-by-week basis.
Partner Up –
The road to Muslimah fitness success can be long and boring when going it alone. Studies have shown that more people stick with exercise if they have someone to workout with. So, buddy up with a friend or relative at least a couple times a week. Just make sure that you engage in a vigorous workout, like running races on the beach or taking a step class together, instead of catching up on each other’s lives. There will be time for that when you are sweaty and breathless from a good workout session!
Shake Things Up-
Engaging in the exact same exercise every day will sap your motivation like a puddle of water on a hot summer’s day. To stay motivated with your Muslimah fitness regimen switch things up every week. Perhaps one week you might focus on working out in the gym and the next week you can hit the great outdoors to engage in nature activities, like hiking, and another week you might even stay home to workout along with a DVD. Changing up your workout will not only help hold your interest, but it will also continually challenge your body which will result in increased fat burning and calorie shedding.
Replenish with Rewards-
All work and no play is never any fun! Reward yourself for each weight loss or fitness milestone you pass. It might be tempting to turn to a food reward, like a chocolate cupcake or other rich dessert, but you must resist the temptation, which would sabotage everything that you have already achieved. Instead focus on rewards that are equally as pleasurable as food but not as fattening such as a dessert-scented candle or fruity shower gel.
Staying motivated to exercise can sometimes be hard, but keep your eye on the prize, which is a healthier and fitter you. Overcome your resistance to Muslimah fitness every time you lace up your sneakers and in about eight weeks you should be able to form a healthy habit of exercising regularly.