How to get motivated to work out: the Mumsnet way

Are you finding those Facebook images of taut, neon-clad gym bunnies more intimidating than inspiring? Rally yourself to action in 2017 with a more doable approach to exercise, shared by newly-fit Mumsnetters

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1. Exercise gets you out of your head, and back into your body


"The combination of exercises classes, running and yoga has massively improved my mental health. I don't feel that weird disconnect with my body; I inhabit it now."


2. When you're showing yourself some love, you tend to do less of this 


"For me, exercise seems to have hugely stabilising effects on my mood and appetite. It helps me make healthier choices, and stops the binge eating."


3. Or, just think about the clothes

"I had a bunch of size 10 clothes in my wardrobe that I couldn't get into, and so I chose a few of my favourites, hung them on the outside of my wardrobe door and tried them on each week. Getting the zip up on my beautiful Karen Millen silk top was a happy, happy day!"


4. You'll be surprised at how powerful you can feel


"I now know that I have the strength and willpower to do hard things, which has made me more confident and can-do in all kinds of other ways as well."

"I ran a fecking marathon. I can do anything! My body is amazing!"


5. Be your own 'fitspiration'

 

Research suggests that pics of shiny abs and perky bottoms on social media - invariably accompanied by 'motivational' quotes - dampen our resolve by lowering self-esteem. Try one Mumsnetter's approach instead:

"Print out or save a note on your phone, with two pictures. One from a time when you felt happiest and healthiest, and one where you feel unhealthy and don't look your best. This helped me as I could see which of the two versions I wanted to be like."


6. Your enthusiasm will wane, so set a non-negotiable target


"Do you have a goal? Is there a Race for Life or cycle ride you could sign up for? Giving yourself something to work towards might give you a kick."


7. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere


"If you hate running and don't feel confident doing it, gradual steps might be better. Walk for 30 minutes a day until you no longer feel this is exercise, just your normal daily routine - and build from there."


8. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small


"Last Christmas I went to the theatre with my 86-year-old-grandmother and she bounded up the stairs while I lumbered behind her, gasping and sweating. I now walk five miles daily and run up the stairs at work. I'm still overweight - but I'm no longer being shamed by octogenarians."


9. Reframe workouts as time to focus on your needs


"I look at my week and plan what I have to do and where I can fit in exercise. Housework be damned!"

"I pay for an extra couple hours of daycare once a week, so I know that I definitely have one day to fit in a gym session."


10. But remember, life doesn't begin at slim


"I feel much better when I'm fitter (which tends to go hand in hand with thinner). But I don't magic away any of my problems by being thinner, and my self esteem isn't any higher. I've never waited until I'm thinner to achieve other stuff in life." 


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Last updated: 4 months ago