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25 Apr 2004

Motivation to keep exercising regularely
Dear FitnessDoc,
I am a fifteen year-old girl wanting to exercise more often. Why? Well, I want to stay healthy and feel better about myself. I've got a gym access card, and I do use it, but I tend to get "hooked" for a week or so (and then I go to the gym like EVERY day), and then I get sick of exercising so I relax. I don't feel bad about it either, mainly because I have in mind that I did exercise a lot last week. I want to exercise regularely, but it just never works out. I need motivation! Can you give me some? And maybe a bit of advice as well?

Thank you for replying!
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Unfortunately, and I wish it were different, motivation is something that only you can give yourself. I can tell you about the positive effects of exercise, and I can say that it is great that you are exercising and that you should keep it up (all true), but in the end, the only kind of motivation that really works is the motivation that comes from within. It doesn't matter what your reasons are, but you need to find something that will make sure that you get yourself back to the gym a little more consistently. i have always found that doing exercise with a friend is a great way, probably the best. So, in other words, if you can find a friend who is interested in training, then even if they are willing to do one or two days a week with you, then make a plan to do it together. That way, no matter what happens, you have a planned session and someone to whom who can be accountable. It workds both ways too, and you'd be surprised by perhaps how many people share your situation.

Then, secondly, as far as advice goes, my only advice is to make things fun. Key word is fun. As a 15 year old, no one will expect you to train in a disciplined way. So, if you skip a session or you don't go for a couple of days, because you get caught up with friends, that's fine. As long as you keep things exciting for yourself. Perhaps part of your problem is that for one week you are super disciplined, and then the next, because the previous week was more discipline and less fun, you tend to lose interest. If you can find a way of having fun, then you would be more likely to keep at it.

How you do this is up to you. My advice would be to take part in school sports, for one thing. This is very very important, and if you can join a team (netball or hockey, or any of your choice), then that's a great way to enjoy sport and get involved with people. Other than this, when you go to the gym, try to alternate sessions, so that you don't do the same stuff all the time - try new things, like go to aerobics once, or spinning, or even yoga, or swimming classes. Whatever, find something that will challenge you.

Good luck and keep it up
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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