Workout to Win
Inspiration, determination, enthusiasm. Where does the motivation to exercise come from?
Health Canada recommends adults get in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week (60 minutes a day for children and youth). This can easily be done in five 30-minute sessions, or three 50-minute sessions per week.
Getting into a regular exercise routine is not as hard as some people think. Here’s how to keep it simple:
1) Plan your workouts.
Plan your weekly fitness schedule and stick to it. Sounds simple? It is. Show up and engage your mind and your body while you exercise.
2) Workout to get the results you want.
If your goal is to get in 150 minutes of activity, try doing something different each day. For example, you can alternate between cardio and strength training workouts.
3) Try a group class.
Let the instructor lead you through a balanced workout. Remember, to meet the requirements the activity needs to be vigorous. This means you will need to feel challenged and you’ll probably be sweaty after.
4) Remember how great you feel when you’re done!
Here’s an assessment that some personal trainers use: before their clients hit the showers, they have them reflect on the workout. How did they feel at the start (emotionally, physically, energy level, etc.) and how do they feel at the end? Ask yourself these two questions after your workout; you’ll find that you typically feel much better after you’ve exercised. The trick then is to remember this feeling.
This month the YWCA Health + Fitness Centre is hosting the Workout to Win challenge – one lucky member will win a $500 airline voucher. Each workout earns a ballot into the draw – the more workouts, the better the odds. Don’t we all need some extra motivation after the summer months?
Know what motivates you! Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?
Our Workout to Win challenge is an example of an extrinsic reward. It can be fun to extrinsically reward yourself from time to time. Set a reward system and make sure your goal is achievable. Start with an easy challenge, for instance, get 12 workouts in one month and treat yourself to a new workout outfit or dinner out.
Those who are intrinsically motivated exercise for the personal rewards. This becomes easier the longer you’ve had a regular routine, or once you have achieved specific fitness goals. For example, learn to swim 400 metres non-stop or run a 5 km race.
Find out what you need to stick to an exercise routine. Maybe it’s mastering a dance step or a perfect squat, slamming a ball into the ground, working up a sweat or the connection you make with others in the class.
Here’s what we do know: everyone who enters the draw during our challenge is a winner!
Did you know?
The YWCA Health + Fitness Centre is a social enterprise. When you break a sweat in our cardio room or swim laps in our pool, you’re helping women and their families across Metro Vancouver access the vital resources they need to live free from poverty and violence.