Even the most dedicated runner will have days where the thought of hitting the trail is nothing short of nauseating. If you’re an average person who is trying to run for fitness instead of passion, you’ll probably have more of these days than the hardcore runner.
Nevertheless, running has clear benefits, both for fitness and for mental wellness. If you’re having trouble staying motivated to keep at it, try one or more of these three tips:
1. Psych Yourself Up
Your mind is a powerful tool. You can allow it to work against you or you can choose to use it to your advantage. On days that you feel you’d rather pull your fingernails off than put on your running shoes, try this exercise.
Close your eyes and imagine that you are as happy as you’ve ever been in your life. You feel great, look amazing and are game for anything. Now picture yourself running and tell yourself that this is how you feel when you run. Make yourself believe it, even if you don’t feel it.
Reinforce over and over that running gives you great joy. You love to run. You’d be crushed if someone told you that you could never run again. You don’t feel whole unless you’ve had a good run for the day. The more you tell yourself that you love it, the more you’ll find yourself wanting to do it.
2. Find Some Photo Inspiration
The Internet is full of potential sources of inspiration, so take advantage of it. Rather than digging up pictures of super-fit, hardcore athletes, however, try searching for average people on personal fitness journeys.
Look for stories that include before and after pictures, or progress pictures if they haven’t reached their goal yet. Remind yourself that running is a great part of a good fitness regimen and that it will help you enjoy the same success that these people have had.
Use yourself as your inspiration. Are you running because you’re unhappy with the current shape you’re in? Look up a picture of yourself that you dislike. It will re-fuel your motivation to run because you don’t want to look like that anymore. Oppositely, if you’ve been on your own weight loss journey, looking up a picture of yourself at your starting point. Once you see how far you’ve already come, you’ll be motivated to stick to your workout routine.
3. Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Running
People who work at a desk all day, such as contractor accounting software reps and marketing specialists, often find their health declining. It’s not so much the job as it is a lack of exercise. Before long, both the mind and the body feel sluggish and depressed.
Even if you have an active job, you can find yourself in the same boat if you don’t get regular bouts of continuous movement. Whatever your station in life, running can go a long way toward staving off depression and general mind sluggishness.
Remind yourself of this fact every time you feel like you don’t want to take that run. Ironically, the very thing that you don’t want to do is the thing that will help you to feel better. Here, you can find more about a trainer, Victor Surma, who also has advice on getting up and getting active. Think about all of your previous runs and how you felt afterward, then hit the road.
About the Author: Michelle is a blogger and freelancer. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.