HOW TO GET FIT IN 2018! Stay Motivated to be Healthy in the New Year
How to Stay Motivated to Get Fitter (Teen Girls)
If you’re a teenage girl looking to stay motivated to get fitter, there are a lot of things you can do. But bottom line, have fun with it. Your teenage years don’t have to be filled with pressure to look a particular way. Instead, focus on getting and staying healthy, and having fun while doing so—you’ll end up with plenty of motivation that way.
Staying Motivated Visually
Make an inspirational board to hang in your room.Creating a visual display of your goals and positioning it where you can look at it throughout the day is a big motivator. If you don’t keep your goals in front of your eyes, it’s easy to forget them or justify procrastinating.
- Get creative with your board. You can make a basic 2D collage with magazine photo cutouts, or you can give the board dimension by adding small toy versions of your favorite healthy things—soccer or basketballs, pompoms, even play food like your little brother or sister has in their play kitchen.
- Write your #1 goal in large letters in the center, something like, “To be fast enough to score a goal.” Make sure that your goal is not a number on the scale or a clothing size. Your goal should be about how you want to feel or what you want to be able to do when you are fit.
- Post a picture of yourself when you were fit and happy, or when you were accomplishing a big physical feat like scoring a goal or winning a race.
Create a board on Pinterest.You can create a virtual inspiration board by “pinning” inspiring images, websites, and articles that you find on the internet. This way, you can easily flip to the board on your smartphone and scroll through it to get fitness ideas or get excited about exercising.
- Include images of your favorite strong women, like Serena Williams or Carly Lloyd.
- Include quotes like, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent," by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Draw your goals in a journal.You can also draw your goals in a journal or diary (or paste magazine clippings on the pages). This journal can become a mobile inspiration board that you can open instantly no matter where you are. If you like to draw, this creative journal can be a great way to combine fitness with your other interests.
Read success stories.Find articles about girls just like you who had to overcome obstacles in order to get fit. You can find stories like this in teen magazines, young adult books (both fiction and nonfiction), or in blog posts on the internet. Just use a search engine to get started online, or visit a local library and search their catalog to check out a book or magazine.
- Look up the stories of young women like Stephanie Jallen, who skis with only one leg, or Sarah Storey, who is a bicycling champion with a malformed left hand.
Watch inspirational videos on Youtube.Watching videos about how other people have transformed their bodies may also help to motivate you. You can search for things like “transformation story” or “weight loss journey” to find these types of videos.
Learn more about getting fit.Reading articles about getting fit may also help to motivate you. Check out online fitness magazines, like Shape. Even without a subscription, you can read articles about exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Learn as much as you can about how to eat properly and exercise to get fit and stay motivated.
Staying Motivated with Goals
Write down things you can do only when you’re fit.One day in the future, when you have achieved your goals, you will be able to do things that you can’t do right now. What are these things? Perhaps you will be able to bench press 200 pounds or run an 8-minute mile. Write these goals down.
- Write them down in more than one place. Write them in a journal that you can carry with you; write them on a board that you hang on your wall; even type them up and place them on your social media profiles so that your friends can help you stay on track.
- Think about being able to do these things when you don’t want to work out or eat a healthy meal by pulling out your notebook or looking at the words on your wall.
Use a fitness app.You can download apps onto your phone or tablet to keep track of the foods you eat and how much you exercise. Try downloading one of these apps to your phone or tablet and use it to keep yourself on track and stay motivated. However, be sure to talk with your parent or a doctor about whether this is a good option for you. Some people find counting calories helpful while others find it extremely stressful and upsetting.
- Some helpful free apps to check out include MyFitnessPal, Pear Personal Coach, and LoseIt!
- You can also create a paper chart to keep on your desk or hang up on the wall if you don’t have regular access to a phone, tablet or computer.
Set up a weekly fitness schedule.Setting up a fitness schedule for each week will help you not only to remember to exercise and eat right, but will prevent you from quitting or procrastinating. When you work activities into a schedule, they become a habit. Sticking to a routine will help you get fit even if you don’t want to sometimes.
Staying Motivated with Activities
Brainstorm about fitness activities you might like.To help you choose an exercise that will be something you look forward to, sit down and make a list of every kind of exercise you can think of. Get your mom or dad to sit down and help you think. If you don’t already play sports in school, this type of brainstorming is especially helpful.
- Every type of exercise burns a specific amount of calories, and you want to pick a type of exercise that will help you burn your goal amount of calories.
- If you don’t like traditional sports, consider taking a class at your mom’s gym, like yoga, Pilates, or kickboxing. If you don’t have gym access, then try watching exercise videos at home. You can find many free workout routine videos on Youtube that you can follow along with and get a great workout. You could even do this with a friend for something fun to do.
- Consider joining a sports team if you’re not on one already, or maybe a fitness club like hiking or rock climbing at your school. Keep in mind that accessibility and ease are important for sticking with exercise. Choose something that will be convenient and plan to do it during a time when you feel good.
Do trials of each type of fitness.Once you have thought of some activities you think sound fun, give them a try. For example, if no sports sounded appealing, a yoga class at the gym might sound like something you’d enjoy. Before committing to a yoga routine, attend a class to make sure that it’s for you.
- If you’re thinking about joining a fitness club at school, perhaps attend one meeting on a trial basis, and tell the club leader.
Have fun.The most effective way for a teenager to stay motivated to do physical activity is to have fun with it.Pick activities that you don’t even think of as “exercise.” Do you like horseback riding? Swimming, hiking, or canoeing? Pretty much any outside activity requires physical exercise.
Grab a friend.One way to stay motivated and have fun at the same time is to have a friend with you. Ask one of your friends to become your fitness buddy, and if you're on a sports team, find a teammate you can exercise with.
- Schedule weekly meetings with your fitness buddy so that you develop the habit of getting exercise together. Arrange days and times to go for a walk, bike ride, or run with your friend.
- You can also incorporate some active time into your outings with friends, such as by going to the skate park, going bowling, or going for a hike together.
Staying Motivated with Food
Decide what types of food will help you stay healthy.Talk to your parents and physical education coaches at school, perhaps even your doctor, to determine what type of diet is the best for your metabolism and physical needs. For the most part, healthy eating means eating lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with limited sugars and fats.
- If you have any known medical conditions, speak to your doctor before beginning a fitness routine. If you ever suspect something is wrong, such as having symptoms like a racing heartbeat even when sitting down, see a doctor as soon as you can.
Buy the food you need each week.Make a list with your parents of foods that you need to eat to stay on target with becoming fit. If these foods are different from what they usually bring home from the grocery store, ask your mom or dad to start getting them. You may even want to ask for a weekly food budget so that you can purchase these foods yourself.
- For example, if your family eats a lot of deep-fried foods, you may want to switch to steaming, sautéing, and eating more fresh veggies. Fresh veggies may be a new thing for your family, so you should communicate your desire to have more of them on hand at home.
- You may want to learn how to cook for yourself if your family does not cook the way that you know you should.
- Just remember to eat the foods and veggies you ask your parents to buy. Be involved in the preparation so you are not asking someone else to do the work for you. If fresh foods go to waste, your parents will not be as happy about getting special foods for you.
Avoid taking dieting too far.Don't get caught up in dieting, calorie counting, or portion control. You are a growing girl and indulging in sweet treats once in a while is a normal part of your teenage years. Adopt a mindset of "all things in moderation" and change your approach to food in moderation as well.
- If you think you have a problem with food, whether eating too little or too much, or obsessing over food, talk to someone. Tell a parent, a coach, a guidance counselor, or another trusted adult. In fact, sharing your fitness goals and the changes you have made with a trustworthy adult is a good way to stay healthy because they may be able to detect any unhealthy goals or changes before you do.
QuestionI am usually motivated, but almost every morning my family demotivates me. Even when I try to stay positive they always have a way to make me feel negative. What can I do about this?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerThis can happen and it is sad, but don't despair. There is only one person who can control what goes on inside of you. When you feel like others have brought you down, remind yourself that you control how you feel about things. Tell yourself that they are entitled to say what they want, but in the end, you choose for yourself how you will be. It is really difficult sometimes to realize that your family members love you, even though they talk like they aren't really thinking about what they are saying. Try to stay calm, and strong and remind yourself that they mean well for you.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I motivate myself to do my physical therapy exercises and not feel like I'm dreading it?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerThere are a couple of approaches which might help you look forward to your physio more. First, visualize your muscles, tendons and ligaments healing with each exercise. Focus your thoughts on the benefits to your body parts as you do each exercise. Imagine each repetition drives healing energy to that body part that needs help. If that doesn't help, you can try distractions such as listening to an audio book or music you like while doing your exercises. Remember, being vigilant with your physio now, could prevent a lot of pain and suffering later on.Thanks!
- Keep in mind that getting fit is not the most important thing about being a teenager. You are beautiful the way you are, and getting fit is just a means to becoming healthier—not skinnier.
- Joining sports teams can teach you about working together with others and provide opportunities to make friends. If you are not competitive, you can enjoy the same camaraderie at a fitness club, or even going for a jog or a hike with a girlfriend. Other people out doing the same as you will generally be friendly and supportive.
- If you are considering a very restrictive diet or intense exercise plan, consult your doctor first.
- If you have symptoms of an eating disorder or exercise addiction, seek help immediately.
Video: HOW I STAY MOTIVATED | Danielle Peazer
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