What makes people join a gym class? What makes them start a fitness program? Answers would vary. Maybe they just want to have more energy. Perhaps they're looking forward to the day when they can look in the mirror and actually like the image looking back at them. Or it can be as simple as just shedding a few pounds. Unfortunately, fitness is not a one time deal. It's not like you can just pull out your motivation to work out just this one time and then you will be rewarded with your desired results right there and then. One thing is certain, though, it's hard to sustain motivation. When starting a fitness program, you should have a game plan to combat demotivation later on.

It is hard to stay motivated if you get frustrated. So try to be realistic when setting fitness goals. So, if you exercise for an hour six times a week, it would be fair to expect a one pound weight loss per week if you follow a low fat diet too. But if you put in just 30 minutes twice a week, maybe one pound is a bit too much to ask. Also, don't compare your progress with your friends or your body with the perfect specimens they call models. That's a surefire way to feel unsure about your progress and will make you feel like what you are aiming for is unreachable.

Also, you can prevent boredom with your routine by varying exercise moves every 8-12 weeks. This will also ensure that your muscles will not get used to your old, stale moves. Make it fun and fresh enough to challenge yourself. And don't give yourself a chance to skip the gym because you don't have anything to wear either.

Make working out convenient as a way to increase your motivation. If necessary, vary your workout activities from day to day. You need not be confined to a regular gym to reap the benefits of exercise. If the four walls of the gym make you feel confined, you can stay at home and groove to your favorite dance music, or run in the park. The point is, enjoy your exercise time, all the time.

And don't be too hard on yourself. If for some reason you missed a day or two of exercise, then by all means, just get back to it as soon as you can. During the course of your quest for fitness, you're bound to get sick, have to get a tooth pulled, have car trouble and dozens of other real-life reasons. You might even get injured while exercising. All these will require rest. The important thing is to allow yourself to take time off and just get back to the program when you are ready and able to do so. Congratulate yourself that you got back on track. Reward yourself for small victories. Keep a log of your achievements and keep a list of what makes you stick with your fitness plan along with the reasons why you exercise. All these will help you stay on track at times when you feel demotivated.

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Author's Bio: 

Mark Warrington