Did you know you can make a few changes in your routine to begin missing doing sports? Learn how to train your body to crave fitness.
The internal process behind getting fit can be divided into three important dimensions:
Intention is the easy part; all it takes is the desire to work on your body and reap the benefits. Motivation and action can be more challenging.
Motivation, in particular, can be fickle. It’s there at 11 pm after you’ve had a long, hard look in the mirror and promised yourself that you’ll start working out and become healthier. However, it disappears just as easily the following morning.
Fortunately, there are a few hacks you can use to your advantage so you discover how to train your body to crave fitness. This article is all about building that internal consistent motivation to keep you going when the going gets tough. Although I will use CrossFit as a big part as examples, these tips work for everyone.
How to Train Your Body to Crave Fitness
Be Consistent in Your Workout Schedule
Humans are creatures of habit, both mentally and physically. While a healthy dose of spontaneity is never a bad thing, we generally need structure to keep us consistent and motivated.
Just like your body learns to expect and crave sleep at the end of the day, you can teach your body to crave a workout.
CrossFit athletes use this psychological principle in the form of a WOD (Workout of the Day). The workout varies, but they know that every day, without fail, the WOD is part of their routine.
Figure out when you can set aside an hour or two per day for your workout and stick to it. After a few days, your body and mind will be used to getting a daily fitness kick. Soon, it will feel as necessary as taking a daily shower or eating breakfast.
Figure Out Where Your Motivation Comes From
Athletic motivation comes from different sources in different people. Maybe you want to get fitter so you can join your friends on long hikes, maybe you want to be more physically capable around the house, or maybe you want to get back into the dating scene and boost your confidence by getting rid of your love handles or working on a round booty.
Whatever your motivation is, that’s what you need to tap into when you’re not keen on a workout.
CrossFit athletes have difficult days just like everyone else. It’s not some supernatural motivational strength that keeps them going, though. They remind themselves daily why they keep going back to the gym. Whether it’s physical mastery, mental health, strength, or longevity, they know why they do what they do, which gives them the fuel to keep at it.
Reward Yourself – How to Train Your Body to Crave Fitness
Behavioural psychologists have known for decades that rewards reinforce desirable behaviour. You can use this simple trick to build up a positive association with working out that only gets stronger over time.
What you use to reward yourself is entirely up to you. If you like spending time in the steam room or sauna, go there after your workout to relax and ease the tension in your muscles. Maybe grab a coffee from your favourite café with a workout buddy. Whatever gives you that delightful feeling of anticipation.
Soon, you’ll be raring to work out just so that you can indulge yourself a little bit afterwards. For the best results, make sure your reward comes directly after your workout and do it every time.
Don’t Compromise, Especially When You’re Feeling Lazy
The more often you give in to excuses or procrastination, the harder it will be to shut down those impulses the next time. If you make a concerted effort to push through the fatigue when you really don’t feel like exercising, you will gradually gain more control over it. The more you let it win, the stronger it becomes.
Of course, there will inevitably be days when unavoidable distractions arise and time becomes an issue. However, you must teach your brain that working out is also a top priority. If you blow off your exercise to get lunch with a friend or achieve some other task that could easily be done later, you’re telling your brain that exercise is low on the to-do list. This will inform your behaviour going forward.
CrossFit trainers often speak about making a commitment to your body, which is precisely what you’re doing. You’re committing to showing up for yourself consistently, even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.
Find Exercises You Enjoy
We all have our favourite and least favourite forms of exercise. Some people love to lift heavy weights, others can’t get enough of the treadmill. While it is vital to get a well-rounded workout, learn to identify the exercises that you love. That way, when the time comes to head to the gym, you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
Find Your Community
Community is a big part of the CrossFit philosophy. Like most challenges in life, getting fit is easier when you do it with other people. Forging those connections with people who are on their own fitness journeys will motivate you to keep going back and that works for everyone, not only in the CrossFit community.
They will also be there to support and encourage you when you’re having a tough session. Professional athletes and casual gym-goers alike rely on the support they receive from their peers.
Whether you stick with one regular gym buddy or forge a whole network of like-minded fitness enthusiasts, there will be days when their shouts of encouragement will give you the power you need to finish that last snatch.
Develop A Healthy Craving
Ever since the pandemic, getting fit and staying healthy has become even more of a priority. Interest in vitamins and supplements has soared and there’s a renewed focus on staying active. If you can make your body crave the feeling of fitness, you’re on the right track.
The feeling of empowerment that comes from getting fit and healthy is unlike any other feeling in the world. It’s hard to imagine from the starting line, but you’ll thank yourself every day you keep going back.
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- BOXROX-53: Stevie D Photography