According to yourdictionary.com, "motivation" is defined as the reasons why you are doing something, or the level of desire you have to do something.
If you are over 50, it seems that motivation is harder to come by.
It’s a little ironic and unfair that when we are young and have all that energy we don’t need to exercise as much — but now that we need to and can see the amazing benefits, we have a hard time finding the energy and motivation.
This time of year, our schedules kick into overdrive, especially if we have kids or grandkids. Lots of school functions and fall sports to take up our time. But now, more than ever, we need to stay motivated to carry us through the holidays. This is a bad time to drop the ball. A really bad time.
Maybe you have a friend who has a hard time getting motivated too? Why not enlist a buddy to train with?
Do you have a friend who may have the same fitness goals as you? Are your goals to lose 20 pounds? Great! Find a partner and use drills that combine cardio with strength training.
Maybe your goals are to just get stronger or more flexible. There are plenty of ways you can try to attain those goals together.
This is also a great way to get out of a rut. Maybe you dislike going the formal exercise route, but in your neighborhood you have a good friend who you think would be interested. You can start out in the privacy of your own home, or venture out to a track, or even an exercise class.
Even better if your friend is fitter than you. That can motivate you to work a little harder and maybe create a little friendly competition.
There are tons and tons of exercises you can do with a partner, from abs to planks to cardio drills and timed challenges. Or just plain walking or running.
In many of my fitness classes, I teach partner drills. One of the advantages to partner drills is you need half as much equipment, if any. For instance, you can be in a head-to-head timed plank while doing alternating hand slaps. Or one person can run a lap around the track while the other does pushups. Then switch. Or toss a ball between partners while doing sit-ups.
I have noticed that people who normally give up easily do not give up if a partner is counting on them. Having a partner keeps you accountable and makes you show up in more than one way.
The first step is just to decide you want to change. Then commit to that change. Put a note in your bathroom or on your fridge reminding you of your goal. This way you get to see it every day. Then try to find a friend who would be willing to give this a try.
The sky’s the limit. The two of you can accomplish this together. There are so many group training options.
Group personal training (for two or more) is very hot right now. It is a great way to split the cost of a trainer. It can be all that some people need to get started.
Split the responsibility of deciding the workouts. Research options or classes on the internet. Let your workout buddy decide on the Monday workout and you decide on the Wednesday workout then Friday or Saturday agree on a class, or an organized walk or run.
Classes are fun to do with a friend. It can get rid of that intimidation some people feel when going to their first class.
Make sure you invest in the right clothes, and be prepared. Pack your workout bag the night before you plan to exercise. Many a planned workout has been ruined because of being unprepared.
Don’t keep it a secret. Tell your family and friends what you are going to do. They will help to hold you accountable, too.
Be sure and talk to your fit friends so they can share their experiences.
Mainly, don’t let the end of summer mark the time when you slow down. Just the opposite. Full steam ahead to prepare for the holidays and cold weather. After all, the only bad workout is the one you did not do.
Ann Angell is a certified instructor and personal trainer and manager of the Oxford YMCA. She’s over 50. "Fitness over 50" is published the third Sunday of each month.