Knowing your Why is the foundation to getting and staying motivated for Outdoor Fitness. In my personal journey, my Why is to keep my mind and body healthy of course and to help motivate others to stay fit. This definitely motivates me because I need to be an example for others. How can I promote fitness if I sit on the couch all the time?
Also, my mental well being is greatly enhanced when I go on trail runs, hiking, or mountain biking. For me- staying fit outdoors is very therapeutic and I never get bored!
Your Why may differ from mine- and that’s fine. If you’re wanting to get exercise outdoors but haven’t made the “move” yet, this article will help you set your personal goals, find the outdoor activities that you love the most, and discover the resources that fuel your passion for outdoor fitness.
Finding Your Why
From my experience, when people’s Why is solely to get a rockin’ body, they can lose motivation quickly. Typically, the Why needs a deeper meaning than getting that beach body.
Start with identifying personal goals that make you excited! This is about aligning your exercise routine with what’s meaningful to you. That might be something like training for a charity run because you value giving back, or hiking through national parks if you’re passionate about conservation.
One of the things I did to help motivate me to start mountain biking was to start a MeetUp Group. This hiking and mountain biking MeetUp group in Phoenix gives people an opportunity to mountain bike ride in new places and meet other people.
My MeetUp group encourages and motivates people to be active-including me! I knew if I didn’t have others to go mountain biking with, I wouldn’t go. It’s one of those sports that is better to do with other people. It’s safer and more fun! A strong community and social support can play a huge role in your fitness journey. That shared energy and camaraderie can boost your motivation on days when it starts to fade. Also, you’re more likely to show up when others are counting on you.
Another way to find your “Why” is through motivational interviewing or journaling. This can help reveal your deeper driving forces. By regularly asking yourself probing questions such as ‘What do I enjoy about outdoor exercise? and then writing your answers down, you’ll get to the heart of your ‘Why’. Sometimes I will take a journal with me while I am hiking and I can sit and reflect in beautiful settings.
Lastly, setting realistic milestones is also key in your fitness journey. Choose end goals that feel attainable, like reaching a certain distance or working out a certain amount of times through the week. As I stated earlier, my main types of outdoor fitness activities include hiking and mountain biking. I added running now to help me cross train and get even more fit.
The goal I set for myself is to run 3 Miles straight in under 30 minutes. Some may think that this is easy. However, I set this goal based on my current level of fitness. Running is very different from hiking and mountain biking. You need to set goals based on your current level of fitness and capabilities. Celebrate these victories, no matter how small, and use them to propel you towards your next challenge.
Sustaining Momentum: Strategies to Keep Your ‘Why’ in Sight
So, you’ve taken a great step by pinpointing your motivation for taking your fitness outdoors. But here’s where it gets really exciting: keeping that momentum going is where transformation happens. It’s the part of your journey that turns occasional outdoor jogs into a fundamental part of your lifestyle.
It’s natural to hit some roadblocks. Bad weather, busy schedules, or feelings of stagnation can all creep in. Don’t worry too much about these. Instead, focus on the strategies that can help you push through. Embracing challenges is key. Consider them not as setbacks, but as opportunities to grow stronger and more committed to your goals.
Adaptability is your secret weapon. When things don’t go as planned, having the flexibility to adjust your approach will keep you moving forward. Maybe it’s doing a bodyweight workout when you can’t hit the trails, or joining a local sports league to meet your social and fitness needs simultaneously.
Visual reminders are powerful resource. Perhaps you can post pictures of a favorite hiking trail or a goal-related quote on your fridge as daily motivation. Positive affirmations also work wonders. A simple, personalized mantra can inspire you to lace up your sneakers even on days when the couch is calling your name.
Remember, the benefits of staying committed to your outdoor fitness ‘Why’ extend far beyond toned muscles or improved endurance. You’re fostering a relationship with the great outdoors, building mental resilience, and setting a foundation for a lifetime of wellness. This isn’t just about the next workout; it’s about crafting a life where your fitness and happiness go hand in hand.
So, keep your ‘Why’ in sight. Adjust your plan when needed, celebrate the small victories, and always keep your ultimate motivation at the forefront. By doing so, you’ll not just enjoy the journey, but you’ll also love where it takes you.