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Motivational Facebook fitness boasts could keep healthy living resolutions on track

05 Mar 2013 at 18:08hrs | Views
You may not think that browsing the internet has many health benefits, yet new research suggests that 64 per cent of Brits feel motivated to work out by friends' fitness boasts posted on Facebook.

The study from Fitbit, which polled 1,000 people, reveals that many of us feel inspired by what our friends say on Facebook about their healthy active lifestyles.

The research found that social interaction also has a major effect on our fitness motivation, with 50 per cent of those surveyed stating that making exercise a social activity with friends, family or colleagues makes them more driven to work out.

55 per cent felt that walking was the best form of exercise to do as group, while 20 per cent prefer swimming and 13 per cent favour fitness classes.

Researchers believe that the motivation provided by our friends and social networks could signal an end to 'Flabby February' - the month that many of us give up on our New Year's resolutions and the good intentions of January.

If you're still struggling to stay motivated, here are some tips to fire up your enthusiasm:

Set goals

It is important to set fitness goals to give you an incentive to work out – the more specific the better. For example, aim to complete a running or swimming event, or to lose two inches from your waist, rather than just generally aiming to get fit. Be realistic with your goals but make them hard enough to be a good challenge. Strike the balance – an unrealistic goal will kill motivation but a goal that is too easily achieved will lead to boredom.

Get a training plan

Using a training plan will give you a daily goal, even if sometimes it is just telling you to rest. You could obtain one from a personal trainer, or you could download one online. A structured plan will increase your motivation and your chances of success. It will also ensure you don't increase the duration or intensity of your training too quickly so that you don't lose motivation or injure yourself.

Monitor your progress

It isimportant to keep track of your progress so that you don't feel as though you have been working for nothing. You can monitor changes in your fitness as well as your body shape, noting changes in energy levels as well as monitoring tangible things such as improvements in speed, distance, heaviness of weights or number of repetitions.

Go shopping for exercise clothing

Looking good while you exercise will help you to feel good and in turn feel more motivated. Get out to your sports or fitness specialist and find out what's new in-store. It may sound simple but a new top, shorts or shoes could inspire you to keep going. You could even treat yourself to a new piece of kit to reward your latest fitness achievement.

Make it fun

No matter how much you love your favourite fitness class, exercise DVD or running route, doing the same thing over and over is bound to get boring after a while (as well as minimising the benefits of your workout). To help you stay motivated, try to keep your workouts fun with a bit of a variety. If you usually go for a long run each morning, try varying your route or doing some interval training. Alternatively, shake things up entirely by swapping your run for a sports game or energetic dance class.

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