Getting & Staying Motivated is Easier Said than Done
It’s easy to say that you’re going to get in shape. But, to actually get off the couch, design an effective training program, workout consistently and with intensity in addition to staying the course, it requires a huge amount of motivation. With today’s technology, particularly the large number of fitness apps that are available on the App Stores, getting and staying motivated is being made a bit easier. But, only certain fitness Apps have unique motivational features that address potential stumbling blocks that prevent you from getting in shape. To achieve your fitness goals, be sure to choose a fitness App that focuses on helping you to overcome barriers.
Getting Started Should Be Made Easy
How could a fitness app motivate you to get started? Whatever fitness app you choose, be sure it makes it as easy as possible to get going, such as a free trial membership, a minimal requirement to buy exercise equipment or not having to belong to a gym. Also, if you don’t know how to do some of the exercises in a workout provided by the App, make sure it provides detailed exercise demo videos. The exercise demo videos not only help you to do the workouts properly so that you can develop proficiency but reduces your chances of injury. In addition, if any of the exercises are too difficult for you then the App should provide suitable alternatives. So, there should be no excuse for you to not get started.
Workouts Designed by Qualified People Should Be Provided Each Day
Most people have no idea how to design an effective training program. So, a fitness App should provide a workout to you each day that has been designed by a qualified fitness and/or medical professional. The workouts should be based on science and should help achieve your fitness goals. For example, if you want to gain strength and burn fat then the workouts should be properly designed to transform your body into a metabolic machine. When programmed properly the workouts will force your body to physiologically adapt so that it burns more fat and stores less of it. As a result, you should expect to more easily control your weight and develop more lean muscle mass. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the workouts should focus on maintaining and enhancing functional longevity so that you can continue to enjoy physical activities for many years to come.
Workout Consistently to be Successful
If the fitness App just merely provides workouts then there wouldn’t be a very compelling reason for you to continue using it. Your fitness App’s features should motivate you to consistently work out. Every single day you should receive a workout that is (1) highly variable, which will help to keep you interested, and (2) time-efficient, to help fit into your busy schedule. In addition, you should be able to connect with other people doing the same workouts. Having an on-line workout support group will help hold you accountable to work out each day, provide social support and foster friendly competition further driving your success.
Workout With High Intensity Even If You’re Working Out Alone
In addition to consistency, the App should motivate you to work out with the high intensity needed to produce transformative results even when you’re working out alone. How does an App push you even when you’re working out by yourself? There are four key ways:
First, if a workout regimen produces measurable outcomes, such as time, reps or rounds performed, then it will be easy to track your data and progress. Many people are highly motivated by trying to beat their last result. So, by tracking workout results, prior performance can be used to motivate you to perform better with each subsequent workout.
Second, if the workouts are standardized and results are being captured for all users of the App then you can compare your workout performance and fitness level to all the other App users around the world. For competitive people, there’s nothing more motivating than friendly competition.
Third, the App should have a way for you to easily choose the pace at which you’d like to do the workout, how many reps you want to do or how many rounds you strive to perform. Then, during the workout the “Pacer” should continually tell you what exercise, what rep and what round you need to be doing at each time point to achieve your pre-programmed goal. Think of the Pacer like having a personal trainer next to you at all times while you work out.
Fourth, by monitoring your heart rate, you can more easily adjust your intensity during the workout. If the App is constantly telling you what your heart rate is, it’s a lot easier to push yourself to achieve your target heart rate for a high intensity workout.
You Should Want to Keep Coming Back for More
A fitness regimen will only be successful if you stick with it and make it part of your daily routine. A fitness App that incorporates all the features discussed above will make working out on a consistent basis easier and get you to your fitness goals faster.
To recap, key motivational features of the App should include:
- Workouts delivered daily take the guess work out of fitness decisions allowing you to start your workout as soon as you are ready. And knowing the workouts are designed by a qualified fitness and/or medical professional that are based on science will give you the confidence the hard work you are putting in will achieve lasting fitness and health benefits. In addition, explanations and/or demo videos of proper exercise form should be included to help improve proficiency and avoid injury
- Workouts should be varied to avoid burn out and short enough to fit into a busy schedule. Also, the App should provide features that help you to workout at a pace and heart rate intensity that will attain metabolic transformation
- On an individual level, the App should provide proof of results by allowing you to easily track your workout performance and fitness progress. Tracking workouts allows you to see continued success as well as areas of strength and weakness.
- You should be able to compare your results and fitness level to other users of the App throughout the world. For many fitness oriented people, friendly competition is a great motivator.
- Having the ability to be social provides many benefits. The App should deliver an online fitness community that provides a venue for you to brag about your progress as well as a way for you to get social support.
Having these features in an App help to motivate you to start a fitness routine but equally important they make you want to come back for more. And remember, success begets success. Whatever fitness App you choose to help achieve your fitness goals, make sure it provides the necessary tools for you to be successful.
Eric J. Ende, MD, ACSM-CPT
Co-Founder & CEO of Phyzseek