Fitness over 50 is no joke, especially if you have been out of shape for years. If it’s hard for a 25-year-old to get motivated to go to the gym, start a jogging routine, or start exercising consistently, it’s that much harder for you. I understand completely. When I was 75, I had been out of shape for years, and even though I had a desire to be more active, a lot of things were stopping me. I was overweight and suffering from the side effects of several medications. You might be running into the same obstacles. So what do you do when you’re struggling with motivation to exercise? Try these easy tips.

1. Focus on the long-term gain, not the short-term pain

What do you get out of being in better shape? The long-term gain that you achieve is hard to calculate. There are countless ways that you can benefit, but you should pick a handful of the ones that mean the most to you and focus intensely on them as you walk through the journey towards better fitness. Examples of the rewards you can reap from achieving better fitness:

  • Live longer to be with your children and grandchildren for more time.
  • Reduce your risk of heart and lung disease
  • Enjoy greater strength, vitality, well-being, and energy
  • Reduce your risk of falling
  • Build stronger bones
  • Increase your flexibility, endurance, and resilience
  • Reduce the time it takes to recover from minor illness
  • Boost your immune system and get sick less often

2. Tap into the mental toughness that you’ve developed through life

The older you get, the more you will have encountered tough situations. You have faced hardship, passed through suffering, and dealt with sorrow and grief. None of those things were wasted. They have created in you a deep reservoir of wisdom, a well of experience that younger people simply don’t have to tap into. You are stronger than you think you are. Channel that inner strength, grit, and mental toughness into the undying endurance that you need in order to stick with your fitness routine until it becomes second nature.

3. Take it one day at a time

You don’t have to become Mr. or Ms. Universe tomorrow. Setting audacious goals is great, but don’t let yourself become paralyzed by the immense size of the task ahead of you. Break it down into daily, bite-sized pieces, and compliment yourself on your achievements just by taking your daily “bite” into the exercise goal.

4. Eliminate “I can’t” from your vocabulary by adding the simple little word, “yet.”

No, you might not be able to do full push-ups right now. However, saying to yourself, “I can’t” has a demoralizing effect. Adding the little word, “yet” has the opposite effect. It’s empowering. It sets your brain free to dream, to reach forward, to keep trying, to stay motivated, to repeat the “beginner” level exercise as many times as necessary until you reach that beautiful land where you say, “Now I can.”

Let me lead the way

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