As you probably know, there are lots of health benefits of swimming and, similarly, lots of health benefits of aquatic workouts. Of course, to really enjoy these benefits, you need to stay motivated for swimming or your other water-based exercises.
Like with any fitness regimen, consistently sticking to it is often the hardest part. Sometimes, it’s just tricky to find the time or the energy. Other times, you simply can’t quite find the drive to get up and get to it. But if you don’t keep it up and build up, you’re likely to just taper off.
Whatever the excuses, you have to find ways to beat them. Use the following tips to stay motivated for swimming or aquatic exercising to help yourself conquer the mental struggle and achieve your fitness goals.
Maintaining the Drive to Swim or Work Out in the Water
- Share your plans and goals with a spouse, partner, parent, son or daughter, friend, or other loved one who’ll help keep you accountable, encourage you, and celebrate with you
- Join a group swim or aquatic exercise class so it’s more fun and you’re more accountable—and more committed if you pay to enroll
- Swim or work out with an exercise buddy, again to add a social element and accountability, and to have someone else who can help you push past struggles and celebrate successes
- Spend time around energetic people who like to work out and frequently talk about it positively
- Build up gradually and set realistic, short-term goals; if you try to do too much too soon, it’s usually de-motivating
- Set goals related to the exercise process, like swimming for 20 minutes straight, rather than goals about results, like achieving a certain swim time or losing a certain amount of weight
- Don’t get caught up in a mindset of absolutes; having a workout routine is important, but, for example, if you can’t meet your exercise commitment one day, don’t dwell on the feeling that you’ve blown the whole week, as this just sets you up to give up
- Change up the types of strokes you focus on or aquatic exercises you do on different days; it’s a more robust workout regimen, and it helps prevent boredom
- Purchase quality swimwear, goggles, swim fins, swim gloves, and other accessories; investing makes you feel more motivated because you won’t want to waste the money, and you’ll feel more like a “real” swimmer or aquatic exerciser
- Remind yourself regularly of the benefits of your fitness regimen, looking at it positively (not as a chore)
- Remind yourself regularly why you’re doing it, too; whether it’s for more energy, weight loss, lowering your blood pressure, stress management, all of these, or something else, keep your reasons in mind
- Note how good you feel mentally and emotionally after a swim or water workout; consider keeping a journal where you record these things to refer to when you’re feeling low on drive
- Track your accomplishments, too—preferably in a journal; being able to reference tangible things like how many pounds you’ve lost or how much your swim time has improved is highly motivating
- Reward yourself at regular intervals when you’ve consistently shown up to your swim or aquatic exercise sessions