“I just don’t feel like working out.” It happens to the best of us. Even the most seasoned exerciser can lose motivation from time to time. For others that are new to working out, it can be the one thing that prevents them from hitting the gym on a regular basis. Take a look at our top ten exercise motivation tips and see how they can help you get through those tough days!
1. Set goals – focus on goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). You’ll have a higher amount of success when following these five principles. Not sure where to start? Check out some this free template and see how you can add SMART to your routine:
2. Make it fun – we often thing of exercise as a chore, something that is painful and time-consuming, yet necessary. If you can make it a fun part of your day, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Try joining a recreational sports league, take a group exercise class, or participate in themed-runs or races. You’ll be more likely to adhere if it’s fun, rather than a chore. Take a look at these tips to make the next workout a truly great time:
3. Habitual Exercise – when you wake up each morning, chances are you drink a cup of coffee or take a shower. Exercise can be one of those routines that you get used to, and you’ll soon wonder how you ever went without. It can be as simple as doing some jumping jacks or a dynamic warm-up in your house as soon as you get out of bed. Whatever you choose, make it a regular addition to your daily agenda.
4. Write it down – studies have shown that we’re more likely to stick with things once we write them down. One helpful tip is to plan out your “exercise week” every Sunday and block time in your calendar to achieve those goals. Set electronic reminders on your phone or work computer so that you’re alerted when it’s time to break a sweat! All done? Use one of these excellent resources to log your workouts:
It might be just what you need to keep going!
5. Find a friend – exercising in pairs has been shown to be a more effective adherence mechanism. When there’s someone waiting for you at the gym or on the trail, you’re less likely to stand them up. Even better? You’ll more than likely work out harder than normal since there’s more than just your internal voice telling you to keep it steady. Find a friend or a loved one and make an exercise date!
6. Reward yourself – we all like getting something for our efforts. As you continue on your exercise journey, give yourself a small incentive for sticking with the routine. It can be as easy as a new workout shirt if you average three days of exercise a week, or buying a new pair of running shoes to get you motivated for that upcoming 5k.
7. Be flexible – life gets in the way. It’s important to know the best strategies to overcome obstacles that might prevent you from exercising. Whether it’s travel, injury, illness, or work, we can talk ourselves out of exercise. It’s just as easy to change our plans to incorporate a new gym time for these worst-case scenarios. If you’re stuck, use these resources to overcome fitness obstacles.
8. Think positive – having one of those “don’t want to work out days?” We’ve all been there. Focus on how you’ll feel when it’s over, or how the sun is going to feel on your face while you’re outside getting some fresh air. It’s all about taking the positive energy and using it to the fullest.
9. Pack your bag – before you go to bed, pack your gym bag. It’s ready to go. If it helps, put it by the door or in the car. It’s there. You see it. There’s no excuse.
10. Use a trainer – unless you’ve got a wealth of knowledge and experience with exercise, it can be confusing to create your own workouts. Fortunately, most gyms and fitness centers have personal trainers that can be vital in tweaking your workout and pushing you in ways you might not have thought possible. See if your health club has a trial session to make certain its right for you before you shell out some hard-earned cash. If you can’t find one, or don’t know where to start, IDEA has an excellent search engine for fitness professionals.