Whether you exercise regularly or are a newbie, there will come a time when you don’t feel like getting your workout on. You might prefer the comfy couch and a bag of chips over huffing and puffing and sweating in the gym. During times like these, there are various things you can do to motivate yourself to exercise.
Goals and Rewards
Setting realistic goals and rewarding yourself when you achieve them is a good way to motivate yourself to stick to your workout routine. If you’re new to exercise, a short-term goal can be to exercise at least three days a week for 10 minutes. As time progresses, you can slowly increase your exercise duration and frequency, ultimately aiming to reach a long-term goal, which can be to finish a 5K walk. After achieving your goals, rewards are in order; buy yourself a new book or workout top. Give yourself something to look forward to.
The Exercise Buddy
Working out with a friend holds you accountable to show up. Your workout also becomes more of a social engagement that you might start looking forward to. Your friend can double as a spotter and you can motivate each other to keep going. Another alternative is getting a personal trainer. Knowing that he’s expecting you to show up, will make it harder to flake on your workout.
Schedule Your Workout
Excuses are a dime a dozen, and can keep you from getting your workout in. To avoid this, schedule your workout sessions ahead of time. Write them on a calendar as if they are important meetings that you can’t afford to miss. This way, you’re forced to schedule other obligations around your workout. If you must, get up a little earlier to exercise, or divide your exercise into several sessions over the day.
Many people stop exercising because they find it boring. To keep this from happening, find activities that you enjoy doing. Exercise doesn’t always mean running on a treadmill or using weightlifting machines. There are other ways to exercise that you might find more enjoyable. For instance, take a dance class, participate in group sports, go swimming, play tag with the kids and try different classes that are offered at the gym. Also, add variety to your routine. Avoid constantly doing the same exercises. Keep challenging your body with new exercises.
MayoClinic.org: Fitness: Tips for Staying Motivated
Healthy Women: Get Motivated: The Workout You Won’t Cancel
Gaiam Life: 5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly