Staying Healthy

Motivation to Exercise

How to get yourself motivated to exercise

We all know how important it is to exercise regularly. The benefits of exercise have been touted from the medical establishment, fitness experts, mental health professionals, your mother, and your cat. Getting regular exercise lowers stress levels, strengthens your heart, tones muscles, and gives you that overall good feeling. Yet, many people need the motivation to work out or exercise.
But how can you motivate yourself to exercise when you’re feeling lethargic, fatigued, overworked, and out of time? We’ve put together some tips to get you moving again and out of that couch potato slump.

1. Budget time in your day/week for exercise.

One of the key reasons people aren’t motivated to work out is that they feel they don’t have the time for it. In their minds they think that exercise will take up precious time they don’t already have due to their busy routine. But experts say that if you organize your time and plan it out, either by the month, day, or week, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your goals and establishing a routine that will become part of you just as brushing your teeth in the morning.

2. Change your mindset.

This implies redefining what exercise is. You probably think that exercising requires you to drive to the gym, workout for two hours, then drive back home and that you must do this five to six days a week. Just thinking about this time-sucking routine makes your hair stand on end and there you go, back to the couch. Well, think of exercise as getting in any type of movement or light activity that will increase your heart rate. Think of household tasks or daily activities that you do that could incorporate some type of exercise. If you’re at home and don’t have time to go out or can’t go outside for a walk, then do some jumping jacks, walk in place, do lunges as you walk to the kitchen…I think you get the idea. This way, you’re conditioning your brain that exercise is not a laborious thing you need to do and that you’ll never have the time to do it and of course, you know if you talk to yourself that way, you’ll end up proving yourself right.

3. Find a workout friend or buddy.

Exercising with a friend will probably keep you motivated much longer than if you’d be on your own. This is because a workout buddy will keep you accountable and motivate you to work out even when you don’t want to. Plus, there’s that level of healthy competition. You’ll probably want to keep up with your gym partner and not fall behind.

4. Give yourself permission to take a break.

If you skip a day, or two, or three, or even a week, it’s okay. Did you hear that?? It’s okay. Life happens. You’ll get back on the horse again. One mistake that people make when starting a new routine is that if they don’t do it continuously, then they feel they’ve failed and give up completely. That is that exact opposite of what you should do. Unless you’re training for a bodybuilding competition or a marathon, you do not need to work yourself ragged because you want to tone your body in a month because you’re going on that cruise with the new person you want to impress. Your body probably didn’t get out of shape overnight—it took a few years of overeating and sedentary lifestyle to get there. The same with getting back in shape: the best way to get back in your perfect shape for your body type will be over time.

5. Reward yourself.

You’ve heard of “treat yourself”? Well, yeah! You’ve been exercising and working out regularly so why not reward yourself with a small treat or a big one for that matter? Give yourself a goal, and when you reach that goal, you congratulate yourself for sticking to your plan and staying motivated to do your workout. Remember that goals can be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Your body, your goals, your rules. Know that you will fail while working toward the end result but if you do, pick yourself up and start over. Once you see that exercise has incredible benefits and you’ve incorporated it as part of your living routine, you’ll feel much better. Your body is changing, you’re losing weight, and you look fantastic. So now it’s time to buy that dress, or new shoes, or that watch you were eyeing. Or perhaps, you can take a mini staycation. Whatever floats your boat, do that for yourself.

Find the motivation to workout

Remember, if exercising were easy and everyone loved it then we wouldn’t need posts like this one and you wouldn’t be searching for how to find motivation to exercise. Know that it’s not easy to start anything new, that your mindset has to change, that you need to give yourself a break every so often, and when you succeed, reward yourself.