Exercise is good for us, and we all know it. Exercising can help keep our bones and cardiovascular system healthy, boost our energy, increase our metabolism, and help us lose or maintain weight while keeping our muscles toned and strong. Exercise also encourages the release of chemicals in our bodies called endorphins, which can relieve stress and ease pain and anxiety, thus improving our immunity and helping us sleep soundly.

So, if exercise is so good for us, why don’t we regularly do it? One study conducted in 2009 concluded that 50% of people that begin an exercise program quit in the first six months. Anyone who has worked out knows how easy you can run out of motivation to exercise. The good news is that even just a small change can make a big difference when it comes to increasing your motivation.

Exercise Motivation Made Easy

If you have trouble staying active, then make sure you continue reading this article, where I share some tips on how to stay motivated to exercise regularly!

1. Switch to A Positive Mindset

It is important to switch your mindset if you really don’t like the idea of exercise. For instance, if you’re resistant to exercising, try thinking of it as feeling healthy or being active. Increasing the overall amount of activity and movement in your day is a great way to get started.

In an ideal situation, you will find a way of exercising that you will want to do and can enjoy. But, if you have a struggle with finding something that you like to do, think about exercise the same way you see brushing teeth – even though you don’t love it, it’s good for you, so you continue to do it anyway.

Scrabble tiles that say "Be Positive".

2. Find A Friend To Workout With

Even though there are people who prefer to work out solo, there are also those who might need a bit of a push. Scheduling a workout with a group or a friend can give these people the boost they need.

It is less likely that you will head home or hit the snooze button if you know you’re leaving your workout buddy all alone. Being a part of a group or having a workout partner can really help you get off the couch. It is always exciting to have people around you who share the same goals.

Two girls working out at the gym.

3. Reward Yourself

Growing stronger, fitting into your old clothes, and having abs are all rewards in themselves. However, all of these things are impossible to achieve if you can’t commit to working out. For this reason, a more tangible system for rewards must be in place. Rewards can be in the form of new workout clothes or a cheat day meal. By doing this, you will reap the benefits of exercise while feeling good about yourself.

Hamburger, fries, and a sauce on a tray.

4. Make Training More Appealing

If you hate training, you can bundle it with an activity that you like to do. This is a method called temptation building, and it includes combining activities that you want to do and that bring you gratification with activities that you should do and require the exertion of willpower.

For instance, if you like listening to less-than-scholarly audiobooks, but you consider it to be an indulgent activity, you can fill up your device with your favorite audiobooks and listen to them while you exercise. This can definitely help you get into a workout groove and help you solve your willpower problems.

A girl with headphones while tying up her shoelaces at the gym.

5. Have Seasonal Activities

You know your exercise routine can get very dull if you’ve been following it all year. Changing your activities seasonally is an amazing way to keep yourself motivated.

New opportunities to keep moving are always brought about by new seasons. Summer and spring are great for golfing, surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and swimming. In the winter, activities like sledding, ice-skating, and cross-country skiing are fun and exciting activities to burn calories.

A person on a track wearing a skiing suit and skiing.

6. Take Your Exercising Outdoors

Keeping your routine fresh is a part of staying motivated. Going outside and exercising there can give you the change in scenery you need. Exercising outside can boost energy while increasing our levels of vitamin D. Studies have also shown that time spent in nature has been associated with good health and wellbeing.

The best thing about it is, it’s completely free. Jog or bike through your neighborhood or do your exercise routine at a nearby park. You can also try to find some trails that you can hike on. If you live near a river, lake, or beach, kayaking and swimming are also great options to get active outside.

Three people hiking outside in the woods.

7. Music Can Lift the Mood

There’s nothing that can get you moving, like some music while you’re working out. A study conducted in 2019 has shown that motivational and upbeat music gave an overall feeling of enjoyment, better performance, and higher heart rates to participants than if they hadn’t listened to music or had listened to a podcast.

Having an artist sing to you while you’re getting on a treadmill can be really reassuring. You can easily make your own playlist of songs you enjoy working out to, but there are also a lot of playlists ready to be played on apps like YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify. These platforms offer a variety of playlists that keep you pumped up while exercising.

A person opening their AirPods.

Final Thoughts: How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

Even though we all know the benefits of exercising, it’s not always easy to find the motivation to exercise. If you’re a casual exerciser who wants to sweat more often but struggles to find the motivation to work out, we hope that the tips we provided will assist you in doing so.

Keep in mind that what motivates you can change from day to day. This means that you should dig deep to find that reward, goal, or thought that will get you moving today.


If you are looking for more exciting information on the mind-body connection, make sure to check our Sports Psychology page.

Tose Zafirov in a black shirt and a bowtie staring directly at the camera wearing black sunglasses

Author:

Tose Zafirov

Bodybuilding and Fitness Expert

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