7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Work Out
Maintaining your fitness and a healthy weight has never been more important than it is right now, but it seems at odds with the availability of labour-saving devices that make life easier.
Without any external pressures anymore, how do you motivate yourself to keep up with regular exercise?
If you are just starting out on your fitness journey, how do you stay motivated to workout?
This can be difficult for many people.
They start off with a lot of energy and excitement but then they quickly lose steam after a few weeks or even days. In this article, we'll discuss 7 ways that will help keep the workouts coming!
Make space in your calendar
As so many of us have been given the gift of time recently, maybe blocking the same time you'd commute to/from work out in your calendar and spend that time on a workout instead.
If you typically had a long commute to work, invite your workout clothes and sneakers off of your closet floor and back into your daily routine.
If you’re up early enough for an early morning workout at home, try finding a few noontime/weekday classes in the area that fit with your schedule.
Your first impulse might be to workout in the morning, before you get into your routine of the day but don't beat yourself up too much if an early workout doesn't work for you.
You still have the "home-commute" time for an evening session for when your thoughts are a little more gathered to ensure that you still get a workout in.
Make yourself accountable: Sign up for live classes
If you need a little extra incentive, live classes can be motivating for people who are getting back into fitness.
Signing up for live classes will give you that last kick in the butt and force you to grab your training kit and attend the class, while watching an online video of personal trainer may not have the exact same effect...
Shake up your workout
Getting stuck in an exercise rut is likely to lead to a serious loss of motivation so try to have a mix of all the different types of workouts that you love the look of and that you can fall back on when things get a little same-y...
If you are a fan of HIIT, try adding in some yoga or Pilates as well.
Yoga and Pilates will challenge your body to move different ways, work on your flexibility, balance, posture; and it'll give you a good low-impact cardio workout.
Don’t set the bar too high
Much as most of us would wish for that magic wand that'd make us as fit as we could ever possibly want, nothing happens overnight.
The best thing to do is to start small; aim to workout a couple of times each week - once you have established a routine, start to build up the frequency.
The mistake many of us make is that we start going ham at it from the very beginning and it tends to have the opposite effect, ie. a month in and we're already looking to hide our gym gear at the back of our wardrobes...!
As a side-bar; rest days are good for you, both for your body and your mind. Your body needs time to recover which is why exercise should not be a "one and done"-type of thing. It’s much more sustainable if you build a healthier lifestyle that will last long-term.
Lose the excuses
We've all been there; a couple of hours out from starting your afternoon workout session or class and that little devil on your shoulder starts whispering in your ear: "You don't really need to do this, you had a walk earlier (food shop)", or "I just go too many deadlines coming up, I haven't got the time", etc...
Before you know it, your class/session is almost finished and you are still sitting at your desk/on your sofa, having completely spaced on the promise you made to yourself.
Don't do that - don't be that person; you owe it to yourself spend that time and exert that energy that would otherwise, most likely, go to waste.
The MOST important thing here is really that you move your body - that's it! It doesn't have to be hard, it doesn't have to be complicated (it doesn't even have to be a whole class/session), it just has to be something...
Find yourself a workout buddy
Sometimes we just need that little extra push and finding a workout buddy or accountability partner is an incredibly useful tool.
Whether that's a family member, friend, work colleague or even a professional (ie. personal trainer), having someone who, if nothing else, you would have to cancel (and then explain why) is usually a good motivator to get you there, be it outside or into the gym.
It may be a good excuse to have a catch-up and a natter - as long as you both know you are reliable and will call you out if you don't at least try to stick to the workout schedule!
Set your goals and celebrate your wins
Set small, personal goals and challenges for yourself. Make the challenges either solo or team-based. Either way, you'll feel good about reaching your goal at the end of it all.
Be sure to celebrate them too... Every little win deserves to be celebrated - it is easy to skip over them because they seem insignificant to some, however, if you set the goal then it matters to you and so you should mark the occasion.
It doesn't have to be a big thing - just something to let you know you've reached one of your milestones.
Staying motivated to work out is hard - we get it! That's why we've compiled our favorite ways for staying psyched about your workouts and getting the most of them, no matter what you're doing or how much time you have on a given day.
Check these out for some motivation today: Find an activity that makes you feel good; whether it's running outside in the early hours of the morning or after dark, taking up yoga before work, or indulging in a post-workout snack because this one isn't negotiable; take care of yourself first so that when you do prioritize exercise, it WILL be worth it.
Don't underestimate small changes - changing where and when your workout happens can make all the difference in keeping up your motivation.
Don't compare yourself to others - it's too easy, and ultimately futile; instead of feeling bad about how you're not where they are right now, focus on what you CAN do today, tomorrow or even next week.
Remember why you started in the first place: whether that be for a better body image or to improve your overall health and fitness, something made you take that first step.