How to Stay Motivated to Work Out
Motivation to work out can challenge even the most dedicated exercisers from time to time. And for those who view sweat sessions as more of a chore than a pastime, it can be a greater struggle to maintain a consistent routine.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to boost your commitment and fuel your motivation to work out. You have to be intentional about it, but a few simple adjustments can make a big difference. Consider implementing some — or all — of the following strategies:
1. Schedule Time to Work Out
Let’s face it — it’s unlikely that you’ll just “find” time to exercise. It’s best to commit to a specific number of workouts each week, and list them in your calendar, just like you would a class for school or a work meeting. Do your best to protect this time. If something interferes, quickly reschedule your work out rather than skip it altogether.
If you’re like many people who are working from home and working out in a home gym these days, a scheduled work out could be a great way to mark the end of your official work day.
Be flexible and remember that any workout is always better than no workout.
2. Be Ready to Work Out
If you’re an early morning exerciser, lay out your clothes, pack your sports bag (if you’re headed to the gym), and fill your water bottle the night before. Include everything you need so you can get up and go without wasting time looking for your earbuds. The same applies for exercise after work — have all of your gear in your car and ready to go.
3. Embrace Variety When Exercising
Love to run and want to run every day? Go for it. But if you get bored with the same workouts week after week, then take on something different. Try a strength training session, a high-intensity workout, join a yoga class, or hit the trails with your bike.
Check out online workouts or pick up some new fitness equipment or accessories for at-home regimens. And if your home gym needs a change of scenery, try taking your work out equipment to the park or the beach.
4. Enlist Motivational Support
Accountability is your friend when it comes to exercise adherence. That can come in the form of a workout buddy who’s counting on you for those morning walks. It may be your small group training or fitness class community that calls you out when you don’t show up.
For some, hiring a personal trainer can be a powerful motivator that ensures regular workouts. For others, fitness apps offer the regimen of a trainer with the flexibility of working around your on-the-go schedule. If that sounds more up your alley, consider the YBell Fitness App, which comes with lots of free and subscription workouts, regardless of your level of expertise.
5. Set Goals, and Smash Them!
Committing to a specific goal, like doing Pilates twice a week, mastering 20 push-ups, or running a virtual 10K, helps keep your eyes on the prize so you persevere through your regimen. Establish goals that are challenging, but realistic, so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
6. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
When you accomplish a goal or have stayed faithful to your routine over time, celebrate your progress by treating yourself to a new workout outfit, a massage, or something that you enjoy.
7. Adjust Your Mindset
Consciously shift your thinking from “I have to work out” to “I get to work out.” Rather than complaining that you don’t have washboard abs, be grateful for what your body can do. Enjoy the freedom of movement as a valuable investment in your health and quality of life.
Remember, staying motivated to work out is about making your workouts easy and fun. Before you know it, you might even start looking forward to it!
For more than 25 years, Julie King has been a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, holding certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, the Aquatic Exercise Association and Schwinn/Mad Dogg Athletics. She also has extensive continuing education and instruction experience in PiYo, YogaFit and mat Pilates.
Over her career, Julie has led virtually every class format at commercial health clubs, corporate fitness centers, wellness centers, schools and online. A contributing editor for Club Business International magazine, she has been published in Club Industry, Fitness Management, Club Solutions, National Fitness Trade Journal and Gear Trends/SNEWS.
With a M.S. in Kinesiology and a B.S. in Journalism, Julie is passionate about helping others to cultivate a love and habit of exercise.