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Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

by Byron Hoffman
8 minutes read

Remaining motivated to work out consistently can be very challenging. The following are 15 best practices for ensuring a more consistent workout routine and progressing towards your fitness goal, be it in the beginning stages or a slump.

1) Set Clear, Realistic Goals

Knowing what you want will keep you more focused and motivated. Clear, measurable goals help hold you accountable. Instead of a nebulous end like, “get fit” (what does that even mean?), aim for something specific, like running a 5k in three months, doing a lift with a certain weight, or dropping a designated number of pounds.

2) Find an Exercise You Enjoy 

Enjoyment is a key factor for sticking with your workouts. Find a group class or activity you like it could be Zumba, walking, or something completely different. When you have fun while working out, it won’t feel like a chore; it becomes a reward for you and somehow you don’t realize why some people say that ‘they started loving their gym time after a couple of months hours of regular exercise’.

3) Create a Routine 

How to get consistent? Make it a habit! This means being intentional every day. Set specific days and times for workouts, and stick to these times just like any other important commitment in your calendar. Don’t let anything interrupt your “appointment” for exercise. After a while, it will become second nature to work at these same times

4) Mix It Up

Boredom can stall your motivation. Combine multiple modalities of exercises for a well-rounded workout that will fatigue different muscle groups in different ways and keep things Interesting. Try alternating between a day of cardio, strength training, and flexibility activities. This routine not only helps maintain motivation but also improves overall fitness. Distracting yourself, tracking your progress, and joining a group are some of the top techniques.

5) Track the Progress 

Logging your success can be powerful for so many people. A journal or fitness app can be used to log your workouts and make notes on how you’re improving along the way. Seeing that continuous improvement can drive you to go further than you ever thought possible at times, leaving you with pure happiness at knowing that effort’s being put forth in something that is going to benefit you in plenty of ways.

6) Workout Buddy

Workouts are better with friends. Since I have a friend who supports me through workouts at the gym and attends CrossFit classes with me, I can score some cool exercises that I otherwise wouldn’t try alone; the time passes quickly, and that’s the fun in company. If you can’t find a buddy in person, virtual workout sessions are the way to go.

7) Give In To Temptations

Here, rewards can be most useful. Set up a reward system where you give yourself a prize after reaching certain milestones. So, rewards can be anything from a new piece of workout gear to a day at the spa. Knowing there’s a reward waiting for you can be just the push you need to finish the workout properly.

8) Face it

A fitness journey is as good as the community around you. Making friends with like-minded people or talking to them, even if it’s online, can give you an additional boost. If you have any friends/relatives who also share your fitness level visit gyms and fitness classes to help you stay on track, others can give you support that may drive you to stay committed to exercising.

9) Get into the Groove With Music or Podcasts

Using Music and podcasts can push through hard workouts. Come up with a playlist of songs that get you revved up and keep you motivated during exercise. If that’s not your style, then try listening to high-energy podcasts or audiobooks that you find interesting might make the time fly by without having to even look down at the clock.

10) Visualize Your Success

Visualization can be a powerful tool for motivation. Spend a few minutes each day imagining hitting your fitness goals. What will it feel like? How will it impact your overall health and well-being? How will it change you mentally and physically?

11) Sign Up for a Challenge

Challenges can make your routine more exciting, as well. Sign up for a local event, such as a local race, a charity walk, or an online fitness challenge. If you have kids, start by training with them just for fun until you can join a local triathlon/5K or some other challenge. Having something scheduled to work towards, creates deadlines and provides focus, both of which are highly motivating as far as keeping going with your exercise commitment and being consistent.

12) Professional Help

From private training with a coach, and nutrition assistance to group classes that offer support, guidance, and camaraderie, we’ve got it all at Jersey Strong. Having a professional to guide you can maintain motivation and make your workouts even more efficient.

13) Celebrate The Small Wins 

Celebrate small victories as they come. The small steps to the goal are all that keep you moving; it’s all progress, regardless of the scale. Acknowledge where you win and stay consistent, for small wins build momentum and instill confidence toward long-term commitment.

14) Make It Easy

Accessibility plays an integral role in keeping to a fitness regimen, so select a gym or place that you frequent to save on traveling time. Not able to make it to the gym? No problem. Grab a few basic pieces of equipment and designate a workout space in your home (dumbbells, resistance bands, yoga mat) to get you up and running in no time.

15) Recommit to Your Why

Reminding yourself of the reasons that you started in the first place will help prevent any drop in motivation. If you know when you first felt drawn toward being physically fit, recall that moment. Put your reasons somewhere strategic, and if your commitment starts to wane, go back and read them.

In conclusion, I do believe in another quote “There’s an app for that.” The list of apps includes options for everything from logging nutrition to creating workout plans to sharing your progress on social media platforms. You may face from mild demotivation to serious anxiousness to visit any weight room at any gym or local fitness center. So, when your prime goal is to stop yourself from ever falling behind, download some health, diet, and fitness applications to keep track of your developments while taking care of your everyday lifestyle decisions.

Citations:

  1. Healthline. (2020). How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals You’ll Actually Achieve.
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine.
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). How to start exercising and stick to it.
  4. Verywell Fit. (2021). How to Create a Workout Routine.
  5. American Heart Association. (2021). The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations.
  6. WebMD. (2021). Fitness Motivation.

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