We all know that we should be exercising regularly. It’s what will keep us feeling healthy, happy, and stable. However, knowing that and actually doing it are two very different things! We always start out with the best of intentions. We’ll go to the gym or take a walk every day this week. And then, life happens. We’re tired, stressed, or just plain old don’t want to. And that’s okay! We all do this. However, regular exercise is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. When we regularly exercise, we are investing in our health and giving ourselves the chance to live longer and better. Here are 10 tricks to help us get (and stay!) motivated to exercise regularly.
1. Set Small Goals
Setting an attainable goal is a great way to get and stay motivated as we exercise. When we know that something is within our reach, it can help us stay motivated. Having big goals, like running a marathon or losing 50 pounds, are excellent, but they take a long time to achieve. So, if we break down our goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, then we can more easily stay motivated. We should always start with smaller, doable tasks. When we achieve them, we’ll get a sense of accomplishment and can then set bigger goals that will take more work.
2. Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal or calendar can help us stay on track when we feel like quitting. It’s hard to justify skipping the gym when we can physically see how consistent we have been! We can also use our journal to keep track of what exercises we’ve done and how we felt afterward. We can also include our mood, diet, and energy levels. This will help us identify patterns, both good and bad. It helps us know which workouts motivate us the most and which ones we can skip.
3. Reward Yourself
You may have heard of rewarding yourself for losing a certain number of pounds. But what if we chose different goals to celebrate? Whenever we are having trouble staying consistent, then we could decide to reward ourselves for exercising a certain amount of time, like five days in a row. Or, if we’re looking to increase our strength, we could consider rewards for every time we reach a specific goal: like lifting a certain weight or completing a set of reps that seems a little impossible right now. We just need to be sure to reward ourselves with non-food treats. Indulging in too many sweets will undo all of our hard work and eventually set ourselves up for failure. Instead, we can choose something we enjoy, like buying a new book, getting a massage, or buying a new gadget that helps us do our favorite hobby.
4. Set a Schedule
Having a set schedule for workouts will help anyone remain consistent. When we commit to working out at a specific time every day, it will become a priority. We can then build our schedule around this dedicated time for exercise. This eliminates stress about getting a workout in and will help us remember that we need to reach our goals for the day.
5. Vary Workout Types
It’s very easy to get bored by doing the same workout over and over again. Doing different types of exercise will keep us from getting burned out from doing the same thing every day. For example, fitness experts recommend alternating cardio and strength training. This way, no one has to do the same exact exercise every day! It’s also a good idea to change up what types of activities we do. For cardio, we can run, walk, cycle, hit the gym, or do calisthenics. For strength training, we can use dumbbells, barbells, machines, and resistance bands.
6. Recruit Others
Having friends to workout with makes getting up and getting out much, much easier. Walking with a friend is a wonderful time to chat and catch up. More strenuous exercises like running, cycling, or aerobics classes can be more fun if we have someone to suffer with. Friends are also great support when we feel like not going. If at least one of you wants to go, chances are high that you will too! If there is no one to work out with, then we can ask our friends and family to support us. When we tell others about our goals, it makes them more real. We’re much more likely to stick with them if we know someone is going to ask about it.
7. Buy Good Gear
Having proper workout gear is essential to having a good work out! When we feel good and are comfortable, we are much more likely to want to do things. This same concept applies to workouts. When we have on comfortable sports bras, tops, and leggings, we are much more likely to put them on. And comfortable shoes can make or break a cardio session! So, we should look at workout gear as an investment in our health. We shouldn’t feel guilty about purchasing clothes that make us feel good and help us want to work out! We are all allowed to spring for those cute leggings or perfect shoes.
8. Use Music or Audiobooks
Sometimes, the best thing to get us going is to find something we are looking forward to and save it for the workout. We can use either our favorite music or a new audiobook to help us moving and in the gym.
Our Move to Music 21-Day Challenge in Wysefit App is a great place to start – it was specifically designed to help retain strong exercise habits with the help of music and humor!
9. Change Your Mindset
Oftentimes, we only workout because we want to lose a few pounds or look good in a special dress or bathing suit. But what if we change why we want to workout? Instead of working towards a goal for how we look, let’s work towards our health. Regular exercise is what will keep us healthy and happy as we get wiser. We want to keep up with our kids and grandkids, and working out will help us do that! We want to travel, try new things, and take time for ourselves. Working out will help us do that as well! When we focus on the practical benefits of exercise, it’s a lot easier to put our shoes on and get out the door.
10. Have Fun!
Exercise doesn’t have to be 30 minutes of hating life on the treadmill. We are allowed to have fun when we work out! So, we should always keep in mind what activities we enjoy and how we can use those to exercise. DSports? Is there something we’ve always wanted to try and never got around to it? Now is the time! There is no reason we can’t take up a new skill or activity. We can try ballroom dancing, martial arts, yoga, weight lifting, tennis, and more. If we are excited and joyful about our workouts, then we will actually do them! And even better, we’ll look forward to them!
Getting a great workout is essential, but that doesn’t always mean it is easy. The good news is that we can make it easier on ourselves by using the tricks above to help us get motivated and stay motivated. Staying consistent is key to seeing changes in our health and mood. And remember, there is no time like the present. Don’t worry if it’s a Wednesday or Sunday, morning or evening. Get up and get going. Once we get moving, we won’t regret it!