For anyone that has ever even thought of exercising, you’ll know that it is not always easy to get a daily workout in. Where our motivation might be high the night before, when our alarm goes off in the morning, it’s tough to get out of bed! Or we might be pumped about going to the gym after work, but by the time we clock out, we’re just too tired to follow through with our plan.
There are a lucky subset of people who get so much joy out of exercising, that they will never skip a day, no matter what. Then there’s those who hate exercising so much they don’t even like to think about it. The majority of people are in the middle. They want to exercise, but they can think of a lot of reasons to push it off until it just doesn’t happen.
So what can we do to increase our motivation and make that workout happen every day? I am going to give you a few tips to increase your motivation and get you active! Now you just need to stay motivated enough to read them!
- Do something you enjoy.
It doesn’t matter how motivated you are, if you hate doing something, it is not going to be easy to get it done. Some people love running. I do, but I didn’t used to. I used to look at all the runners on the roads and think they were crazy!
Sometimes I would force myself to go on a run “for the exercise”, but I would hate it the whole time! And I certainly wasn’t jumping out of bed to go on a morning run every day. Some people love yoga. They find it relaxing and rejuvenating.
Others find it painful and boring. Every person will have a different experience with each type of exercise, and this does not mean that one is good and one is bad. It just means they’re different, and people are different! P
lan your exercise based on activities you enjoy. If you don’t know what type of exercise you like, go to a gym and try a few different exercise classes, try walking or hiking on your own or with friends, or go to a practice for a community sports team to see if you want to join. And when you do find something you like, don’t be afraid to try new things to keep your exercise routine interesting.
- Become accountable to someone.
Sometimes gaining motivation to exercise requires some hard work at the beginning. It helps a lot to have someone you can “report to”. This could be a personal trainer or a group instructor, but it doesn’t have to be. You could get a group of friends or family to start exercising with you.
Whether you’re walking together, going to the gym together, or attending a Zumba class together, having others to exercise with can be a lot more fun. Not only do you have someone to exercise with, but you also have someone you have to cancel with if you don’t want to exercise that day. This keeps you more accountable and more likely to follow through with your plan. If you don’t like exercising with a group, you should still tell someone about your exercise plan.
This could be your spouse, coworker, mom, neighbor… whoever. While they’re not likely going to keep close tabs on you, they might ask how your workout was, which will make you want to get it done before they ask!
- Find an exercise you feel competent in.
While you can definitely have fun with any activity whether you’re good at it or not, feeling competent in your ability to exercise is key to increasing your motivation. This of course doesn’t mean that you need to be a pro at the exercise you’re doing on the first try. But if you have a bad knee that hurts when you twist, then you probably shouldn’t take up golf.
Or if you don’t like competition, you probably shouldn’t join a tournament sport team. If the thought of going to a gym terrifies you because you don’t want to “mess up” in front of anyone, then try using exercise videos or hiring a personal trainer to come to your home. While you want to participate in an exercise you feel competent doing, don’t be afraid to push outside your comfort zone too.
You might find you’re really good at racquetball or that you love lifting weights at the gym. So push yourself a little and see what you can do! I bet it’s more than you think!
- Be flexible.
If your exercise plan was to go running before work, but you wake up and it’s pouring rain, don’t cancel your workout for the day – just change your plan. Try doing some plyometrics at home, check the weather to see if it will be raining after work for you to go running then, or leave for work early and hit the gym.
- Make it your choice.
I can tell someone every day that they need to exercise, but until they decide on their own to make the effort to exercise, their motivation will remain low to non-existent. No one likes being told what to do. We all love to feel independent, especially when it comes to choices about our lives and how we manage them.
Exercising is good for you. We all know that. Go back and read all my past blog articles to start to scratch the surface at why you should exercise. Now take accountability for your own health and well-being and exercise. Today. Do it. Now.
The final tip I have for you – being motivated to exercise probably won’t happen overnight, and it definitely doesn’t happen every day.
Push through the tough days, remember the good days, and keep exercising!