Finding motivation to exercise can be challenging. Mostly I find it’s the mental struggle of getting yourself there. Right?! No one ever complained after they exercised, right? It’s the trouble of beginning and staying with the fitness journey that’s the trouble. Here are some strategies I’ve implemented to make exercise and movement part of my daily routine. Read on for how to find motivation to exercise, and make it enjoyable and sustainable for you.
Exercise Motivation and How to Find It
1. Get rid of your gym membership
Seriously. If you haven’t been to your gym in the last couple of weeks, stop telling yourself next week is going to happen. The gym is like that guy you don’t really like, but will date because he is nice and it gets you out of the house. He isn’t the one, so don’t waste your time, and break it off.
Ok. You don’t actually have to get rid of your gym membership, but the goal is to find what kind of movement actually motivates you.
2. Find something that excites you
Perhaps it’s time to consider different kind of exercise. For a while I was very into stationary bike riding. It was a fun way to exercise, I enjoyed the music and the time went by quickly. Over time I realized that I didn’t see any physical changes in myself so it was time to change to something new.
I switched to hot yoga and the motivation that kept me at that studio for a very long time was seeing my strength and muscle tone increase.
Try a new exercise studio, and focus on finding something that makes you excited to attend the next class.
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3. There’s an App for That
During the pandemic I got a stationary bike and started to exercise at home with the peloton app. I still use the app daily today. For me the variety of different classes keeps me motivated. It also makes it easy for me to exercise at home or at my local YMCA. I also like that there is an instructor and a playlist so I don’t have to think much—just have to allow my body to move.
4. Give yourself incentives
Set small goals for yourself, that have nothing to do with weight loss or food. Getting fit doesn’t mean you get to reward yourself with cheesecake for dinner, but it could mean you get a new workout outfit. After two weeks, I bought myself some new workout clothes.
5. Get a buddy
It really helps to have a friend who is willing to suffer, I mean exercise through a bootcamp with you, or a friend who will try new fitness studios with you. My friends have helped me get to a workout on days that I didn’t have enough self-motivation. Keeping each other accountable helps keep you both on track.
6. Make it Social
You don’t have to wait for Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday or brunch to get together with friends. You don’t have to eat and drink with your friends at all. Instead, try to plan active “dates.” Recently, I went hiking with a friend, and not only did we get a good workout in we also got a few hours to just chat. Paddle boarding, pickleball, or walking dogs together can be a fun way to spend time with friends and burn some calories.
7. Get actual workout clothes
I used to be the girl at the gym wearing old, dirty tshirts that I wouldn’t dare even wear to grocery shop, but felt it was totally acceptable as “gym-wear.” Stop wearing ugly clothes to workout. Invest in good quality and cute outfits that make you feel good. Tights that are breathable and sports bras that are actually supportive help you perform better. Who knew?!
Lately I’ve been into monochromatic looks even at the gym. Something about combining hues of the same color together makes me feel like I have it together.
Another fun way to find that motivation:
For a month of consistent exercising I splurge on a new workout outfit. Shop my favorites below.