October 31, 2023 7 min read
Life's numerous demands and distractions can be a massive challenge when it comes to maintaining motivation for a consistent workout routine. Yet, the benefits, both physical and mental, of regular exercise are undeniable. A 2009 study found that 50% of those who begin an exercise program quit within the first 6 months.
Whether you're a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a beginner, just starting your journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle, finding the best strategies to stay motivated is crucial.
In this article, we will explore techniques and tips that will help you remain inspired, committed, and excited about your training.
Whether your goal is to lose weight so you can fit into that favorite pair of jeans again, build strength, or enhance your overall well-being.
The list of health benefits of working out is endless.
Exercise can help you feel more energetic, increase your metabolism, keep your bones and cardiovascular system healthy, and help you lose weight while keeping your muscles strong and toned. Furthermore, exercise improves mental health, boosts immunity, promotes better sleep, and enhances the body’s release of endorphins, chemicals that can relieve stress, anxiety, and pain.
Bottom line, there’s no doubt that staying active benefits the body and mind. But if you’re looking to start getting fit, you’re definitely going to need workout motivation tools to keep you on track.
Here are some strategies that will serve as your guide to overcoming the common hurdles of exercise motivation, ensuring you stay on the path to a healthier, more vibrant you.
If you have fun and enjoy your workouts, staying motivated will come easily.
To each his own, you might be a loner who loves jogging on your own with earbuds, an MP4 player, and your favorite music, while others crave the fun of Zumba dancing in large group classes.
Many people find that a gym membership and regular fitness classes provide all the motivation they need.
Some people require nothing more than their gym junkie communities to keep them accountable and motivated to work out. They'll happily clock into the gym day after day to challenge themselves to achieve more. Others lose motivation if they can't find ways to break the monotony of their workout sessions.
Most importantly, get your sweat on doing something you enjoy!
Because as soon as it starts to feel like punishment, motivation evaporates, and excuses take their place!
Being adventurous might bring the magic back, especially during the seasons that allow outdoor exercise options.
Some choose yoga and Pilates in the park or on the beach.
Others enjoy biking, walking, hiking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding, or why not play golf, tennis, or beach volleyball?
As a bonus, exercising outdoors can help increase your vitamin D levels, while boosting energy.
Outdoor exercise options for burning calories in the colder months include sledding and cross-country or downhill skiing, not to mention raking leaves and shoveling snow right there in your backyard.
The list of ways to maintain motivation to exercise is endless, and often based on personal needs and preferences. Here, we’ve listed some of the more general ways to stay motivated.
Staying motivated on your fitness journey is easier if you set a clear, but specific goal that is realistic and achievable. It can help you focus and inspire you to take the first steps of your physical fitness journey.
Take one step at a time by breaking your long-term goal up into smaller milestones that will provide frequent moments of achievement to motivate you to continue and work toward the next milestone. When setting goals, remember that it's about you. Don't base your goals on the expectations of others.
Once you've got your goal in place, it's time to assess your workout personality. Consider exercise types and the surroundings where you would feel most comfortable working out.
Sit down and list your likes and dislikes. What will be your best workout? Do you want your workouts to provide some much-needed alone time, or would you prefer your workouts to be social?
Do you enjoy working with dumbbells and kettlebells, or do you prefer doing bodyweight exercises?
Are you looking for some Zen in your life, fast-paced HIIT, boot camps, strength training, or weightlifting that will leave your muscles burning?
Don't forget to consider your preferences for air-conditioned workout areas or the outdoors.
Once you've got your workout personality sorted, it’s time to get to your workout plan. Decide where, when, and for how long you will exercise.
The next important step is to design your workout routine, leaving room for changing it around before it becomes monotonous, which could be detrimental to your level of motivation.
Research shows that having a daily routine that incorporates physical activity helps promote regular exercise.
If your hectic lifestyle makes it difficult to commit to specific exercise times, the 3 × 10 rule might make it easier. Commit to three 10-minute workouts of any kind per day.
Take a bicycle ride to work and back, making it a significant part of your daily commitment. You can make the third a 10-minute swimming session, or a brisk walk.
Take a 10-minute walk, three times a day, and if you have kids, you can even make one of those a family walk.
Weather permitting, join the family for a 10-minute bicycle ride, or swap out the evening outdoor activity for a few indoor squats, pushups, and crunches, and you’ll have a total-body workout.
Don't forget that even mowing the lawn and raking up leaves can count as a 10-minute workout session.
All of these 10-minute mini-workouts add up quickly, and the variety is almost endless.
Even after you've made your choice of workout you enjoy, it’s still crucial to change things up regularly, or risk becoming bored and losing motivation. Working in the odd Zumba session, to break up your strength-building routine, or just changing around the sequence of your cardio workouts can avoid monotony.
Research done by the University of British Columbia polled 367 adults over the course of six weeks. Those who felt like their workouts contained the most variety were more likely to enjoy their workouts.
Identify and address potential obstacles that might derail your motivation. This could be a lack of time, fatigue, or lack of access to a gym, and then find solutions. For example, if you struggle to stick to your home workout, consider using fitness apps, and get a workout buddy or family member to join you for a fitness routine that suits both of you.
A professional can provide guidance, accountability, and personalized workouts to keep you motivated. Your personal trainer can also make sure you perform your exercise routine with proper form to limit injury risks. Even if they just check in occasionally.
Signing up for a 5k race, an obstacle race, or a CrossFit competition typically provides way more motivation than working out to fit into those jeans again.
Choose an event on a date that allows you a few months to get ready and train.
Training for a special event like a race or fitness competition can encourage you to get up and going in the morning.
Signing up and paying the entry fee in advance will commit you to getting to work on being ready for the day of the competition or race.
Among fitness enthusiasts, there is never a shortage of challenges. Use monthly challenges like a plank challenge, squat challenge, weight loss challenge, etc. to motivate you. Don’t stop there. Share your results on social media — which will give you the opportunity to show off your workout clothes!
The value of a supportive gym community or working out with a bunch of friends is more motivating than you might think.
In one study of Oxford University rowers, when team members exercised together, their bodies released much more feel-good endorphins than when they worked out solo. This made them look forward to the next team workout.
Music can keep you focused and motivated on your fitness journey. So, spend some time perfecting your playlist.
Not only does listening to music while working out relieve boredom, but it can also enhance your mood, increase your stamina, and improve the overall quality of your exercise session.
According to Scientific American, music distracts people from fatigue and pain and reduces perceived effort. It is mood-enhancing, increases endurance, and may even promote metabolic efficiency. Listening to music can make people swim faster, bike longer, and run farther than usual—often without realizing it.
Several studies have confirmed the motivational power of music while exercising.
For example, in one 2015 McMaster University study in which exercisers were tasked with performing sprint-interval workouts both with and without music, 95% of them said they had more fun during the musical workouts.
Never underestimate the power of sticky notes. Plastering positive messages to motivate you from the moment you open your eyes until bedtime.
Stick one on your alarm clock, the bathroom mirror, the fridge, and inside the front door to remind you of your goal as you leave the house.
And plastering a sticky note on your computer monitor at work can further help you to stay focused on smaller milestones.
Sticky notes serve a dual purpose. They allow your friends, family, and even colleagues who see the notes to encourage and motivate you to persist in your fitness quest.
So, there you have it, a toolbox of strategies to help you stay motivated and keep those workouts going strong. Remember, it's okay to have days when motivation wanes – we're all human. What matters most is your commitment to get back on track.
Stay focused on your fitness goals, keep things fun, and enlist the support of friends or family. This journey is about enjoying the ride, learning from your experiences, and, most importantly, taking good care of yourself. Keep moving, keep smiling, and keep working towards a healthier, happier you. Only use top-quality supplements.
You've got this!