How do you find motivation to exercise when you don’t feel like it at all? I ask myself this question quite often. Sometimes it’s easy to pop out of bed and do pilates, and sometimes I get home from work and I’m completely exhausted.
There’s tons of ways to motivate yourself to exercise, and here are just a few of them. Honestly, the things that have helped me the most is logging my exercise and rewarding myself.
- Remember how you feel afterwards. The endorphin rush can last hours after exercising. It’s a high. Just remember how good you felt after your last great workout.
- Make sure you’re having fun. Exercise should be fun. If it isn’t fun, try something different that you enjoy.
- Alone time. Many people take care of their kids, spouse, family, etc, and they don’t make time to take care of themselves. You deserve it. Make yourself a priority.
- Reward yourself. With non-food rewards! Buy yourself a new pair of running shoes after your first goal reached. A new pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus may help me reach my 5k goal in September…
- Set realistic goals. Weight, waist or bicep measurement, or maybe reducing your 5k to less than 30 minutes (my personal goal).
- Train for a 5k. My sister and I just signed up for our first serious 5k in September! Neither of us can run a mile so we’re starting training.
- A workout partner. Having a buddy exercise with you can be one of the greatest motivators. Knowing you are accountable to another person makes a huge difference.
- Read healthy lifestyle blogs. Let me tell you, some of my favorite bloggers (like Inspiralized or The Lean Green Bean) really motivate me to get off my butt and to the gym.
- Your before picture. Take a before picture so you can see how far you’ve come.
- Visualize your “After”. Keep imagining your goal and let it drive you.
- Log your exercise hours. I log my hours spent on calenders that I’ve printed out. It’s so cool to see it add up week by week. The little pink hearts help too…
- Success stories. I love watching Extreme Weight Loss on ABC on Tuesday nights. I swear I’ve teared up every week. If that can’t motivate you, I don’t know what will (kidding… but seriously, emotional stuff).
- Fit into new clothes.
- Relieve stress.
- Time for thinking. Exercise should be the time for you to ponder your problems while letting steam out on the bike or treadmill.
- An upcoming event. Nothing is motivating me right now than being a bridesmaid in two different weddings this year!
What motivates you to stick to your exercise plan?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!
How do I get motivated to work out? Well, I look in the mirror and notice I’ve gained maybe 10 or 12 pounds. My pants don’t close completely any more and I have to get the ponytail holders out to hold them shut. I start sweating when I go up only one flight of stairs and generally feel like a giant slug. A giant slug with cellite. And I don’t even care if I just are a big cup of banana cream pie ice cream. For breakfast. Yep, that’s when it’s time to work out. :)
Zen & Spice says
Hahaha you crack me up Mom!!
Topaz @ The Art of a Beautiful Life says
This is a fantastic list, Emily! These are some great ways to help motivate ourselves, and that is half the battle. Once we get motivated, we are moving. Movement has momentum.
Your number 2 is my number 1. I get so much more exercise when I am doing something I really enjoy. Running on a treadmill just isn’t for me, but running around on a basketball court is a lot of fun. (even if I’m not very good)
Nutrition a la Natalie says
I download new music to motivate me!