10 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Woman Doing Stretching Exercise At Cross Training Box


If you have trouble finding the motivation to exercise, you’re not alone! Though the benefits of exercise are well-known, many people still struggle with getting out there and exercising on a regular basis. From controlling weight to improving heart health, developing muscle tone, strengthening bones and combating depression, exercise can vastly improve your life. You know you should be doing it, but how can you make yourself actually follow through? Check out the slideshow for a few ideas to help keep your eyes on the prize!

10. Take Control of Your Schedule

Schedule of the day. Woman doing sports.


Many people feel they don’t have space in their schedule for exercise, but in reality, you have to make exeercise a priority and carve out blocks of time in your day that are solely dedicated to exercise. Psychologist Susan Bartell suggests putting exercise on your calendar, just like you would an appointment or special event. Take a good look at your schedule and you’ll quickly discover small windows of time that can be used for exercising if you make it a priority!

9. Set Realistic Goals

soccer penalty


Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Setting realistic goals for yourself will make you more likely to succeed. When people try to do too much too soon, they can quickly lose their motivation to exercise. Beginners can start out by exercising 15 minutes a day, 2 or 3 days a week. Ideally, you should aim at doing 2 ½ hours of moderately-intense aerobic activity in a week’s time. You can accomplish this by taking a 30-minute walk 5 times a week. After you meet this goal, challenge yourself accordingly, and always make sure you have a goal in mind!

8. Buy New Workout Clothes

Girl in sportswear exercising in a park


Buying clothing specifically for exercise will reinforce your identity as someone who participates in exercise, and can also serve to get you excited about beginning a new exercise routine. Go shopping for basic, comfortable items such as sports bras, cute tops and bottoms. If you have new clothes, you’ll be more likely to want to wear them, which can serve as great motivation. Feel free to have a little fun with the clothes you choose! Exercise doesn’t have to mean looking shabby.

7. Create Visual Reminders

New Year resolutions


Creating visual reminders can help keep you on track with your exercise routine. Try hanging a picture of yourself on the refrigerator of when you were in the best shape of your life, and use the photo as an inspiration to keep you motivated. Another tip to keep on track with your routine is to keep your exercise equipment in plan sight, according to Fitness Magazine. This will ensure exercise is always in the forefront of your mind. Keep your sneakers, workout clothing and workout equipment within your immediate living space, not stuffed away in a closet!

6. Compete with a Friend

Man and women running on tropical beach at sunset


When you turn exercise into a friendly competition, you may be more likely to try harder in order to win. Creating a competition turns exercise into a group activity instead of just an individual pursuit, and helps keep everyone motivated. Trying to be the winner encourages the success of everyone involved. Try starting up a contest in your office for the most steps walked each day for a week, the most hours spent at the gym in a month, or the highest percentage of body weight lost over a set period of time!

Steve is a fitness guru who is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. Find Steve on LinkedIn!

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