Wellbeing & Motivation > How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

4th May 21

Want to stay motivated to exercise? We’ve all experienced those days where we feel tired and uninspired, and we just can’t be bothered to get up and get moving. So how can we combat the dreaded demotivation? Here are our top tips.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Make exercise fun
  2. Create a routine
  3. Be realistic with your goals
  4. Reward yourself
  5. Find a cheerleader

Make exercise fun

elderly women hula hooping outside

One of the best ways to stay motivated to exercise is to find an activity that you enjoy. You are much less likely to go for a run every day or attend that gym class every week if you find it too boring, repetitive or not suited to you. Think about the types of movement that you’ve always enjoyed: dancing? Gymnastics? Swimming? Boxing? When it comes to exercising at home, keep things fresh and interesting by mixing up your exercise equipment and workouts. Make sure you have a great playlist at the ready, too.

Create a routine

someone writing out a workout routine

It takes a little while to get into the swing of things, but once you have your exercise routine, you’ll find it much easier to stay motivated. Of course, make sure you are realistic with your expectations. Don’t feel pressured to exercise every single day, especially if you’re busy with work, children and other commitments. Instead, identify the days where you think you have the time to exercise. That might be thirty minutes on the cross trainer on a Monday and Tuesday, a power walk with a friend on a Thursday afternoon, and swimming with the kids on Sunday mornings.

Be realistic with your goals

elderly people on recumbent bikes at the gym

It’s important to be realistic with your goals as well as your exercise routine. If your fitness goal is too big, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and demotivated. So aim for something a bit more attainable. Maybe you could aim to run two miles by the end of the summer, or achieving a higher resistance and pace on the exercise bike every week. And if you are wanting to achieve a healthier weight through your exercise routine, focus on achievable milestones and longterm lifestyle changes, rather than dropping weight fast.

Reward yourself

woman taking a break in the gym

If you have a lovely reward to focus on, you’ll stay much more motivated to exercise. That could be something as simple as a new pair of trainers, a massage or a meal out with friends. A big incentive would be a new piece of equipment for your home gym, such as a treadmill or some free weights. Think about something you really want, and then make a promise that you’ll treat yourself once you’ve established your exercise routine or achieved a certain goal.

Find a cheerleader

woman exercising energetically in her home

It’s hard to stay motivated by yourself all of the time. So find people who will join your squad and encourage you to stay on track: friends, family members, colleagues. Your cheerleaders should be there to support you and cheer you on, with plenty of words of reassurance and congratulations, as opposed to nagging! When you achieve a goal, whether that’s getting up early three days on the trot to go on the exercise bike, or achieving your first pull up, remember to message your cheerleader and share your news.

You can find even more actionable tips for staying motivated here. Remember, before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.