How to motivate yourself to exercise

December 19, 2022 | by Angie Ruggiero
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Many of us have our own fitness goals for the new year, which may include weight loss, muscle gain or just wanting to be healthier. Though we set out to reach these goals, many of us struggle to stay motivated.

Here are few fitness tips to help you stay focused:

  • Create a workout schedule. Let’s be honest, our schedules can get hectic. When you make time on your calendar for exercise, it becomes part of your regular routine. It may be rough the first few days, but you’ll be less likely to decline a workout once it’s become a habit. How do you do it? Review your upcoming week and figure out the most practical time to exercise. For instance, exercising before work may give you time to relax and complete other tasks later. Or, hitting the gym (or participating in an online fitness class) after work may make more sense for you.

  • Use S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. These are elements that help you create effective goals.
  1. Specific – What muscle groups are you targeting? What exercises are you doing to target those muscle groups? Avoid being vague.
  2. Measurable – How much are you lifting, running, etc.? How many sets or repetitions are you completing? How much distance or time? Make sure you can measure your baseline and future progress.
  3. Attainable – Can you reach your goal? Pick a goal that you will be able to achieve, yet one that still challenges you.
  4. Relevant – Why does this matter to you? What is the purpose behind your goal? Make sure you have a reason behind what you are doing.
  5. Timely – When do you want to accomplish this goal? How long will it take? Identify your timeline and make an appropriate progression.
  • Make it convenient. There are many barriers to working out, such as time, weather and location. People often have the mindset to exercise but get caught up in a distraction, such as TV, a cozy bed or a friend they run into. To steer clear of anything convincing of a lazy day, make exercising more convenient. For instance, keep a gym bag on hand so you are always prepared for a workout.

  • Create a playlist. Music has a way of moving people. Use it to your advantage. Put together a playlist that is customized specifically for you. The idea of the playlist is to get your body and mind in sync so you perform your best.

  • Be reasonable. Many people have trouble sticking to a fitness routine because they go overboard in the beginning and get burnt out. Start small and work your way up. A quick workout is better than no workout.

  • Partner up. You don’t have to exercise on your own. A workout partner can be your best friend, co-worker or even a family member. You can hold each other accountable to fitness goals, push each other to sweat harder, or even to help spot each other. A partner is an additional incentive to working out. After all, who wants to let their partner down?

  • Make it fun. You'll be more likely to stick to your exercise routine if you have fun doing it. For instance, if you hate running, try power walking. If staying on a cardio machine seems boring to you, take a cardio or dance class instead. Go mall walking or bundle up and go window shopping in a cute downtown area. Again, you will more likely to commit to exercising if you choose activities you enjoy. 

Getting started is one thing, but it isn’t just about how you start, it is how you finish too.

Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.

View fitness center classes and programs

Watching Big Game 750x500

Preparing for the “Big Game”

What’s your reason for watching the NFL’s championship game this year? Are you a huge football fan, anticipating the...

Read More

Healthy relationship 750x500

5 signs of a healthy relationship

It can be difficult to find perspective when you’re in the thick of something. We strive for healthy relationships but...

Read More

Man in puffy coat 750x500

Winter blues? How to boost your mood

Gray skies, cold air, and the end of holiday celebrations can leave you in need of a serious mood boost. If you’re...

Read More