23 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
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Are you searching for ways to stay committed and motivated to working out? Or are you trying to figure out how to make exercising a permanent habit?
You are not alone.
Many people usually start with an exercise program all excited and pumped up. However, as time goes by, their enthusiasm for working out dwindles. They start making excuses for not showing up for workout appointments.
No matter how seriously committed they are to their fitness goals, there are some people who end up feeling deflated and unsure how to stay on track with their workouts. (Side note: It's important to know from the start if you're your motivation stems from something intrinsic or extrinsic.)
They begin to think that they’re just too lazy to keep their commitment to personal fitness. Some even develop gym anxiety and steer clear of gyms and other fitness hubs all together, out of a perception that they can’t stay on track. This post details other challenges that can prevent you from exercising.
Perhaps, like these people, you need inspiration to keep going.
In today’s post, you will discover 25 ways to motivate yourself to work out. These techniques are guaranteed to develop your self-discipline and establish a pattern that will help you build a solid, healthy habit of working out.
What You Will Learn
- How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
- 1. Surround yourself with motivational quotes.
- 2. Get a workout buddy.
- 3. Think about how working out makes you feel.
- 4. Set reachable goals for yourself.
- 5. Treat yourself to some new workout clothes and equipment.
- 6. Put your workout gear in a highly visible area.
- 7. Create a playlist to get you moving.
- 8. Tell yourself that you’ll do just a warm-up.
- 9. Imagine pictures of you when you don’t look your best.
- 10. Choose an exercise that is fun to do.
- 11. Strap a fitness tracker on.
- 12. Book a non-refundable fitness class.
- 13. Place your alarm clock away from the bed.
- 14. Lay out your workout gear the night before.
- 15. Take it one day at a time.
- 16. Make technology your friend.
- 17. Tap into your competitive self.
- 18. Follow a specific fitness program.
- 19. Join a 30-day challenge.
- 20. Develop a positive self-image.
- 21. Work out with a personal trainer.
- 22. Read stories of people just like you who succeeded in their goals.
- 23. Stay active by finding a hobby.
Several of the tips we’ll be discussing today are designed to help you establish an exercise habit. This begins with creating an ideal environment for you to stay on track, whether or not you have the will power to do so.
There are also recommendations that truly give you that extra jolt of awareness to keep you motivated and enthusiastic about moving towards your goal—that is, to become a healthier version of you.
I hope that the techniques I’ve listed here can help you experience the joy of coming home after a workout session and knowing that you’ve done something that positively benefits you.
Let’s get started.
How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
1. Surround yourself with motivational quotes.
You can use different colors of Post-Its to stick quotes that motivate you everywhere. They will serve as constant reminders for you to get going and just do what you have to do.
You may want to visit this post and choose from 83 quotes about never giving up to find the one that best resonates with you.
2. Get a workout buddy.
Having the right person stand next to you and cheer you on as you do your sit-ups is an excellent way to get hyped up about keeping fit. A good workout buddy helps you become accountable for your progress in achieving your workout goals.
3. Think about how working out makes you feel.
When your interest in working out is flagging, envision the outcome of your exercise routine and how good you’ll feel. For most people, this is motivation enough to not throw in the towel.
Other benefits you’ll get immediately after a workout include feeling more relaxed, your brain cells are renewed, and your blood sugar levels return to normal. Now, who doesn’t want that?
4. Set reachable goals for yourself.
Sometimes we begin a workout with the intention of toning our muscles, getting rid of body fat, and having the most beach-worthy body before summer arrives. And we want to achieve these goals all at once. When we don’t immediately get the results we want, we get discouraged.
To keep yourself pumped up about getting fit, try setting small goals that you are able to do constantly. In this way, you’ll end up feeling that you’ve accomplished something every time you hit the gym or go for that run.
5. Treat yourself to some new workout clothes and equipment.
It is so easy to skip a workout because your one and only pair of yoga pants are still in the laundry. Buying yourself some new items of workout gear can make you excited to exercise.
If you’re into running, check out our review of the best headlamps currently on the market.
6. Put your workout gear in a highly visible area.
Having bought exercise clothes and gear that make you happy, the next thing to do is to place them somewhere conspicuous. Put them on a table or chair, or near the door. This way, you’ll always be reminded of your workout goals, and make them a priority.
7. Create a playlist to get you moving.
Science has shown that music that’s between 120 and 140 bpm (beats per minute) encourages us to move. Songs that contain this tempo are great for working out.
So prepare a playlist of your favorite jams. Some recommended songs include Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz, Who Knew by P!nk, and Viva La Vida by Cold Play. Get moving!
8. Tell yourself that you’ll do just a warm-up.
When you feel like skipping your workout, go through the motions of preparing for it. Tell yourself that you will just warm up and then you can go home. Chances are, after doing the warm-up, you’ll want to do one set of your workout. And then maybe another.
Tell yourself you can stop and head home after each set. Before you know it, you’ll have done the entire routine.
9. Imagine pictures of you when you don’t look your best.
We all have those photos when we don’t look our best. We wish they never existed. But since they do, you can use yours as a motivation to work out. Then you can look at those photos next time and see how far you’ve progressed in becoming a better version of yourself.
10. Choose an exercise that is fun to do.
Oftentimes, when people think of workouts, the activities that come to mind are running and weightlifting. Most people think that these exercises are hard work, so they’d rather keep to their old sedentary habits.
To keep yourself motivated to move, choose something that you have fun while doing. For some people, having a fun workout means enrolling in a flying trapeze class, doing capoeira, or just dancing around in the comfort of your own room.
11. Strap a fitness tracker on.
Many people get motivated to exercise when they can track their progress. A wearable fitness tracker, such as FitBit, can help you keep going.
Maybe you’re doing a fat-burning cardio workout, enrolled in a spin class, or into walking or running. A fitness tracker provides all the necessary information you need to keep you informed about your progress to better health.
To know which FitBit is right for you, I’d suggest checking out this review that will give you the low down of the best fitness tracker for your needs.
12. Book a non-refundable fitness class.
If the thought of throwing away money makes you queasy, then use that to keep you motivated in your fitness goals. Sign up for a non-refundable fitness class.
This can help you get up and just do it. There’s no sense in paying for the class and then pulling a no-show.
13. Place your alarm clock away from the bed.
Putting your alarm clock away from arm’s reach forces you to get up. And once you’re on your feet, it’s often difficult to get back to sleep.
Now that you’re up, why not use the time to work out?
14. Lay out your workout gear the night before.
People often have excuses for not working out. One of the most common excuses is that it takes a lot of time to prepare for the gym or to go outdoors for a morning run.
Stop procrastinating by preparing your workout gear the night before a scheduled workout. It’s also good to put your prepared gym bag near the door so you can just pick it up when you’re ready to go.
15. Take it one day at a time.
Again, this goes back to the premise that you are not going to have six-pack abs overnight, or even in a week. Don’t rush out and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see the results immediately.
Just think that every burpee or push-up you do is going to bring you closer to your goal. You’ll get there eventually.
16. Make technology your friend.
You can use technology to add an interesting twist to getting fit. Some people use Wii Fit to work out. Others use apps compatible with their smartphones and other gadgets to get their daily quota of fitness moves.
In addition to keeping you motivated, these apps and tools allow you to track your progress, and provide you with extra information about your health.
17. Tap into your competitive self.
Sometimes it takes the spirit of competition to get motivated. One feature of fitness trackers and apps is that you can see your contacts’ workout progress, in addition to your own.
Get into the spirit of friendly competition and try to top a friend’s fitness results for the day.
The biggest advantage of doing a specific fitness program is that there is a set training or workout schedule. This helps you stay on track and prevents you from backsliding on your goals.
With a specific workout routine, you can optimize your fitness in the comfort of your own home. You might want to read this post on creating effective workout routines for more details.
19. Join a 30-day challenge.
Entering a group challenge to work out for 30 days can be a great fitness motivation tool. When you accept an exercise challenge, you’ll be forced to report to people who will check that you’re staying on track.
This can be a good way to jump-start your new habit of keeping fit. Use this tool correctly and you’ll reap the benefits.
20. Develop a positive self-image.
There are people who think that viewing their bodies in a negative way can motivate them to work on improving themselves. However, a study on the effects of negative beliefs and attitude about weight shows that this behavior actually lowers people’s interest in exercise and makes them prone to unhealthy eating habits.
Develop a healthier attitude about your body. Learn to recognize moments when you’re putting yourself down. Find ways to appreciate and love yourself more. This post has tips on how to develop a sense of healthy self-love.
21. Work out with a personal trainer.
If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer for a few sessions. A good trainer can help you overcome your negative perceptions about working out.
How do you find the right trainer? These three indicators help you know if you’ve found a keeper: a) you feel that they hear you; b) they are knowledgeable in their field and are able to explain why you’re doing a specific exercise for your fitness goals; and c) their field of expertise matches with the goals you have for your fitness.
22. Read stories of people just like you who succeeded in their goals.
Sometimes, the biggest roadblock to getting fit is your own preconception that it will be impossible. Reading about someone else’s success in their fitness journey can be the very solution you need to get excited about working out.
Look for stories of people who are in the same boat as you. Stories of real people allow you to connect and relate with what they’re going through. These make you believe that it can be done, because others like you have already walked that path.
23. Stay active by finding a hobby.
If you really can’t muster the energy to work out in the traditional sense, I would suggest finding other ways of staying active. One way of doing this is to find a hobby that encourages you to move.
Hobbies and leisure activities will not only improve your health, but they’re also proven to increase your overall feelings of happiness about life. You might want to check out this post to see the other positive benefits of a hobby.
Before we part for today, let me congratulate you on your interest in your own health.
I hope that you’ve found a couple of tips from the ones above that will work to kick-start that enthusiasm for working out once more.
One other way to keep your motivation high is to reward yourself after you’ve reached certain fitness goals. You might want to check out our extensive list of suggestions on how to reward yourself after completing a goal or a task.
One quick reminder: Stay hydrated during your workouts. I’d suggest checking out this post for some tips on how to increase your water intake.