Improve Your Health

Eight Tips to Get Motivated to Exercise

About The Author

Dr. Jennifer Steinhoff

Sports Medicine Physician

Ascension Medical Group

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Many people start the year ready to nail their workout goals. But as the weeks go by, it’s common to see that initial motivation start to slip.

There are many reasons why: family obligations, work deadlines, happy hour with friends, and much more. Additionally, as the newness of a goal wears off, it also becomes less exciting. Suddenly there are new goals to set and other things to do.

But don’t give up on your initial workout goals. Instead, shift your mindset: exercise isn’t something you have to do – it’s something you get to do. Today’s workouts will keep you healthy and active tomorrow.

If you find your motivation slipping, these tips will help you get back on track:

  • Set measurable, achievable goals – When setting a goal, you need something more specific than wanting to exercise more. For example, running a 5k in three months. It’s also a good idea to make sure you set realistic goals to avoid burnout and doing too much, too soon.
  • Stay consistent – Schedule your workouts just like you would a dentist appointment or dinner with friends. Once the workout is on your calendar, make sure you keep the date. When your workouts become part of your routine, it will be easier to stick with them and you’ll be less likely to skip.
  • Make it fun – Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore – it’s just a matter of finding what you like to do. If you’d rather avoid running on a treadmill, outdoor hiking might be more your thing. Or if you prefer a social workout, consider a group exercise class. It’s also important to switch things up after a while to avoid becoming bored with your workout.
  • Work with a personal trainer – If you’re new to exercise, working with a personal trainer can help take the intimidation out of it. It’s also helpful to have someone who can plan your workouts and track your progress. Plus you’ll be less likely to skip a workout knowing you’re paying for the session.
  • Find a workout buddy – Exercising with someone else can not only get you to the gym – it can also motivate you to work harder while you’re there.
  • Keep a workout log – These days, there are a number of ways to track your workouts. You can use a fitness tracker or app – even a written log will work. Over time, you’ll start noticing patterns and can track how far you’ve come since you started.
  • Take a rest day – Having a built-in rest day gives you extra time to recharge between workouts and helps avoid injury and burnout.
  • Reward yourself – Knowing you have something to look forward to when you achieve your goal can help you stick with your workout routine.

Before starting a workout routine, consult a primary care provider to make sure you’re healthy enough to exercise. To find a primary care provider near you, reach out to your health insurance provider.

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