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16 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise (#13 is so surprising)

Posted by Triple Naturals I On Jun 06, 2024
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Fitness Motivation

If you want to stay healthy, fit, and agile going into old age, you’re going to need to find a way to get motivated to exercise. Why? Because your body and mind need exercise to stay strong, keep off excess body fat, keep your immune system powered up, and maintain brain power. If you want to thrive now and long into your golden years, you’re going to want to get on board with regular exercise.

But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, you’re just not feeling it, and exercise is the last thing you want to do. What can you do to get out of this slump?

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Because at the end of the day, exercise needs to get done. Period. So find what works for you and use it to keep yourself on track.

15 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

How can you get motivated to exercise? With a little imagination and ingenuity, the possibilities really are endless.

  1. Figure out your why—go granular and figure out what propels you to want to be healthy and fit. Ask yourself why that matters to you and how your life will improve if you focus on your why.
  2. Set goals—if you don’t set a goal, how will you know when you get there? Setting goals can spur feelings of motivation as you give yourself something to aim for and picture yourself reaching those goals successfully.
  3. Find a partner—having someone else who is depending on you to show up can make a huge difference. Since half the battle is just getting started, harness the power of a partner to get it done.
  4. ;Compile an energizing playlist—music has the ability to change mood, lift spirits, and boost energy. If you didn’t feel motivated to exercise before, once some of your favorite songs come on, you won’t be able to stop yourself.
  5. Take pictures—yes, suffer through those “beginning” shots so that you have something you can compare against as you gain more experience. You’ll be surprised how much progress you’ve made when you take another round of photos a month or two later. Progress is motivational!
  6. Book a beach vacation—there’s pretty much nothing more motivating than knowing you’ll be walking around with a bit more skin showing soon. Think about the fun you’ll have when you’re feeling good with plenty of energy, not to mention all the great pictures you’ll have to keep as memories. Use this future fun to push yourself now and get motivated to exercise.
  7. Find someone who inspires you—go online to find people who inspire you. See what they’re doing to stay motivated and keep upbeat. Strive to adopt some of their good habits.
  8. Find someone to inspire—why not lift up a friend in the process? You may not be feeling it today, but there are sure to be people admiring your dedication and wanting to emulate you. Be a great example.
  9. Exercise for a cause—a great way to get motivated to exercise and raise money for charity is to join an event. Check local clubs and listings for things like walks and sponsored runs for your favorite causes. Make it a project to work out and get in shape, so you’re ready for the event.
  1. Put it on your calendar—just like you wouldn’t miss any other important appointment on your calendar, putting your workout on your calendar will mean you’re serious. It’s another thing to accomplish and check off your list. Indeed, research demonstrates that when people decide when and where their next exercise session will occur, they are significantly less likely to skip the workout.
  2. Make yourself accountable—if you have other people depending on you, you’re more likely to put in the work you need to do to get and stay in shape. Join an online community or find like-minded friends who share your fitness goals and keep each other accountable for showing up and getting it done.
  3. Get some new gear—wearing clothes that make you feel good and look good on you can make a world of difference in your level of motivation. Find some fun and flattering new clothes or shoes, or maybe a fitness accessory like a water bottle, new headphones, or a gym bag. This will automatically make you look forward to your next workout.
  4. Multitask (work out and watch television)—if you’re short on time and feeling stressed about trying to fit in a workout, why not multitask? You can knock out quite a bit of cardio, stretching, plyometrics, and more, all while watching your favorite television show or listening to your favorite podcast. If working out isn’t your favorite thing to do, pairing it with something you already enjoy doing can transform it from something you know you “should” do into something you really look forward to.
  5. Mix it up—instead of the same old same old, why not try some new moves? If you always find yourself doing the same spin class, the same circuit routine, the same weight workout, it’s time for a change. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about a stale program. Instead, maybe you can sign up for a Bootcamp full-body workout class, try a Zumba class instead of your usual spin, or learn two or three new exercises to try for each body part.
  6. Do group workouts—doing your workout with others naturally makes you push yourself harder. The momentum and camaraderie of the group can leave you feeling exhilarated (and exhausted) at the end of a grueling workout that somehow seemed fun.

And The Most Surprising Motivation to Exercise?

Fear. Just like in the story “The Christmas Carol,” you can visualize your future, depending on the road you choose to take. Try picturing yourself exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Because you get motivated to exercise, you can see yourself walking with a loved one on a beach or hiking in a scenic park. Think about playing outside with the grandkids or chasing the dog. Think about what it will feel like to be healthy and self-sufficient as you get on in years.

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And then picture the opposite: the unhealthy version of you. Sit and think about what your life would be like today, next week, next year, and years from now if you don’t exercise.

Choose wisely. Choose exercise. Use that fear as another way to motivate yourself. There might be days when you just don’t want to work out or you want to throw in the towel on that diet plan, but remember that fear and use it to your advantage.

Remember, it’s one thing to get motivated to exercise, but keeping that motivation going over the long haul will require commitment, dedication, and discipline. And your motivations may change over time as you achieve goals and check them off your list. But, it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize with fresh ways to get motivated to exercise and always be reaching for new goals.

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