When it comes to exercise, there’s a reason skipping a workout is unfathomable to some people, while others need to be convinced: There’s a difference in their level of motivation—the invisible force that drives us to accomplish our fitness goals.
While having a coach or personal trainer can give you extra motivation and help you set daily goals, you can also be your own trainer and give yourself workout motivation. Nothing is impossible!
Fortunately, increasing your levels of motivation is more than possible. Read on to discover seven effective tips from EnergyFit on how to get motivated to work out.
1. Start With Your “Why”
There are plenty of meaningful reasons to exercise. You may want to become more fit and strong, so you can play with your kids without getting winded. You may want to build an amazing physique. Or you may want to increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in your brain, so you feel happier throughout the day.
Once you have you’re why, working out won’t feel like a chore. So take some time to meditate, journal, or talk to a friend about why you want to exercise.
But make sure to find a source of motivation that resonates with you. While our society values appearance, it won’t motivate you if it’s not something truly meaningful. So ask yourself which reasons truly matter to you for working out.
2. Take Baby Steps
If you look at celebrity workout routines as something you should follow, then you’re definitely not alone. We’re constantly exposed to how celebrities get fit for a movie role in a short amount of time and end up thinking that it’s the norm.
But it’s important to remember that celebrities have an entire team of people guiding them in their fitness. Plus, they’re not doing much else aside from their grueling workouts.
But for those of us with a job, a family, and tons of other responsibilities, such intense workout routines can put a serious strain on us and make us want to skip exercise altogether. Plus, if you’re just getting into exercise, having too-high expectations can lead you to completely abandon it.
For this reason, it’s important to start with small steps. When picking your workout, choose something that will challenge you but leave you with plenty of time and energy to get through the rest of your day. And remember: A small workout is better than no workout at all!
By setting small goals and an overall long-term goal, they can help you stay consistent in your exercise routine.
3. Be True to Your Chronotype
As much as we’d love to lace up our sneakers at 4:00 AM for a quick gym session or bike ride and have the rest of the day free, this is unrealistic for many people. That’s because we each have a unique sleep chronotype that determines whether we function best in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
If you prefer to take it very, very easy in the morning, then it’s very likely that you’re a night owl. In this case, working out in the morning isn’t only unpleasant but can decrease your productivity throughout the rest of the day.
So, stay true to who you are. You can work out early in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps, during your work lunch break, or even before bed. This will not only make the workout more effective but make you much more likely to stick to it.
4. Pick an Enjoyable Workout
We’re all different, which means that our taste in workouts is different, too. As much as we love an intense HIIT session, others may want to stick to a more gentle workout, such as yoga. Plus, which workout we want to do may vary day-to-day.
While some people prefer to do cardio on a treadmill, jog outside or do high-intensity interval training, others like to involve strength training in their fitness routine. Regardless, make sure the regular exercise you decide to do is something you enjoy so you can make healthy habits out of them.
Forcing yourself to do a workout you don’t enjoy or are too tired to do. It’s much better to have an arsenal of workouts that you can pick and choose from.
For instance, if you want something to get your heart pumping and your body sweating, then you can try intense workouts such as kickboxing, rowing, or running. But for those days you want to take it easy, then a yoga session or a walk outdoors is more than enough. And if you just want to get your body moving for fun, then we’re huge fans of dancing of any kind!
If you want to make your workouts a little more fun, try enrolling in fitness classes, a fitness program, or purchase a workout plan to help guide your workout schedule.
5. Call Up the Squad
There’s a reason people who work out with friends are much more likely to stick to their training goals. Having a workout buddy can be fun if you like being around others while you get your sweat on.
Not only is it more fun (therefore, more motivating), but it can provide you with some serious accountability. After all, if your friends are expecting to see you at a 9:00 AM cycling class, you’re much less likely to hit the snooze button come morning time.
So find a friend (or several) with similar workout goals and develop an exercise schedule for you to follow. We promise your friends will be more than happy to get some much-needed motivation, as well!
6. Make It Fun
We typically think of exercise as something that’s not instantly gratifying. After all, it takes some time to see the results of your hard work. But we think there are plenty of ways to get some of those instant rewards during your workout.
One of the best ways to make exercise fun is to listen to high-tempo music or upbeat playlists. Making a workout playlist with your favorite tracks can help you stay motivated and get you pumped for your workout. Researchers found that exercisers who listen to music have more fun during their workout and push themselves harder. It’s also possible to get similar effects while watching your favorite TV show, listening to a fun podcast, audiobooks, or even reading a book.
Aside from entertainment, there are tons of options for making your workout more fun. For example, wearing a new workout outfit can increase your excitement levels when hitting the gym. And working out in a beautiful new environment can increase your appreciation for your workout while keeping you stimulated.
7. Change Your Perception
Last but definitely not least, how you perceive your workouts has a major influence on how motivated you are to do them. For instance, if you view going to the gym as a chore (or worse—a punishment), then it’s hard to imagine that you’ll be motivated to do it.
However, if you view your workouts as activities that boost your mood, detox your body, and make you look awesome, then you might start looking forward to them a bit more. For this reason, it’s important to change your perception of exercise to something that you love to do!
If you feel unmotivated to work out, then you’re definitely not alone. Fortunately, it’s more than possible to change your motivation levels to exercise and get on track with a workout routine.
By keeping your goals manageable, adopting a more positive perception of exercise, and—most importantly—having fun, you won’t think twice about skipping the gym. And, of course, the right workout machine can’t hurt, either!