7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Doctors highly recommend adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, which can be hard if you’re not motivated enough to exercise. Because let’s face it—many of us would rather not exercise at all if we could. But alas, our body needs constant movement and activity to function properly—human beings are just not meant to be sedentary creatures!

With that said, exercise isn’t the death sentence a lot of people think it is. Indeed, once you establish an exercise routine that works for your needs and preferences, it can be very enjoyable, even for those who hate being active! Pretty soon, you’ll enjoy a ton of health benefits and be protected against debilitating diseases.

So, if you’re new to the exercise game and are finding it hard to stay motivated, don’t worry about it. We all start somewhere, and it takes a lot of experimentation to get just right. In the meantime, use our helpful tips to be motivated to be active and exercise!


1. Do Activities You Find Enjoyable

People exercise differently. Some prefer intensive cardio and weightlifting sessions, others prefer morning walks or jogs, others prefer playtime with their children or pets, and more. All of these activities raise your heartbeat and allow your muscles movement and thus can be considered exercise.

So, whenever you see influencers and gym rats on TikTok and Instagram saying you should be doing so and so for the quickest results? Don’t believe them so easily! Your body is different from theirs, so what works for them might not work for you. You don’t have to lift your body weight or run five miles a day if you don’t want to—find activities that you find enjoyable and do those instead. Doing the exercise you’d prefer keeps you motivated for much longer.


2. Start Slow and Easy

If you’ve lived a sedentary life thus far or haven’t been exercising lately, you’ll want to start slow if you want to get back in the groove of things. You can’t just jump in and do a lot of things at once! Indeed, the first few days you’re probably going to be very sore even with light exercises, so just take it one day at a time. Even a car will need to rev its engines and run a few miles before hitting maximum speed!

For the first few days or weeks of your exercise routine, try exercising for 10 minutes or so. This will help you warm up and get your muscles used to moving again. Then, when you feel ready for it, you can increase exercise time to 20 minutes, up the intensity, and so on. Do this until you’ve established the exercise routine you want.


3. Work Out with Family, Friends, and Loved Ones

Do you know what’s even better than working out? Working out with people who keep you motivated you on your exercise and fitness journey! You can get lots of support from your loved ones and have some fun exercising as well. Why jog alone or go to the gym alone when you can have a companion with you? You can have someone to hype you up, someone to teach you new ways to exercise, and more!

Not only that, but they can help keep you on track too. When you’re alone, nobody but your conscience can tell you not to skip today’s workout or binge eat an entire chocolate cake. Whereas if you’re working out with somebody else, you’re obligated to stay on track because you’re on this journey together.


4. Think About the Results

Trust us when we say this—exercising makes a huge difference in your life. Many people who have lived both sedentary and active lifestyles can attest to this. It helps you sleep better, your body function better, your skin look clearer, your moods swing lesser, and so much more. It’s honestly amazing how much your life can change with just 30 minutes of exercise a day!

So, the next time you consider skipping today’s workout, contemplate if it’s really worth it. Would you rather break out, or spend 30 minutes doing pilates? Would you rather breathe heavily after one flight of stairs, or go on a 30-minute bike ride?

You decide.


5. Choose Times that Work Best for You

Another common perception about exercise is that it’s often done in the morning. Wake up bright and early and head off to the gym or the outdoors for some much-needed exercise. However, this type of thing doesn’t apply to everyone because we’ve all got our situations to deal with—some of us are parents who need to help our kids get ready for school, while others are just night owls who hate waking up early in the morning.

Instead, work out whenever you feel like it. In the long run, it doesn’t matter what time you do it—exercise is exercise. You can do it right after work, before you go to bed, or even during your 1-hour lunch break if you can squeeze it in.


6. Do It Half-Heartedly

As the writer, G.K. Chesterton, once said, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” Now, what does that mean?

Well, this quote simply accepts that not everybody can find the motivation to do things perfectly. Maybe you’re too tired or too cranky to do your usual exercise routine, and that’s perfectly okay. Everybody has those days.

However, you still need to encourage yourself to do what you can. Instead of going on a 2-mile run, why not just do a mile? Instead of doing high-intensity cardio exercises, why not just do some light yoga exercises? At the end of the day, little progress is a lot better than none at all.


7. Eat and Sleep Well

Last but not least is eating and sleeping well. You’d be surprised at how many people take this for granted.

Exercising and eating clean and healthy often go hand-in-hand. However, some people take it way too far and go on crash diets that are actually detrimental to you. When you start exercising, your body needs more calories to help build muscle and endurance. If it doesn’t get enough, you’ll quickly get fatigued and lose motivation!

In the same way, you need a good night’s sleep every day for your body to function well. Exercising with sleep deprivation can be really dangerous as you’re more prone to injury. Additionally, your hormones will also be out of order, causing you to gain weight or not gain as much muscle as you’d hope.

In conclusion, everything is connected! You must eat and sleep properly to reap the benefits of exercise.