How to stay motivated to exercise regularly
Exercising is a personal experience in which you challenge yourself to show up and put in your best effort.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
We’ve all heard that exercise is the best medicine and that the best way to encourage health and longevity is to employ regular movement in your lifestyle. Although maintaining an exercise routine is a great goal, it is a significant challenge to motivate yourself to show up every day – even when you don’t feel like it.
That’s the problem with the fleetingness of motivation: “It’s good until it’s not.”
If you’re ready to develop an exercise routine that sticks, follow along for tips to stay motivated to exercise regularly:
1. Start Small
If adding exercise to your routine is new for you, it’s beneficial to start small with your implementation so that you don’t burn out. If your goal is to go from not exercising at all to working out six days a week, that drastic lifestyle change will likely cause you to fall off track quickly and be discouraged from continuing. Instead, try to set yourself a minimum of one workout a week: that way, it is an achievable goal that you can even exceed your own expectations for.
2. Set Good Goals and Define your Why
The best goals become the “why” that drives you to push yourself when things get hard. These goals should be empowering and lift you up, so avoid superficial goals such as the number on a scale. A great way to stay connected to a routine is to strive for overall health and wellbeing. When our body is strong and flexible, we feel energetic, happy, and excited to take on the day. Although there are many benefits of exercise, aiming to feel good rather than look good will give you the satisfaction to keep going.
3. Do What You Enjoy
Although there can be a lot of external pressure to engage in rigorous workout routines focused on strength and resistance, this can often lead to burnout if it is not something you truly enjoy. Do you hate lifting weights, but love zoning out to a podcast on the elliptical? Does running hurt your joints, but the slow burn of a hot yoga session makes you feel alive? Do you groan at the thought of a traditional bodyweight circuit, but have the time of your life dancing with crazy energy to your favorite music? Who said you have to do deadlifts to be fit and healthy? Engaging in movement of any form is healthy for the body, so be honest with yourself and choose whichever activity brings you joy.
Exercising is a personal experience in which you challenge yourself to show up and put in your best effort. Maintaining healthy habits can be difficult, but if you embrace a positive outlook and indulge yourself in movement that you love, exercise can become one of your favorite parts of the day. For more actionable tips to create healthy habits that stick, check out Outrun Gravity for more information.