If you’re like most people, you understand the health benefits of exercising to stay fit. You get that exercising regularly can help manage your weight. You are aware of the fact that moving often can help reduce your risk of chronic disease. You recognize that working out can strengthen your bones and muscles, making it easier for you to do everyday activities and stay active as you age.
Unfortunately, though, that’s not always enough of a motivator to regularly hit the gym or maintain a regular workout schedule at home. Or maybe that knowledge is enough to motivate you for a few weeks, but you ultimately end up skipping more workouts over time, until you stop exercising altogether.
You are not alone!
Stay fit with the right motivation
If you struggle to maintain a regular workout routine or see starting one as a hassle, we’re here to help! The following motivation methods can help inspire you to start exercising, keep up that routine, and stay fit.
Stop having fitness rules for yourself
The very first step to finding the right motivation to stay fit, and most importantly, stick to it, is skipping all the current “rules” you have for working out. Don’t worry about what you are supposed to do. It doesn’t matter what so-called fitness experts say is the only way to exercise or what hard-and-fast rules an exercise program says you have to follow to be successful.
You only need to follow two rules—do what works for you and be consistent.
Your approach to exercise shouldn’t just be pushing yourself hard now to reach some arbitrary short-term goal. Instead, think in terms of a long-term lifestyle change. Exercise is so much more than just losing weight or reaching some obscure fitness level. It’s about being able to maintain this in the future.
Think about the workout rules you have tried in the past. Doing certain exercise programs and moves. Forcing yourself to fit in a specific amount of cardio a certain number of days. Making sure you hit the gym X days in a row every week, regardless of what else was going on. Whatever they were, throw them out the window.
The rules you had in the past obviously didn’t work to keep you motivated. If they did, you’d still be doing it now. It’s time to take a different approach to come up with rules that will keep you motivated and engaged long-term. These won’t come from any book, program, or fitness “guru” either. To keep you enthusiastic about exercising, you need to come up with the rules yourself. Remember, when it comes trying to stay fit, the how is less important than the why. Any exercise is good exercise, but the why is what will keep you doing it consistently.
Decide when to workout
Figuring out the timing of your workouts is another key part of maintaining a regular exercise routine.
Maybe trying to force yourself to exercise in the morning makes it completely unenjoyable. Or trying to get in a run in the evening is almost impossible, so you skip most of them. When you notice these kinds of trends, it’s time to make some changes.
Consider your current schedule, and the types of workouts you are trying to do, and think about if you can switch up the time of the day. For example, if you struggle with afternoon activities in the summer when it’s the hottest, try working out inside at the gym or going for a swim. If your schedule allows, try doing activities in the morning when it’s cooler.
Don’t be afraid to make changes throughout the year. With holidays, vacations, and school schedules, it can be challenging to keep the same schedule all year. So don’t be afraid to make changes to your workout schedule when necessary. Remember, when you work out isn’t as important as being consistent.
It’s important not to try and rush or force your fitness journey. Improving your health through exercise takes time. If you go too fast you can get burned out, overtrained, or injured. If being more active is something you want to do long-term, you need to be patient and recognize it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
So, when you’re just starting out slowly add in more workouts, gradually increase the intensity, and only switch things up when needed. If you’ve never worked out, start with daily walks or bike rides, commit to daily stretching, or consider working with a trainer who can help guide you when building a workout program. Be patient and give your body a chance to get comfortable with moving more.
Keep in mind that the journey to get and stay fit is never linear. There are a lot of ups and downs, and plenty of curves. Don’t be afraid to go slow and steady, take each challenge as it comes, and enjoy the process.
Buy some cute stuff
You know how you feel when you get a new outfit, and can’t wait to wear it somewhere? Maybe you even look for opportunities to wear it more often because of how exciting it is. That is exactly why you should consider buying some new fitness gear or equipment on a regular basis.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money and buy new stuff every week, just when you feel yourself getting bored with what you have, or you’re losing steam. This might happen every few months or just once a year.
New workout clothing, shoes, accessories, or a new piece of home gym equipment can all be excellent tools to reignite that fitness spark and keep you on the road to stay fit. This can also be a healthy way to reward yourself, by buying something new every time you hit another goal in your fitness or weight loss journey.
- Signing up for a monthly fitness subscription box
- Athletic shoes
- Fitness trackers
- Subscriptions to fitness or health apps
- Home gym equipment like battle ropes, jump ropes, yoga mats, kettlebells, or TRX
- Bigger equipment like a treadmill or elliptical
Find a workout buddy
Having a workout buddy is an incredibly effective way to keep you motivated and on track. It’s no secret that working out with someone else is almost always better than workout out alone. Not only does having a partner make it more enjoyable, but you have someone to keep you motivated and accountable.
Your journey to stay fit may never be something you love to do every day, and that’s ok. Just about everyone—even the most dedicated—have days where they just aren’t feeling it. Having a workout buddy can be the perfect thing to keep you going on those days when your motivation is waning.
Tips for choosing a workout buddy
The trick is choosing the right person. If you choose someone that doesn’t show up consistently, doesn’t have the same goals as you, or isn’t as motivated to stay fit, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Here are some tips for choosing a good workout buddy:
Find someone you know you can count on. It’s absolutely essential that you can count on your fitness buddy. They are there to help motivate you and become someone who pushes you to work out even when you don’t want to—and you’ll do the same for them! Don’t pick someone who isn’t reliable just because you’re friends. Take your fitness journey seriously and find someone who takes their journey seriously as well.
Choose a workout buddy with similar goals. Make sure your goals and their goals to stay fit match. If your goal is having more energy to play with your kids and their goal is becoming a competitive fitness competitor, that’s not going to be a good match. Make sure your goals, the frequency of workouts, how long you’d like to partner up, and when and where you’re going to meet are the same. This will help ensure you’re both a good match for each other.
Select a workout buddy who likes the same types of workouts. It’s really important to consider what types of workouts you will be doing, now just now, but in the not-too-distant future. If you both love running right now, but you know you eventually want to marathon train, and your friend wants to hit the gym for weights, you may not be a good long-term match.
Stay motivated. Stay fit.
Adopting a regular exercise routine can be one of the best things you can do to get healthy and stay fit as you age. It helps you control your weight, prevent or manage chronic health issues, and gives a boost to your mood and energy levels. Staying motivated, engaged, and focused ensures you’ll stay active for the long term and find more success on your journey to better health.