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February 6, 2018 - TCO

6 foolproof ways to stay motivated to work out

Whether it’s cooling down after a run, putting away your bike after a ride or cleaning up at the gym, nothing beats that great feeling you get after a good workout. You’re energized, brimming with confidence and filled with accomplishment. But sometimes we fall into a rut or just lack motivation to start (or keep) exercising.

Don’t worry; it’s normal and easy to overcome. Here are six foolproof ways to stay motivated to work out.

1. Wake up.

Waking up early sets the tone for a successful day. Even if you’re not a 6 a.m. sculpt yoga person, a little extra time in the morning goes a long way. Feeling rushed in the morning usually carries forward into the evening, making it easier to skip exercise. So set a couple of alarms, enlist your significant other/roommate to support you and get off to a great start.

2. Set the right goals.

Reaching goals is fun, and having realistic expectations is important. Success breeds more success, so understand your daily limitations and set attainable goals — then go out and accomplish them. Remember, working out is an activity you get to do, not an activity you have to do.

3. Schedule your workouts, just like everything else in your life.

You are running late but never miss a meeting. You have a meeting that goes long, but you’re home in time to pick up the kids. When you set a schedule and stick to it, it’s amazing how much you can accomplish. The same goes for working out.

Plan your exercise schedule two weeks ahead of time, not just the day of, and outline what time on each day you are able to work out. Like magic, it will happen! Literally write it down on a calendar or a piece of paper and keep it out in the open as a friendly reminder.

Finally, remember again to be realistic. Don’t pressure yourself into suddenly working out seven days a week. Your routine can be conservative to start; it’s having the routine that’s the important part.

Check out one of our fitness classes that fit with your schedule.

4. Find a workout buddy.

Family members, friends and even neighbors who share common goals make wonderful exercise partners because you can hold each other accountable and share in the accomplishments. Even if it’s just one night a week, create a scheduled “Tuesday father-daughter bike ride” or “Friday morning roommate gym sesh.”

If you’re the type who prefers to exercise alone, a friendly app can be a great workout partner. Try one of the six fitness apps that Lifehack.org claims will make working out too fun to skip!

5. Reward yourself.

Looking forward to watching an episode of your favorite TV show tonight? Earn it by working out first. When you reach a longer-term goal, such as working out 12 times in a month (to hit your club membership discount), treat yourself to something bigger. One idea is to invest in a new piece of workout gear after you reach your goal, especially if dirty workout clothing is a common barrier to your exercise routine. Look good, feel good, be good.

6. Get after it!

Starting is the hardest part, so just get after it! You don’t need new shoes, special gear or a club membership. At this actual moment you can do push-ups, sit-ups, go for a jog or take a bike ride; anything to get the wheels turning, so to speak.

Take walks or move around throughout the day, and if you stop at home after work, don’t get settled in. Remember, naps are traps.

It doesn’t take much to lead an enriched, active lifestyle. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends just 30 minutes/five days a week of moderate-intensity physical activity (working hard enough to break a sweat but still able to carry on a conversation) or 20 minutes/three days a week of more vigorous activity.

Motivate yourself and others, and enjoy life to its fullest!