How to Stay Motivated to Exercise


The key to maintaining your fitness is simple: stay motivated. Exercise is the only way to achieve optimal fitness, and if you don’t consistently exercise, you’ll quickly find that you’ll remain stagnant when trying to achieve your goals.

Without consistency and motivation, you won’t be able to reach optimal fitness.

And this is why so many people start the year with the goal of getting fit, and the majority will quit within the first three months.

There are no shortcuts.

You need to stay motivated, or all your efforts will be wasted. A few ways to stay motivated are:

1.    Set Goals for Yourself

Goals are essential. You need a purpose for staying dedicated to your exercise routine. The catch is that you need to be able to achieve simple goals, and not set goals that are impossible to achieve.

So, you’ll want to:

  • Create short-term goals to keep you motivated
  • Add long-term goals over time as you remain more consistent

An example of a short-term goal may be to use your indoor rowing machine for 10 minutes a day, four times per week.

You’ll then want to create intermediate and long-term goals, which can be:

  • Intermediate – use the rowing machine for 30 minutes, five times per week
  • Longterm – row for 60 minutes, five times per week

2.    Track Your Results

It’s very easy to get discouraged when starting an exercise routine, and this is something that happens to everyone. You need to overcome this discouragement by tracking your progress. When you track your progress, you’ll:

  • See your results on paper
  • Have a way to analyze and adapt a routine

There are a lot of ways to track your results, including:

And you’ll find dozens of apps that will allow you to track your results, too.

3.    Switch It Up and Make It Fun

If you make exercise a grueling experience, you’ll never succeed. People have a tendency of hating and abandoning anything that isn’t fun. Everyone hates going to the gym the first month or two, but if it’s grueling, you’ll never be consistent.

You need to make it fun.

This is done by switching up your routine, or at least adding fun exercises into your routine. This can be anything, such as:

  • Joining a running group
  • Joining a martial arts class
  • Going to free exercise classes
  • Participating in a sport you like

If you like swimming, you can substitute a day at the gym or on the rowing machine for a good long swim that will engage different muscles and help build cardiovascular health.

The goal is to stay motivated, and it’s far easier to stay motivated when you’re doing something you like – not something you despise.

Spinach and Eggplant Lasagna Roll-Ups


Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? This hearty dish is a favorite in our household, but it’s not something we can eat all the time (at least that’s what my doctor told me). These eggplant and spinach lasagna roll-ups are just as good as its classic Italian cousin, but aren’t as hard on your waistline.


Tomato Sauce

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-pounds plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-pounds eggplants, halved crosswise and cut into slices less than 1/4″
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • 1-pound ricotta cheese
  • 8-ounces lasagna noodles (not the no-boil kind)


Making the Sauce

Start by preheating the oven to 450F.

  • Mix tomatoes with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Arrange tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. You may need two or more dishes.
  • Roast tomatoes on the upper and lower racks, switching positions halfway through, about 35-40 minutes. The skins should be wrinkled and browned slightly.
  • Remove from oven, and allow the tomatoes to cool slightly on racks.

Once the tomatoes are cool enough to work with, remove and discard the skins. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor with its juices until smooth. Now you can finish making the sauce:

  • Cook garlic and onions in 2 tbsp. oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in water, tomato puree, pepper and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer, and cover partially.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly. Reduce to about 4 cups.
  • Add the basil.

Roasting the Eggplant

  • Mix the eggplant with the garlic clove, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes on the upper and lower racks, switching positions halfway through and turning the slices over.

Lower the oven temperature to 350F.

Assembling and Baking the Roll-Ups

While the sauce is cooking and the eggplant is cooling:

  • Cook the spinach in a 4-quart pot of salted boiling water for one minute.
  • Drain the spinach in a colander, and allow it to cool.
  • Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water.
  • Chop coarsely.
  • Mix egg yolk, ricotta, salt, Parmesan cheese and pepper until well combined.


  • Cook the lasagna noodles in an 8-quart pot of boiling water (add salt to stop the noddles from sticking). Stir occasionally.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander.
  • Rinse under cold water.

To assemble:

  • Spoon 2 cups of the tomato sauce into a baking dish.
  • Arrange four lasagna noodles on your work surface, and spread filling evenly over each one.
  • Cover the ricotta mixture with one eggplant slice.
  • Roll up the noodle.
  • Place the roll-up seam-side down into the baking dish.
  • Repeat for the remaining noodles.
  • Gently brush the noodles with water.
  • Spoon sauce down the middle of the roll-ups.
  • Cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake on the middle rack until fully heated, or about 20 minutes.

Heat up the leftover tomato sauce to serve with the roll-ups.