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 a rowing machine for 10 minutes a day (these are great for full body workout – shoutout to for some great advice), 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:

  • Fitocracy
  • Myfitnesspal

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.

4. Stop Making Excuses (You are Only Lying to Yourself)

At some point, everyone thinks before they head to the gym: ‘I’m tired I’ll go to the gym tomorrow‘. Some do it more than others, but in the end you are just lying to yourself, so it’s important to recognize this and just go anyway.

Even if  your workout isn’t that great it’s so much better than doing nothing at all, and afterwards you will feel glad that you did, the feel-good hormones after exercise always help.

To make things easier, if you aren’t a fan of going to a gym full of other people, invest in some fitness equipment that you can use at home.

The cross trainer (or elliptical trainer) is a great machine for beginners (check out these cross trainer reviews if you aren’t familiar with them), and this should go a long way to helping you keep motivated.