Motivating Yourself to Exercise

You are looking to improve your overall health and know that regular exercise can help with that. So you sign up for a gym membership and have the class schedule on your fridge. But since taking the initial tour of the gym, you haven’t gone back. You just aren’t motivated to exercise. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Finding the motivation to exercise can be tough, especially if you don’t like exercising. Here are some tips to help find your motivation:

Pack Your Gym Bag – Pack everything you need the night before and place your bag by the front door. Prepacking your bag means you don’t have to decide in the morning whether to exercise or not. Since your bag is packed you have no excuse not to exercise or talk yourself out of going.

Schedule Your Workouts – you put everything else in your calendar why not your workout? Plan your workouts a week ahead so that the time becomes blocked in your calendar. Consider these appointments sacred “me time” and try not to cancel them for other appointments.

Get a Workout Partner – when you know you are meeting someone for a workout, you are more likely to show up because you don’t want to let them down. Having a workout partner can motivate you to put more effort into training because someone is pushing you to do more.

Try Something Completely New – doing a brand new activity will force you to be fully engaged and help keep you motivated to exercise. Whether it’s yoga, fencing, rock climbing, or something else, having an instructor guiding you can make it seem more like a learning experience instead of exercise.

Leverage Your Lifestyle – try combining your workout with an established aspect of your life. Have kids? Go for family bike rides or help coach the kid’s sports team. Have a dog? Explore Thornton Bales Conservation Area or George Richardson Park for a scenic hike or go rollerblading with your pooch. Live in a condo or apartment? Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator down to your car in the morning.

Sign-Up for a Competition – whether it is a 5k run, climbing the CN Tower or participating in a Zumba-thon, the pending event date will help keep you motivated to exercise. When you know you have a reason to train, you are more likely to make yourself exercise so that you can finish the competition.

Find an Activity You Enjoy – when we say “activity” we mean something that will allow you to at least break a sweat (so scrap-booking doesn’t qualify). It’s never too late to learn a new sport – there are many adult leagues not only for intermediate and advanced participants but also for beginners. You can learn to play soccer or hockey. Or explore running or indoor rock climbing. If you find something you enjoy, it’ll be easier to lace up your shoes and get going.

Maintaining your motivation to exercise is sometimes challenging and may not always be related to your mind set. If you want to maintain a steady schedule of activity but find it hard due to recurring pain, it might be a good idea to see a physiotherapist.

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