How to get motivated to exercise


How to get motivated to exercise

How do you get motivated to exercise? For many, it’s a very tricky question to tackle. Especially when you feel like it’s more of a chore than a life benefit. I’m not talking about working out for one week straight and burning yourself out for the rest of the year. I’m referring to keeping a daily schedule that allows you to take control of your life.

How to get motivated to exercise

We know exercising involves being naturally motivated to start the process. After all, motivation is one of the sole factors that gives you the energy to do anything. You’re motivated to get out of bed or else you’ll be fired for missing work. You’re motivated to drive slower whenever you see a cop. You’re motivated to look cooler whenever you see an attractive person nearby. You find the motivation to eat at least 1 meal a day. 

Normally when people think about motivation, their first thoughts point to sport teams getting ready to go to the playoffs. They think about people who are motivated to start their business or lose 100 pounds. The only conflict they suffer from is when they question how to conjure up that motivation to do something they’re not comfortable with.

The average person finds it easy to have the motivation to lose 50 pounds when they can’t fit into their jeans anymore. But the moment they go on that diet or hit the gym, they suddenly don’t see their extra weight as being a big deal. Not if it means constantly working themselves to the bone to reverse that affect.


The human mind is very simple, and yet the most complicated tool in this world. But the mind likes familiarity and keeping you comfortable. Your mind rationalizes that if you’re feeling good, you must be doing something right so keep on doing it.

If your body isn’t familiar with working out, your brain is going to freak out the moment you decide to run a mile. It’s going to ask you to stop and return back to your couch to watch the final episodes to Game of Thrones. But if you ignore what your mind said and keep on running, it’ll eventually throw in the throw and go with the flow.

How to get motivated to exercise

But dealing with a negative mind isn’t the only reason people lose the motivation to workout. People get depressed because of life events and don’t see a reason to continue working out. Other people become sluggish because they’re exhausted by the time they finish work.

What usually gets in my way is convincing myself I’m too busy to exercise. With the schedule that I have, exercising is more of a nuisance than pleasure. But I get up anyway, place both running shoes on, and take a jog outside to run a few miles.

Personally, I have a weird opinion about working out because oftentimes I find it very annoying and bothersome. Half the time I placed my running shoes on, I was irritated because I wanted to do something more relaxing or productive. But I still do it anyway despite those negative thoughts.

The way I avoid setting mediocre excuses was realizing I had to learn how to take care of myself. I may hate exercising almost everyday of the week, but I enjoy the benefits and feelings afterward. I enjoy knowing what I’m doing for my body and how I receive a strange “high” after working out for a period of time.

We could easily convince ourselves that we don’t have to workout to maintain a healthy lifestyle because we’re already in good shape and don’t eat junk food. When we think of someone who needs to exercise, we immediately imagine a heavyset person.


But that’s not the case

Although heavyset people should exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s just as important for anyone of any weight to do so as well.  

To neglect exercising because of your current weight would be like saying you could survive off sugary foods alone. Sure, cake and muffins can fill you up and give you the energy to keep you alive. And for a good while, you’ll see no difference. But the longer you continue eating only cake and candy, the more it starts reflecting in your weight, attitude, and mind.

How to get motivated to exercise

If you want your body to mechanically behave normally, you need the proper nutrients and supplements to fuel every part of your body. Which is why you need fruits and vegetables. Such as how people treat their diets, exercising helps the body fight bad health conditions and diseases by preventing high blood pressure.

When you exercise, it gets your blood flowing smoothly and lowers the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Those who regularly exercise receive a boost of energy that lowers their stress.

Actively engaging our bodies in physical activities stimulates various brain chemicals that make us happier and more relaxed. Perhaps the 3 main excuses I normally hear people say about working out are:

“I want to spend more time with my family.”

“I don’t see results.”

“I simply don’t like working out.”

I can easily relate to these scenarios. Especially when I lack the motivation to do anything other than go home, relax and watch funny videos on YouTube.

However, as much as I’d like to accept my excuses, I only find myself hurting as a result of not exercising. A voice in the back of my head tells me I’m making the wrong decision by ignoring it.

I also discovered once I gave myself an excuse to not workout, I could easily apply that lie to myself repeatedly. From there, I found myself unable to exercise due to the mountain of excuses I gave myself. This is otherwise known as the snowball effect of excuses.

Anyone can start exercising, but sticking to it revolves around making a habit. You need a habit to get out of bed without hitting the snooze, you need a habit to put on your workout clothes, and you need the habit to ignore your thoughts and just exercise. Don’t challenge yourself by doing impossible workout sessions. Instead, do something that you’re more comfortable with.


How to get motivated to exercise

1. Pick a time of day you’re most comfortable with

For me, it’s early in the morning when most people are asleep. I enjoy taking showers in the morning and working out around that time aligns my schedule with it. For others, they enjoy working out at night. So find a time you feel most active and motivated to better yourself.


2. Have everything set up before you workout

The longer you prepare yourself to workout, the more time you have to give yourself an excuse to back away from it. So save yourself the trouble by packing a workout bag that has everything ready to go. That way, it’ll be easier to transition yourself to the gym.

And let’s not forget about preparing your body before you exercise. Using your body the right way is a critical aspect in relation to your workouts. Start noticing how you hold your body throughout the day and the way you carry yourself. Here are a few examples to remember:

How we hold our physiology

The way you hold your body is a huge influential based on the way you feel. If you have your back slouched even as you read this article, straighten it now. It’s hard to feel motivated when your body isn’t in the right position. So straighten your back and broaden your shoulders and you’ll feel a little strange at first, but slightly more motivated. This also applies to the way you walk, tilt your head, and breathe.

Watch your sleeping

The average person doesn’t need 8 hours of sleep to feel motivated, but if you’re going off 3 hours of sleep, your body will start showing signs of it. You’ll become tired and exhausted at random times of the day as you discover a strange purge of energy on other random times of the day.


3. The type of music you listen to

Find the type of music that sends your heart racing and mind rolling. This naturally charges your energy to want to move your body to the beats and push yourself to the limits.


4. Watch your food intake

If you continue eating unhealthy foods, you won’t experience the same results after exercising. The healthier you start eating, the longer you’ll be able to continue your exercise sessions. If you’d like to know a few “healthy” foods that aren’t really that good for you, you could check them out here.


5. Don’t burn yourself out

Start associating exercising as an enjoyable activity rather than a heavy burden. Don’t give yourself impossible goals to complete when you’re just starting off at the gym. You don’t have to spend an hour on the treadmill. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on it and you did 1000% better than someone who decided to remain on the couch.


In final thoughts…

Overall, there isn’t a secret to motivation. To combat the mindset, “How to get motivated to exercise,” don’t drop the daily workout habit you build for yourself. The real secret is dedicating yourself to those workout shoes and starting the process over and over again.

The next time you sit at home questioning if you should workout or remain online, ask yourself what’s the best decision for your health. You can’t lie to yourself and you could only determine what decisions you make.

If you’d like a beginner’s guide on how to start running, you’ll discover a few helpful tips to get started. If you’d like to be part of some popular fitness websites, here are several links that could help you.

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About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He's traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

1 Comment

  1. Monica

    Loved how you made it seem so easy to exercise. I have a pretty hard time whenever I want to go to the gym. But I’ll try out those methods and see where it takes me. Thanks!! ; )

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