Finding the Motivation to Exercise: What Should You Do?

man jogging

We see health experts recommend exercise all the time. The fitness industry regularly espouses the health, aesthetic, and even social benefits of working out. But let’s face it; exercising can be challenging, especially if you’re not the type of person to particularly enjoy physically strenuous activities. People struggle with fitness motivation all the time and end up losing it, quitting halfway through their goals, or going about their exercises half-heartedly.

Motivation is an integral part of working out. Since it’s not very pleasant to do, you need to be psychologically motivated before you go at it. Let’s take a look at some practical steps to keep your motivation high.

Be Realistic with Your Goals

As beginners, we tend to either dread the overwhelming idea of workout from the get-go or be a bit too ambitious with our goals. If you are the latter, you could end up not being able to follow through simply because your goals are not aligned to your current level. It’s not safe to try and deadlift your own body weight if you haven’t trained for it yet.

It’s better to cut your target into shorter but achievable goalposts, as it will not only allow you to train safely, but you’ll have a dopamine-boosting sense of achievements just by making little steps.

Make Actionable Improvements in Your Life

Another problem that many people face is that they find the very act of exercising to be inconvenient. They might have to travel far to get to the gym, or they don’t exactly have the time to exercise. It could also be that they find working out at home a hassle because they need to move the furniture aside.

Whatever the reason is, they’re not just “excuses.” Working out on its own is already physically taxing, and making other adjustments can turn people off to doing it. A way to solve this is to make actionable changes in your life. That means either finding a gym closer to your home or even working out at home.

If you already have a home gym, consider creating a dedicated room only for working out. This way, you don’t have to move furniture every time. Regardless, encouraging yourself to work out by making changes in your daily setup is a great way to stay motivated.

man's upper body

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

One of the most common reasons people lose motivation is because they compare themselves to others and feel like they’re not progressing as fast as the others. But the truth is you don’t have to progress as fast as others do. We all have different body types and different reactions to exercise and diet.

Comparing your progress to others is a moot effort as different factors result in differences in effect. What’s important is to focus on your progress: compare yourself, not to other people but to yourself yesterday. Take your time, and continue exercising. You’ll eventually get to your goals.

Get Someone to Push You

Working out can be fun if you’re doing it with someone, so why not try group classes? Many fitness centers offer group classes that allow you to socialize while exercising. Game-oriented high-intensity interval training is popular nowadays, as it uses social motivations to keep individuals going.

Alternatively, if you have a dog that underwent training, you can go jogging with your furry friend. You can enjoy the outdoors while exercising and spending time with your pet. You don’t have to power through exercise sessions alone, you can always get a friend with you, and if that motivates you, that’s all the more reason you should do it.

Monitor Your Journey Through Fitness Logs

Here’s an interesting way to motivate yourself: keep a fitness diary. It might sound strange, especially if you’re a non-athlete who doesn’t have to be very strict with your fitness regime, but it can help. It will force you to put things into perspective and remind you that you’re always becoming stronger.

A fitness log also tells you whether you’re progressing way too fast, and that can be a bad thing. Slow and safe is better than fast and drastic, as the latter can often result in injury. And as we all know, nothing hurts motivation more than getting hurt.

Fitness is a journey. It’s one that’s filled with pit stops, failures, and successes. There might be times you feel like stopping and quitting; you might not find even the motivation. But through discipline and rational thinking, you can encourage yourself to keep exercising until you reach your goals.

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