Motivate Yourself to Work Out : Maxener Wellness

Method 1 Getting in the Right Frame of Mind

Write down a list of attainable goals and look at it often. Think about the reasons you want to work out, and a few fitness goals you’d like to achieve. Put the list somewhere you’ll see it often, like on the refrigerator or near your bathroom mirror.

  • Try to include both short-term and long-term goals on your list. For instance, you might include, “Be able to do 50 sit-ups,” as well as, “Finish a marathon.”
  • You can set physical goals, but don’t make your workout all about how you look. If you’re working out just because you want to look like a supermodel, you’re probably going to get discouraged.

Replace the word “should” with the word “want.” If you tell yourself you “should” do something or you “have to” do something, you’ll find it harder to get started. Instead, look at your list of goals and remind yourself why you want to work out in the first place.

  • For example, if you think, “I should go for a run right now, but I don’t want to,” try reminding yourself of a goal, like, “I want to feel stronger and more confident, and running today will help me accomplish that.”

Buy yourself some cool new workout gear. If you only have one pair of gym shorts or yoga pants, it’s easy to skip working out because you haven’t done laundry. Treat yourself to a few new pieces of athletic wear that you really love. You’ll be excited to work out just to have an excuse to wear them!

  • Workout gear can be expensive, so don’t try to buy it all at once if you don’t have the extra money. Just buy one or two pieces whenever you can, and keep your eye out for good sales.
  • Try setting your workout gear on a chair or a table so it’s out in the open. That way, it will keep the idea of working out at the forefront of your mind.

Set up rewards for when you complete a workout or hit a new goal. Think of something that will motivate you when the workout gets tough or you don’t want to get off the couch.

  • Your rewards can be anything that you look forward to, from getting a smoothie or watching your favorite show after your workout to buying a new pair of shoes that you’ve been eyeing.

Find a workout buddy if you like having an accountability partner. Some people prefer to work out alone, but you might find motivation from having a friend to help keep you on track. The two of you can plan to work out together, or you can just talk at the end of each day and discuss whether you both met your goals.

  • Talking to a friend can be really helpful for identifying the barriers that keep you from working out. Having to explain the reason you didn’t hit the gym will force you to really think about the underlying cause, whether it be due to self-doubt, stress, or feeling overwhelmed.
  • A group fitness class can be a great way to find a supportive group of people who will motivate you to work out.

Make a playlist that makes you want to move. Music that is between 125-140 beats per minute has been shown to be the most effective for working out. Pick fast-paced music with a strong beat that you can jam out to while you exercise.

  • Songs at 140 bpm include “Womanizer” by Britney Spears, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows, and “OMG” by Usher.
  • Start listening to your playlist while you’re getting dressed to get you in the right frame of mind before your workout even starts.

Method 2 Starting Your New Routine

Aim to work out 3 days per week. Setting a manageable goal, like exercising 3 times a week, makes it more likely that you’ll meet your goal, because you won’t feel discouraged if you miss a day.

  • When you are able to work out without feeling pressured, you might even find that you’re motivated to work out more often than your goal!
  • In general, you should do 150 minutes of cardio a week, and add resistance training on at least 2 days of the week.

Add both cardio and strength training to your routine. When you’re focusing on getting in shape, it’s important to balance endurance training, or cardio, with strength training exercises like lifting weights.

  • Combining resistance training and cardio is a great way to do both at once. Jump squats, burpees, and mountain climbers can be added into your cardio routine. Crossfit and circuit training are other options.

Schedule your workout into your day. Life can get hectic, and you probably have a lot going on in your day. You plan meetings for work, doctors’ appointments, and even lunch with your friends, so make working out a priority by scheduling time for your workout.

  • Working out doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. Schedule 20 minutes into your day — 10 minutes for a high-intensity workout, and 10 minutes for a quick shower.

Sign up for fitness classes to motivate yourself. One way to motivate yourself to work out is to put your money on the line. If you sign up for a class you have to pay for even if you don’t attend, you’ll find yourself feeling more inclined to show up.

  • Fitness classes are also a great way to find a supportive community, and you get the benefit of a trainer who can critique your form.
  • Look for fitness classes that combine cardio and resistance training. Circuit classes and Crossfit may be good options.
  • Depending on your interests, you could try yoga classes, spin class, kickboxing, or dance lessons.

Start with short workouts that you’re likely to complete. Don’t try to force yourself to work out for an hour the very first time you exercise. Instead, start with small goals that you feel are manageable, like doing 10 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups.

  • The next day, try to increase the number to 15 of each, and add in 10 squats.

Set mini-goals during your workout. Spending 20 minutes on the treadmill might seem intimidating if you’re out of breath 2 minutes in. Instead of focusing on the big picture, tell yourself you can make it to 3 minutes, then 5, then 7.

  • If you need to, slow your pace during the workout so you can keep going and meet your goals.

Method 3 Staying Motivated

Make bargains with yourself if you’re having trouble getting started. Sometimes the hardest part of working out is taking the first step. If you’re finding it hard to get started, try bargaining with yourself. Tell yourself you just have to put on your workout clothes, but you don’t have to do anything else.

  • After that, try telling yourself to just go outside and stretch, do your warm-up routine, or drive to the gym.

Find exercises you think are fun. Most people think of activities like running or lifting weights when they think of working out, but as long as you’re being active, you’re making yourself healthier. Find an activity you really love, like rock climbing, swimming, or dancing, and make that your workout.

  • Even just a quick dance party in your living room a couple of times a day can help you get in better shape!
  • Other examples of fun workouts might include Tai Chi, Zumba, parkour, or even joining an amateur sports team!

Switch up your exercises so you don’t get bored. If you do the exact same thing every day, whether it’s running around the block or doing the same workout video, you’ll start to get bored. You may stop seeing the same results once your body is used to the exercise, and this can affect your motivation. Try to change up your workout routine to keep challenging yourself.

  • You might want to run one day, lift weights another, and go swimming on the weekends, for example.

Keep a fitness journal and write down your feelings after each workout. You can use this journal to keep up with your progress, too. When you don’t feel like working out, take out the journal and read how good each workout made you feel, and look at how far you’ve come.

  • One of your journal entries might read, “I finally beat my best time on running a mile! I feel excited and strong, but I think I can still go faster!”

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