Regular exercise is very important. And when you’re in “the zone” and having a great workout, it can be very exhilarating. But what about the days when you’re just not excited about it? How do you keep your motivation from plummeting? Here are a few tips:
a lot of us, doing the same workout day in and day out can feel very
repetitive, and it can get old fast. So try mixing it up. Maybe you jog a
few days a week, then you do yoga for a few days. Even if you want to
stick with the same kind of workout every day, there are still ways to
add variety. If you’re a jogger, try a new route. If you lift weights,
try a new machine or a different exercise. Do whatever keeps you
Have the right attitude
When working out feels like something we’re obligated to do — and when we start to feel guilty when we don’t do it —
then it’s difficult to maintain our motivation. Exercising doesn’t have
to feel like doing your taxes. If you approach it with the right
attitude, it can be something you take pleasure in and genuinely want
to do. Yes, there will always be those days when we’d rather hit the
snooze button instead of hitting the gym. But if you remind yourself
that you’ve created a workout routine because you love and respect
yourself enough to care for your body, you’ll be much more likely to
stay on track.
Listen to your body
This one goes along with having the
right attitude. If you start to view exercise as an obligation, one of
two things is likely to happen. As discussed above, you may just lose
interest. Or, you may push yourself even harder because you feel like
it’s something you’re “supposed” to do. You may continue pushing your
body even if you’re exhausted or injured. And eventually, this is likely
to cause burnout, too. So pay attention to how your body feels, and
don’t be afraid to be gentle with yourself.
Ditch the self-criticism
The reality is, life happens.
Sometimes things come up and we just don’t have the time to work out on a
particular day. Don’t guilt trip yourself about that. And even if it
has been years since you’ve exercised, don’t get down on yourself. Just
start where you’re at and do the best you can. Being critical of
yourself will only sabotage your efforts.
Make it fun
A great way to keep yourself
interested in your workout routine is to find little ways to make it
fun. If you’re a jogger, create a playlist of your favorite songs. If
having a workout buddy makes exercising more enjoyable for you, reach
out to a friend who may be interested. There are even people who do
parkour dressed as superheroes! Working out doesn’t need to be boring.
Sticking with a workout routine is
much easier when you have people around you who recognize your hard work
and accomplishments. So tell your friends and family about your
efforts. Join online groups of like-minded people looking to get in
shape. Starting and maintaining new habits isn’t always easy, and having
a network of cheerleaders can go a long way.
No more negativity
It’s easy to fall into the same
mindset of the people we spend the most time with. If there are people
in your circle who have a negative attitude, try to minimize the time
you spend with them; or at the very least, try to avoid talking to them
about your exercise routine. If you have a coworker who has given up on
trying to improve their own health, that cynicism could rub off on you.
Don’t let the negativity and frustration rub off on you and your ability
to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Set goals and treat yourself when you
reach them. These don’t have to be extremely difficult goals. You don’t
need to be running a mile in five minutes. Your goal could just be to
workout three days a week —
and when you do that, find a nice way to remind yourself you did a good
job. You can get a massage, go to a spa, or even just carve out a
little quiet time for yourself at home to watch a movie or read a book.
At the same time, it’s important to listen to your body — don’t feel like you need to push yourself to reach a goal if your body is telling you otherwise.
Make room for change
Our bodies have different needs at
different points in our lives. Our dietary and exercise needs change
significantly during pregnancy, for example. But it doesn’t have to be
something as dramatic as pregnancy for your needs to evolve. A new job
with a different schedule can change the amount and type of exercise
that feels doable. Remember, the type and intensity of exercise that
felt great to you a year ago may not be right for you now. Don’t be
afraid to change your routine and experiment with new kinds of workouts.