Exercise Motivation Tips –
Turn Your Workout Routine into a Habit

Exercise as a Lifestyle

Everyone needs exercise motivation tips from time to time to maintain the consistency necessary to achieve their fitness goals.

We’ve all experienced the highs and lows that go with starting a new exercise routine. You may begin with great enthusiasm as you think about the weight you’re going to lose, the muscles you’re going to chisel, or the time you’re going to spend relaxing and forgetting about the troubles of daily life.

Then you hit a wall as daily obligations interfere with your schedule, you lose your mental focus or physical energy, or what sounded like fun in the beginning becomes something akin to a hamster running on a wheel.

Exercise can easily become a chore if it doesn't fit your lifestyle and interests. If you don’t properly align your workouts to your goals, you may become frustrated as you hit plateaus or fail to see results as expected. You may think that tough love directed toward yourself is the answer, but these exercise motivation tips will prove otherwise.

Adjust Your Focus & Your Attitude

Studies have shown that exercisers are more committed to their fitness routines when they gain some form of immediate gratification. For instance, you’re more likely to stick to your exercise program if it's a fun experience that you want to enjoy on a regular basis. Even if you are one of those people who is totally focused on the long-term benefits such as weight loss, six pack abs, or success at a fitness competition -- enjoy the journey!

Exercise Motivation Tips – Turn Your Workout Routine into a HabitDon't be so focused on your goals that you forget to enjoy the beauty along the way.

If you focus more on the short-term benefits like enhanced energy for your daily life, or time to focus exclusively on your needs, you’re more likely to view exercise with a positive attitude. That positive attitude and the focus on immediate rewards will help you maintain exercise motivation.

Keep It Rolling

An introductory physics class will teach you that bodies in motion remain in motion. Bodies in a sedentary state tend to stay motionless. Using this as an analogy -- while it’s difficult to get your body moving in the form of starting a new exercise routine, it becomes easier and easier to maintain that motion as your body begins to crave those wonderful little endorphins that are released during exercise. This theory of acquired motivation is based upon the cost of pleasure and the benefits of pain.

The next time you want to skip a workout or quit altogether, remind yourself that consistency is the best way to build a lifestyle habit. Simply keep going, even if you have to set a timer and throw yourself into the process at times.

Give yourself permission to shake things up or change courses when you need something fresh; but, keep moving forward. 

Visual Reminders -- and Using Your Mind

There are no right or wrong answers as long as you’re giving your body effective workouts that blend well with your daily life, maintain your enthusiasm, and help you reach your goals. Here are a few exercise motivation tips that may help you keep your edge.

  • If you’re motivated by seeing results, one of the best exercise motivation tips is to give yourself something inspiring to look at when you hit a low. If your goal is to lose weight or to improve muscle definition, you might take monthly photos.
  • Keep a blog or a journal. It's another great way to remind yourself of what you’ve already accomplished and overcome. 
  • Chart your weight or your waist-to-hip ratio. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapists tell us that our minds direct our behavior. Visualize yourself exercising. Visualize your goals completed. 
  • Maintain a positive outlook and stop the negative self-talk.
  • Take care of both your body and mind, remembering that lasting change takes time and effort. Sure, sometimes the going gets tough and you may have to dredge up your last ounce of discipline that day; but, be sure to have lots of fun along the way.
  • Think about all of your exercise activities. If you don’t get excited thinking about one of them, perhaps it’s time to make a change. Replace it with something that motivates you -- something you look forward to doing.

Recommended Reading

Books to Motivate and Inspire You

To achieve lasting fitness, we have to change our minds—before we can change our bodies. In No Sweat, Segar shows us how. Translating twenty years of research on exercise and motivation into a simple four-point program, she helps readers broaden their definition of exercise, find pleasure in physical activity, and discover realistic ways to fit it into their lives. 

Tricia is the first paraplegic female to complete an Ironman Triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run).  

Tricia was featured in the Warren Miller documentary Superior Beings, Life Moments, Muscle and Fitness Hers, Mile High Sports and Rocky Mountain Sports magazines. 

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