Don't Feel Like Going to the Gym?

Exercise MotivationCredit: GeorgeStepanekStaying motivated to exercise can be really tough. Whether its feeling like you don't have enough time, not having the energy, or getting bored of the same old routine, there are many things that sap our motivation to work out. Exercise is important and has tons of health benefits including stong muscles and stong bones. Exercise motivation is something that we all struggle with from time to time. If you want to be healthy, stay in shape, or accomplish some fitness goal but you can't seem to stick to anything long enough to get results, here are a few tips that I have found can get you over the hump and keep you going to the gym.

1. Find a work out partner

This is perhaps the best piece of advice out there for exercise motivation. The second best piece of advice is similar and it goes like this: Make sure that you find a good workout partner. If you find someone who is less motivated to workout than you are to be your workout partner then you will only play to each other's weaknesses. Pick someone who is more motivated than you if you can. Pick someone who will be calling asking where you are if you are late. This helps because you are expecting each other to show up. If you are a competitive person, find someone who is in better shape than you to workout with, or someone that will push you to go further. Finding a good workout partner can be difficult but it adds that extra energy to your workout that will push through the doldrums and help you get results.

2. Find the time that works

Some people like to workout first thing in the morning. Some people like it later in the evening. Whatever time you choose, make sure that it will work with your schedule and it is the best time for you. I like to exercise right after work before I go home. I am not a morning person, and if I go home first, then I eat dinner and get distracted with other things. Pretty soon it's getting late, I'm getting tired, and the workout does not happen. Find the time that works for you (and your partner if you have one) and this will help keep your workout motivation high.

3. Set goals

Are you trying to lose weight? Get ripped? Lift more weight? Whatever the goal is the point is the same. If you are not working towards something than why are you working at all? It's ok to pick some lofty seemingly unattainable goals to keep in the back of your head as long term goals. To stay motivated to exercise for any length of time, you need a few simple short term goals that will push you, but are not impossible to reach. A good short term goal might go something like this: Reduce your mile time by 1 minute, lose 5 pounds, or lift 10 more pounds. These little goals will help you see results and keep you hungry for more.

4. Find exercises you like to do

This is important especially if you are just starting and having motivation problems. Don’t think that you have to start with running if you hate running. Try the bicycle, or the elliptical, or something entirely different. The important thing is to start exercising learn to enjoy it. Concentrate on the immediate benefits of exercise. Exercise relieves stress and stimulates the release of endorphins which give you that natural good feeling. If you are lifting weights, feel that great pump in your muscles that actually makes them immediately bigger! Albeit temporarily, but you can rest assured that you are building a stronger body. Sticking with exercises you like is fine for beginners, and will help you get motivated to exercise, but eventually you will need to challenge yourself by doing things that you don’t necessarily like.

4. Change up your routine

Sometimes we have been exercising for a few months and we do exactly the same thing every time we enter the gym. Not only can this get boring, but it will slow our progress and we will see fewer and fewer results. This can lead to a lack of motivation that causes us to stop coming to the gym altogether. Change up your workout at least every few months. Try to incorporate different exercises in every workout. For example, if in week one you do barbell curls for your bicep workout, for week two do inclined dumbbell curls. Then make sure you change up some of those goals every few months too. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, then work hard towards that goal for a few months. Then make your goal to refine that muscle and lose fat. Change is vital to a successful workout routine and will help keep you motivated to workout. Don’t change everything you are doing and all of your goals every week though. If you do that then you will never be able to track your progress and you will again get discouraged. A good balance of consistency and change is what I am suggesting here.

5. Invest in your body

This tip is something that is good at keeping me motivated to workout. Start by going to a good gym that has the equipment that you need. You can start at home, but many times it helps to go to a gym if you are having trouble staying motivated. Pick one that has a gym atmosphere you like or you think you might like. Keep in mind that sometimes it takes a little while to get used to a new place. You are probably not going to feel 100% comfortable the first time you step in a new gym. Second, buy the right clothes, shoes, and equipment (like gloves or belts). This next one is up for debate but it works great for me. Supplements like whey protein can really boost your results and motivate you to workout. There is a psychological factor that may work in your favor as well. People tend to think they have more energy, or they are getting stronger, or whatever the supplement promises. Positive thinking always helps. Lastly, if you are spending money on all of the above mentioned items and you are a financially conscious person, then you will want to make the most of the money you spent and that will further motivate you to exercise!

Staying motivated to exercise can be difficult, but it is not impossible. It takes some discipline and a concerted effort, but it is well worth it. Take action, stop thinking about what you are going to do tomorrow and start today. Use these tips to keep you motivated to exercise, and live a healthy life.