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Need Exercise Motivation? Top 5 Action Steps

It’s a familiar question and one that is always incredibly difficult to answer in a few words.

What motivates me to workout?

Benefits of Exercise

As a personal trainer, I know the many health benefits that come from exercising regularly.

  • I know that a daily workout will improve my cardiovascular condition, which will help to keep my heart and lungs healthy.
  • I know that strength training will improve my muscular endurance and strength, as well as my bone health.
  • I also know that stretching and engaging in various activities will help me maintain a full range of motion.
However, while this knowledge informs my decision to exercise and certainly guides all my workouts, it’s not the primary source of my motivation to stay active.

    How Does Exercise Improve Mental Health

    Exercise Improve Mental Health

     My primary motivation to work out more days than not is my mental health.

    • If I go more than two days without doing something physical, I am irritable, my mood lowers, and I am far more lethargic.
    • Even on my most down days, I feel happier, more energized, and more optimistic if I force myself to workout.

    It’s taken me a few years to recognize this in myself; getting into the gym on most days serves as my source of mental wellness.

    It’s not just me, as research suggests that exercise may reduce the symptoms of depression. 

     

    How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit

    Another important note about what keeps me on track is that I have developed the habit of exercising.

    • I have made exercise a habit by regularly engaging in the behavior for years, the same way any habit is developed.
    • Exercise is a part of my regular routine, and because I want to live a healthy life and be there for my loved ones, I prioritize my workouts.

    It can be challenging to put yourself first; many of you may look after others’ needs before your own. But if you become unwell due to a lack of exercise, who will look after their needs then? It’s not selfish; it’s smart.

     

    Tips to Boost Your Exercise Motivation

    My core motivation to workout is my mental health, but I draw on other sources of inspiration as well.

    • Sure, I want to look good, and exercise helps me to maintain a healthy body. There is nothing wrong with a little vanity, but remember to be kind to yourself, and that your body deserves and needs your unconditional love.
    • I have also found that big goals, such as triathlon or 5km run, keep me motivated. Find your big goal, and use that target as a source of motivation.

      Make Use of Fitness Motivational Quotes

      Motivational quotes are great; find one that works for you, and use it as your mantra when you don’t want to put on your sweats.

      Here is one of my favs, author unknown:

      • “On good days work out, on bad days, work out harder.”

      Here is another:

      • “Your fitness is 100% mental. Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it.”

      You may want to develop your wellness goal into your own personal motivational quote. There is no easy answer to motivation. You need to seek what works for you and hold it tight.

      Fitness Motivational Quotes

      5 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

      1. Determine where your motivation comes from.

      Is it intrinsic like mine and driven by my mental health? Or do you need an extrinsic motivator, such as a massive change in your body composition?

      2. Develop what your motivation really means.

      Make it the carrot at the end of your own stick. This might take some time, and your source of inspiration may change over time.

      3. Set short term and long term goals.

      Reaching goals keeps you moving in the right direction.

      4. Modify, adjust, adapt if your motivation source changes.

      It may take time to figure out what truly gets your fitness engine revving. Maybe it’s competition in organized sport!

      5. Reward yourself.

      It’s essential to recognize your fitness milestones and achievements, no matter how small.

      Be your own biggest fan, and find ways to celebrate being you!

       

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      Sources:

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