Wondering how to get motivated to exercise? Struggling to get up for your morning workout? Try these tried-and-tested tips for exercise motivation.
How to get motivated to exercise
Exercise in the morning
Exercising first thing in the morning fires up your metabolism, and keeps it burning calories at a higher rate throughout the day. A study at Norhumbria University found that exercising before breakfast can help you lose 20% more body fat. Exercising early in the day helps prevent weight gain and insulin resistance.
When you exercise in the morning, you can check it off your list and feel proud of yourself. After you’re done with your workout, you have the whole day ahead of you for other things. You won’t have to drag yourself into the gym when you’re exhausted after work.
Pick a day and time, then put your workout on your calendar just like any other important appointment. Commit to do it once it’s scheduled. Prepare your clothes and shoes the night before, so that you can quickly get up and head right to your workout.
Broadcast your plans
Telling friends and family about it will reinforce your commitment and help you follow through. Make use of Facebook and Twitter to let the world know about your intentions. Post your successes as well as your setbacks! Community support can help you stick to your fun project.
Put your alarm clock where you have to get up to turn it off
This will force you to get out of bed. Once you’re up, it’s easier to start your morning jog, yoga, or bootcamp class.
If you feel drowsy and lethargic for your morning workouts, just give yourself a little time. Your body will eventually adjust to having early-morning workouts, and you’ll find that you sleep better and wake up with more energy.
Make a date with a workout buddy
Committing to meet with a workout buddy or a personal trainer at a set time will help motivate you to keep your promise to yourself. If you don’t have a friend who’s interested in exercising with you, find one at the gym. You’ll feel motivated to get up to meet with your workout partner.
Set your workout to music
The right music can make you more energetic, and make you excited about your workout. Start making a playlist of the kind of music that you know will make you motivated to get moving!
Have a hearty breakfast planned
After your workout, there’s nothing like a healthy and delicious breakfast. Thinking about what you’ll have for breakfast can be a great motivation to finish your workout. Eat some protein with breakfast, and be sure you don’t just put back ALL those calories you’ve just burned. If you feel weak early in the morning, a light startup breakfast of Greek yogurt or a protein shake may help.
Find ways to reward yourself
Pick a way to treat yourself after you’ve met your goals for a few weeks. It could be an appointment at the spa, a movie, a new outfit, or anything you’re sure to look forward to. Looking forward to your reward will help get you motivated to exercise.
Find your WHY
Figure out what you’re really seeking from this dedication to exercise. You may say “weight loss” or “better health”, but WHY do you want those things? After identifying your true motivation, visualize the outcome. How will it FEEL to achieve your fitness goals?
Imagining benefits is a technique called “mental contrasting.” In one study of 51 female students who claimed they wanted to eat fewer junk food snacks, researchers asked each woman to imagine the benefits of nibbling on better foods. Those who identified the trigger that made healthy eating difficult for them — and came up with a plan to reach for healthier food when cravings hit — were most successful at sticking to their goal.
More ways to get motivated to exercise
Here is a list of other ways you may want to try to find the motivation to exercise:
- Wash your hair only on days you work out.
- Put on your workout clothes.
- Write down how you feel after every workout, or post it on your social media channels.
- Ask yourself: “How bad will I feel if I skip this workout?”
- Sign up for exercise classes
- Give yourself micro-challenges.
- Pick types of exercise you like.
- Hang out with positive people with good attitudes.
- Tell yourself, “Just do it for 10 minutes, then I can go home.”
- Track your successes.
- Remind yourself how much stronger (or leaner, or faster) you’re getting.
If you’d like some personal help with exercise accountability and motivation, contact Basics and Beyond to schedule a time to talk about what kind of help would work best for you.