• Tricia

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

Working in the fitness industry, you would think that staying motivated to exercise would be super easy. I work in a gym, I watch others workout all the time...so it's literally so easy for me to stay fit, right? While working in a gym setting provides easy access to gym equipment, as well as endless amounts of fitness inspiration from others, sometimes being there so much actually pushes me away from staying there to workout. Ever wanted to hang out at your workplace for a couple hours after you get off work for the day? Most likely not.


Just like most everyone else, I go through my ups and downs with fitness motivation. There are times that I (GASP) get tired of CrossFit. Although I believe it is absolutely necessary to take breaks now and then, I don't use a lack of motivation on some days as an excuse to throw in the towel. There are several strategies that I utilize when my motivation levels are lacking. Try some of these out next time you are dreading that trip to the gym!



Find an exercise community.

I find it very important to workout with people who share my love for fitness and a desire to improve. We feed off of each other's motivation when ours is lacking. Tooting the CrossFit horn a bit here, but there is no better community out there, in my opinion. These people genuinely want your success as much as they want their own. We cheer each other on and push each other harder. What better way to get pumped up to exercise than to have someone call you and ask you where the hell you've been and to get your ass back to the gym? Sometimes we all need a little kick in the booty. Be it a fitness class, a group of friends, or a sports team, surround yourself with others that share similar fitness goals with you.



Try something different.

I am a firm believer in doing what you love. If you hate and dread going to the gym to run on the treadmill every day, then stop effing doing it. The key to longevity in an exercise program is enjoyment. Love what you are doing, or at least find some aspect of it to love. Maybe you hate sweating or getting your heart rate up, but when you do it in a group setting, it becomes a social outing as well. That can be something you like. I get to go the gym and hang out with my friends every day. Then, it becomes something you can stick with over time. Try new activities, sign up for races, join a recreational sports league, ask your neighbor to go for walks a few times a week, go outside and play with your kids, etc. There is an infinite number of ways to be active. Keep trying them until you find one you like!


Remember your exercise why.

It may sound super corny, but it is important to figure out why exercise is an important part of your life. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, do your first unassisted pull-up, lower your cholesterol levels, run your first 5K, or build up more stamina to be able to play with your kids, you started exercising for a reason. Remember that why and know that putting in the work now will pay its dividends later.


Continue to set goals.

Along the same lines as the last point, continue to set goals as you go. Once you run that 5K, celebrate that win! Take a couple of days to recover, but during your recovery, start setting your next goal! Maybe you should try running a 10K next. Constantly setting that bar higher and higher for yourself pushes you to continue your work. Draw motivation from the "finish line highs" you have felt when you accomplish a fitness goal.



Find an accountability partner.

If you know you have a tendency to skip the gym, get someone to check in on you. It can be a workout partner, a friend, a family member, or a coach. Keep each other accountable. Having someone meet you for gym dates, or someone that texts you several times a week to ask about your workout, serves as motivation in itself. Now you are letting another person down if you don't show up that day!



Ask for help.

Enlist the expertise of a coach or hire a trainer to help show you the ropes of whatever activity you are trying to do. Maybe you want to get into weight lifting, but don't know the first thing about proper technique or what exercises are right for you. Feeling lost about where to start can be super frustrating and de-motivating! Find the right person to train you to help yourself. Trust me, exercising is MUCH more fun when you actually know what you are doing.



Look to others for inspiration.

While I was training competitively in CrossFit, I always drew motivation from people I worked out with. To me, having training partners that were stronger or better than me was more valuable than having a coach. Being around people that I admired or looked up to pushed me so much harder than I ever pushed when I was alone. Find people in your sport or activity to look up to, or, even better, find people who achieved things that you would like to achieve, and train with them.


Know when to take a break from the gym.

Going to the same place and doing the same things day in and day out can become monotonous. Change it up by going on a hike or trying out a fitness class that you've never done before. On the other hand, your body could be telling you that you just need some rest. If you've been killing it in the gym for the past few days, chances are you are super tired and sore. That's your body's natural way of asking you to chill out for a second. Read more about why it's important to rest here.


Have you struggled with staying motivated to workout? What are you doing to combat those negative feelings toward exercise? Hopefully this post gives you some ideas on how to mix it up and stick to your fitness goals. Let me know in the comments!

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