Finding the Motivation to Exercise

There’s an Instagram fitness guru who was asked how she stays motivated to work out every day. She replied that she actually isn’t motivated every single day, but that working out has become a habit. Even if she doesn’t feel like it, she still does it because it’s just become part of her habitual routine.

I read in It Starts wit Food if you want to create a health/fitness related habit, you need to stick with it for six months in order for it to keep with you for years to come. When starting out, don’t think about making it to six months, or making it a permanent habit. Focus on one day at a time. When you wake up, decide that regardless of what happens later, today you are going to work out.

For me, creating a calendar and writing my workouts in advance, then writing the stats of said workout once completed, helps me to stay excited about my goals. In the past two years I have worked out consistently 5 to 6 days a week. The only times I haven’t, is post marathon when I take a few days off from the gym and usually a week off of running.

For two months in early 2018 I wasn’t able to run and was even on crutches for a week. Yet, thanks to my husband who helped me stay positive, I still went to the gym and did upper body exercises, then eventually started biking every day until I could run again. The main reason was because every morning for the past 7ish months, I’d been working out in the morning. It came to the point that if I didn’t workout in some way, I just felt off all day. It has become a habit, so I stick with it.

There have been days when I was dealing with stressful situations and didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. Once I did get up, I put on my running clothes that I laid out the night before, and stepped out the door just because it has become what I do. Once I’m out there, all the other reasons for why I run come flooding back. Although I run for so many reasons aside from “it’s a habit”, the fact that it is a habit has helped me stick with it.

After having said motivation isn’t the key, but instead the key is creating the habit -it’s time to give suggestions for staying motived in the early stages.

  • -working out/running with others
  • -keeping track of your running stats
  • -signing up for a race
  • -be around like-minded, positive people (ideally in person, but also following people who inspire you on social media helps)
  • -rewarding yourself with new workout clothes when you complete a tough run/tough week/stay with your workout for a month/etc.
  • -healthy snacks as a reward (smoothies, acai bowls, protein shakes, healthy carbs)
  • -keeping a food log (if healthy eating is also something you want to accomplish)
  • -write down your long-term goals, then write down what daily goals you need to accomplish in order to reach them and focus on the daily ones
  • -create goals you can control, rather than saying “I want to lose five pounds in a month” say, “I want to cut out all dessert this month” (You really have no control over how much weight you lose, some lose it easier than others. However, you can control your actions, so the best goals are action based.)
  • -having a membership at a gym you enjoy helps
  • -set out your workout clothes ahead of time and if you work out in the morning, put them on right when you wake up
  • -having music or audiobooks you only listen to while working out, so you look forward to the workout so you can listen to it
  • -read motivational books
  • -focus on how running (or exercising in general, or healthy eating) will make you feel better-not just physically but also mentally and emotionally
  • -think about how your body deserves to be treated well! Cutting out, or limiting, certain foods and exercising will help your body fight off disease, give you endorphins, give you confidence, and help you live a longer and happier life

These are all things that have helped me, and I hope they help you as well! You can also read my other post about the health benefits of running 😀

3 comments

  1. I get the motivation question too and most of my readers say it’s the number one thing they struggle with, so for the month of May I’ve decided to focus on writing about how to get motivated, but I agree that once you get started, you need the habit to keep you motivated. I’m definitely not motivated every day, but I go for a run or workout because it’s on my schedule and running is what I do!

    Liked by 1 person

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