Motivation to exercise

There are many, many ways to motivate yourself to exercise. Not every method suits everyone, and we all have different stuff going on in our lives, so they won’t all apply to you.

It’s best not to have too many things going on, but look through all these tips and find a few that suit you, then build them into your day.

Your body and your health will thank you.

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Enlist the help of other people:

  • Play sport in a team.
  • Arrange to meet a friend for exercise – you couldn’t disappoint them and not go.
  • Engage a personal trainer.
  • Find a friend, family member or people in a chatroom/forum who will keep you accountable.


If you don’t mind spending some money:

  • Join a gym and you will want to get your money’s worth.
  • Buy some equipment but be sure you are going to use it. A lot of fitness equipment ends up being stored and then sold at garage sales.
  • Sign up with a personal trainer or motivational coach.


  • Graph your exercise sessions and achievements or track them on line.
  • Put a large calendar on the wall and mark off exercise sessions.
  • Buy a fitness tracker and use it.


  • Find an exercise you enjoy – dancing, hiking, skiing perhaps.
  • Exercise in front of entertainment – movies or TV series.
  • Compete with others through apps and online communities.


  • Organize a reward program for yourself – small rewards for small goals achieved and larger ones for larger goals.
  • You might like to put a coin in a jar each time you exercise and buy yourself something when you have a larger amount of money saved.
  • Remember that a fit, healthy body is a reward too.
  • After exercise, you get a feeling of accomplishment, a fit body to look forward to, and a rush of endorphins. That is rewarding in itself and you can exercise waiting for the intrinsic reward that is coming.


  • You might just have to go and exercise by using self discipline. Remember, the hardest part is getting the shoes on and getting out there. Once you have got to the exercise venue, what else will you do if not exercise?
  • If you exercise first thing in the morning, put your shoes and exercise clothes beside your bed so it becomes automatic to wake up and put the gear on and get started. If it helps, sleep in your exercise clothes.
  • If you exercise after work, make sure your exercise clothes are in your car or somewhere handy and don’t think ‘will I or won’t I’. You need to go an exercise because that is what you do.
  • You can always tell yourself you will do 5 minutes and then if you are really uncomfortable, you can go home. Most likely once you get started, you will keep going.
  • Can you find a way to make exercise just happen in your day?
    • Can you walk to and from work, or get off the bus 2 or 3 stops before work?
    • Is it possible to go for a walk at lunchtime rather than sitting in a lunchroom?
    • Can you go in the car with a family member when they go out and walk home?
    • What about a drive to a park, scenic spot or beach early in the morning, and the only way to enjoy it properly is to walk or run?
    • Would you dog appreciate more walking?
  • Couple your exercise regime with good, healthy food. Remember, nothing tastes as good as fit feels.


  • Set goals and translate them into action steps. You can then schedule them on your calendar and make them non-negotiable.
  • If you have measurable goals, you measure your progress.
  • A goal is something to focus on, something to hold in your mind to motivate you to exercise over and over.
  • A goal is your reason WHY. Your WHY will get you out exercising because it speaks to your dreams and your motivation.

With all these motivators, the common element is making the decision and committing. You can do it.