How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out (Even When You Don't Really Want To)



With the busyness of modern life, it is perfectly understandable that finding the reasons to exercise is tough. After all, it is a time consuming activity that takes our attention away from all the other things that are happening in life. However exercise is very important, not just for our body’s health but also for our mental health. No pain no gain as they say. It doesn’t always have to be a very strenuous session but working up a sweat is the main way we can stay fit and healthy so ultimately it is a benefit for you. The only thing worse than exercising, is not exercising! So this list is for the next time you need a little motivation to exercise.


Reward Yourself


An easily forgotten thing that you should do is to reward yourself for each positive action that you take to better yourself. Obviously rewarding yourself may have negative consequences on your exercise so you have to choose the right way to reward yourself. Instead of indulging yourself with food, you could consider spending the evening binge watching your favourite show instead. Also, the rewards do not necessarily have to be after exercising either. If you have achieved a particularly gruelling goal then maybe you should consider finishing five minutes earlier than usual or perhaps taking the next day off to celebrate and recuperate from your efforts. If none of these things provide you with incentive then maybe you should consider some sort of financial incentive to help motivate you, for instance you could put a little money aside every time you exercise and hopefully soon you’ll find that you have a fair amount saved up.


Get into the Habit


Has there ever been a time where you have taken an extended break from exercising? If your answer is yes then you’ll know how hard it is to get back into the routine of consistent exercise. Try your best to make exercise a more consistent habit because when you do you won’t feel unmotivated, think about how many daily habits you have already and how strange they seemed when you first started doing them. To make it a daily habit you could set daily reminders for yourself on your phone calendar or you could set aside a specific day of the week and dedicate it to exercising, soon you’ll find yourself stuck in the habit just give yourself a little time to adjust!


Consider a Fitness Tracker


You may not realise how inactive you really are until you get a fitness tracker. A fitness tracker is a great way to track your daily steps and can even be a wake up call with how little you actually do. After all, how many hours do you spend at work just sitting down. You will be able to track your number of steps, calories burned, distances travelled and heart rate. You don’t have to spend over £200 to get a top quality tracker either, the prices can range from as low as £27! A tracker is also a great way to hold yourself accountable and track your progress.


Get a Fitness Buddy


Exercising with a friend is not only a great way to keep things fun and light-hearted but it is also a good way of holding yourself accountable to stay committed. After all, who wants to be that friend who cancels all the time. It can keep exercise fun, the more fun it seems the less tedious exercising can become. Sharing a laugh and encouraging each other can keep anybody motivated. Having a friend to keep you motivated can work wonders with your exercising habits and the great thing is that this works both ways, on the days that your friend is feeling less than motivated you can work your charm and motivate them instead!

Set Small Goals


Everyone has an ideal body or weight that they would like to reach, but these results take time and you cannot reach them overnight. This can lead to a perceived lack of progress and ultimately may prove to be very demotivating for you. You can get around this by setting yourself smaller goals that are attainable in a shorter space of time, for instance you could set a target to run a little longer than you did last time or to try and learn a new yoga position by your next session. There are a lot of things that you can try so feel free to play around and see what fits you best. No matter how small your goals are, remember that surpassing each goal is an achievement and it’ll give you a good confidence boost each time.


Get a Good Playlist


Music is an important part of life, but using carefully selected songs while you exercise has proven to have tremendous benefits. It can be used as a motivational tool, with songs helping to get you ‘in the zone’ and push yourself to the limit. But it can also relieve boredom, if you are on a particularly long run listening to a good album or even a podcast that can keep your attention will be important to get through the journey. Studies have shown that the tempo of a song has an influence on people’s speed while exercising, as people usually try to keep time with the beat of the music. So while finding your ideal remember that they have to be specific to you and that it may be trial and error for a short time but once you find your perfect playlist the results will be reflected in your exercise.



The most important thing is that you are comfortable with yourself and your goals, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to achieve something completely unattainable. Exercise should be considered ‘you’ time, as tedious as it may seem sometimes it is still a great benefit to you and your health.


About Elliot Robinson


I’m a recent graduate of English with strong passion for reading, writing, sport and film. I hope you enjoy what you have read. My career aspiration is to become a writer one day for a magazine.