How To: Get Motivated to Exercise

If you are one of the lucky ones, you genuinely enjoy exercising and you look forward to doing it each day. If you are like the rest of us, you don’t. I despise exercising, but I do it anyway, usually watching the clock the whole time, wishing I was finished.

At the end of the day, I don’t know if it is motivation or commitment that keeps me exercising because I just look at it as another chore that I have to complete.

I consulted my favorite fitness motivator on Twitter, @joycecherrier, about this topic. Joyce provided this insight, “I’m a true believer in vision fuels motivation. That vision can be in the form of a cholesterol number you want to change, a picture of a physique you admire or sport you want to excel at. Whatever the vision is wake up to it and take it to bed with you.”

I have come up with ten tips that make it easier for me to complete my exercise routine for the day and if I may, I’d like to share them with you. If you are like me, hopefully these will help you too! If you have other tips that you use, please share them in a comment below.

1. Dance – Nothing motivates me more than music. I listen to music almost all day long. Dancing around your house to your favorite music is great exercise, and it doesn’t even feel like you are exercising! This one is at the top of my list.

2. Pay Yourself – Are you motivated by money? Great. Pay yourself a dollar, or five dollars, every time you work out. Put it in a glass jar where you can see it adding up. Start thinking about what you’ll buy when you save up enough exercise money!

3. Don’t Think About It – I’m a great negotiator, even when it comes to negotiating with myself. Since getting started exercising is the hardest part, I just try not to think about it at all, otherwise there is a good chance I’ll come up with a very rational sounding reason not to do it.

4. Get Other People Involved – My son and I regularly exercise together. He rides his Razor scooter while I ride my bike. We’ll ride for miles and we love it. My mother, who is in excellent shape, walks with her neighbors regularly. When you get other people involved, it becomes a fun activity instead of a boring chore.

5. Get A Dog – An article in the February 2006 American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that dog owners walk almost twice as much as those who don’t own a dog. Get a dog, you’ll walk more.

6. Do It At The Right Time of Day – What is the right time of day for you to exercise? I’m feeling the most energetic between 5am – 9am, so if I want to be sure I get my exercise in for the day, I know I have to do it in the morning. Other people prefer after work in the evenings. Find the time of day that works well with your body, and it will be much easier.

7. Train For An Event – I run the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th in Atlanta every year. It is a 10K (6.2 miles). The reason this is good is because it forces me to prepare and train for an event coming up. It creates a sense of urgency, which is very helpful otherwise it would be easy to put it off forever.

8. Consider Your Children – I want to live a long life. I want to live to hug and kiss my great grandchildren. I want to set a good example for my son. I don’t want to be one of those people that waits until they have a health crisis to wake up and live a healthier life. I want to live a healthy life now. Think about it. This will motivate you.

9. Hire A Personal Trainer – You can’t blow off your exercising if you’ve hired a personal trainer and he is waiting for you at the gym for your appointment! This is one of the best ways to force yourself to show up!

10. Tell Other People You Are Going To Do It – If you talk about exercising and tell your friends that you are going to do it, then you most likely will. This is one time when guilt can work in your favor. HA!