How to motivate yourself to exercise

You set your alarm to make sure you have time to exercise before you go to work. When that sound tears  into your dreams you are exhausted and struggle to get up. The rain beating against the window confirms out, you’re staying in bed. You’ll compensate by going on a walk at lunchtime, you tell yourself. However, lunchtime rolls around and you’ve too much on desk. No worries, you’ll do it when you get home. It’s seven pm, you’re hungry, tired and there is no motivation in the world that will get you moving. Another day has rolled by. How do we stop that cycle?

Sure, some people love their exercise. The vast majority of us don’t though. Sometimes we enjoy it, other days it feels like misery. We might love the way we feel after it, or perhaps the social outlet of working out with others. A lot of the time, it helps to take a step back and think about what our motivations really are.


Ask yourself

·      Do you exercise as you get to meet other people?

·      Is it important to you for health reasons?

·      Do you enjoy the challenge of mastering skills like football, yoga, running, weights?

·      Do you like the image of yourself as someone who is fit?

·      Are you doing it to please others, like your doctor or your other half?

The first three on the list are things that will keep you motivated for longer. If it’s the latter two that convince you to get off the couch and start moving, it probably won’t be a long term habit for you. You may need to assess your motivations or the type of exercise you do if it isn’t floating your boat enough on a regular basis.


It also turns out, according to a study conducted in the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, that healthy competition motivates people more on an online social network, than just friendly support. Despite the legitimate fears of the online and digital age leading to a more sedentary lifestyle, there are ways that we can use our online footprint to make us actually move our feet as well. In that study, a little bit of competition motivated people to do the most exercise. Therefore, be careful who you choose as your workout buddy. Pick someone who will keep you on your toes, and make sure they are aren’t quitters. Quitting is catching too.