Motivation To Exercise

by Bob Walsh

We all know that sport is good for us – both for our body and our mind. Doctors disagree on many things, but the one thing that they all disagree on are that leading an active lifestyle and doing sports is good for your health, and it’s one of the best ways to lose weight quickly and get in shape. Yet, despite knowing that, it’s not so easy to find the motivation to exercise.

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There are some general tips that can help you to become more motivated:

Exercise With Friends

If it’s teamwork it will be a lot easier to keep at it than if you try to do it all by yourself. If you find a partner, or several, who will do sports with you, then chances are that you’ll stick to your plans much better. It’s a way of holding each other accountable. Fitness pals help you to if you need motivation to exercise simply because somebody other than you will know if you skip a day.

Studies have shown that having a workout partner helps people to exercise more.1

Of course, you should choose your exercise partner wisely. If someone is unreliable, complains or whines, then that’s not helping you to stay motivated. And it needs to be someone who can exercise at the same time like you – you need to sync your schedules.

You and your partner should motivate each other. Celebrate successes, and push for sticking to your plans, even if one of you doesn’t feel that way.

And if it’s not a friend or spouse, that actually has benefits too: if it’s someone who is “just” your exercise buddy. With a spouse, you could get into a fight and then it’s too easy to break the exercise routine.

Reward Yourself

Not just kids like rewards – adults do too. It’s a way of psychologically reinforcing a certain behavior. It’s important. It doesn’t have to be something big, but you really should do some symbolic gesture. It’s a way of showing appreciation to yourself. You see, a lot of people punish themselves and feel guilty when they skip working out for a day – but most people don’t rewards themselves for doing it.

Of course, if your goal is loosing weight, then you shouldn’t reward yourself with ice-cream or cake. But you can simply put 1 dollar or 5 dollars into a piggybank everytime you work out. One day, you can use that money to treat yourself. Need ideas? Spend a relaxing day being pampered in a nice spa. Go to the cinema. Go shopping. Make a trip to somewhere.

Make More Money

A June 2012 study2 has shown that people who exercise regularly earn 9% higher salaries.

Keeping Track

It’s good to write down how often you exercise, or how many minutes you exercise, or how many miles you jogged, stuff like that. It will make you feel good every time after you exercise to add to your list. And subconsciously, it helps to keep your long-term commitment. Because once you’ve worked out, for example, 30 hours, you can see that you’ve already invested a substantial amount of time into it. And the higher your “investment” is, the more committed you are to keep at it, and the more difficult it will be to fail.

If you need motivation to exercise and lose weight, one thing that you can do is to take a picture of you once a month. You should take that picture at the same time of the day, in the same location, same posture, wearing the same clothing, so that you can see the difference.

Pick The Right Sport

Do what you like to do. If you like walking, then walk. If you like lifting weights, then lift weights. If you like cycling, then cycle. If you like hoola-hoop, then do that. If you like karate, then learn karate. It doesn’t matter what you do – but if you do anything it’s so much better than if you do nothing. So make it something that you can enjoy doing.

Mental Doping

I’m not saying you should take any kind of medication. There is something that you can do that will naturally help you finding motivation to exercise. All of us really have two minds: a conscious mind, and a subconscious mind. It’s the conscious mind that say: “I want to work out”. It’s the subconscious mind that – in the long term – decides whether you’re really going to do it or not.

Unfortunately it’s not so easy to make the subconscious mind get in agreement with our conscious decisions, that’s why it sometimes can be challenging to find the motivation to work out.

Olympic athletes are using a certain kind of mental training to keep their motivation levels up, and also to increase their sports performance. That method is hypnosis. I highly suggest you give it a try. Fitness motivation can come to you easily, simply by listening to a short and relaxing hypnosis recording.

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  1. Granner ML, Sharpe PA, Hutto B, Wilcox S, Addy CL., Perceived individual, social, and environmental factors for physical activity and walking., J Phys Act Health. 2007 Jul;4(3):278-93 []
  2. The Effect of Exercise on Earnings: Evidence from the NLSYVasilios D. KosteasJournal of Labor Research, 2012, Volume 33, Number 2, p 225-250 []