Staying Motivated

It’s easy to start an exercise routine once you’ve decided it’s time for a change, but keeping it up is a challenge for many people.

Hitting a road block or two is normal, but you need to have a plan to deal with it.

There are bound to be days when you have a bad work out or don’t get to exercise at all.

When this happens, the most important thing is to accept it, turn any negative thoughts into positive thoughts, and plan to get back at it tomorrow.

Read more about positive self-talk, which can be really helpful for getting over these hurdles.

Record Your Activity!

Stay on track with your routine by keeping a record of the activity that you do.

It can help keep you more accountable for times that you do not make time for activity and times that you could have done more.

A record or log will also help you see patterns so you can adjust your routine to work better for you.

  • Is there a certain day of the week that you have trouble finding time to work out?
  • Do you work out longer when you choose to swim instead of run?
  • Are there certain activities that you enjoy more than others?

A log will help you see these patterns.

We have a printable physical activity record for you to use. Try it out and see if it works for you!

Bored? Try One of These

The road block you hit may be boredom.

Mix Up Your Routine

That’s why it is important to mix up your routine with activities that you enjoy. Mixing up your routine also helps you work different muscles.

Let’s say you are getting tired of doing the elliptical at the gym for 30 minutes every day. For a change of pace, you could try a cardio class once a week instead. Another day, you could do a brisk walk or bike ride with a friend to mix it up even more.

Varying your activities — and even how hard you are working out — from day to day also lowers your risk of developing an overuse injury.

Find an Exercise Buddy

That said, having a buddy or a group to work out with can be a real motivator.

If you have regular planned activities with a group or even just one other person, it also helps hold you accountable and get you moving.

Plus it can make working out more fun!

Do You What You Enjoy

Choosing activities that you enjoy, fit into your schedule, and are within your budget will also help keep you motivated.

Select a few aerobic activities (like walking and swimming) and a few that help you build muscles (like using weight machines or walking with light weights).  

Be prepared — choose a few activities you can do outside and a few you can do inside when the weather is bad.

  • Last Reviewed: December 17, 2013
  • Last Edited: April 7, 2014

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