I’m not the fittest person out there by any stretch of the imagination, but I really do enjoy going to the gym most days just to sweat and take my mind off of work, family, friends, etc.
And my mindset is that you have to just do it every day (or almost every day) and make it part of your routine. That way, you look forward to it like you do anything else in your life.
How do you stay motivated when it comes to exercise and keeping in shape?
AskReddit users shared their thoughts.
1. Get moving.
“It starts with 10, not 100. Then at 20, suddenly your knees aren’t hurting so bad. At 30, you notice it’s a little easier to get around.
That keeps you motivated and in the right mindset. Worst part is slogging through that first 3-6 weeks.”
“When I started working out again I decided that it would probably take me about 6 months to feel really good and see significant results. I figured that I could be at 75% performance by then, in 26 weeks. My goals are health and stamina, not major appearance changes.
This is where it gets weird but stay with me. I got motivation by thinking of my performance/effort as charging a battery. So 75 divided by 26 is roughly 3 per week. After 1 week of working out I was still slow, sluggish and tired. But of course I was, I was at 3% battery life.
The next week i was at 6 %, and so on. I wouldn’t be out of the ‘red zone” of my battery until 20%, and that was almost 7 weeks. By then, working out 3 times a week was a habit and I sort of forgot about the battery life thing.
But when I got covid and was out of the gym for 2 weeks I reminded myself that my battery life had drained and I needed to work for a few weeks to bring it back to pre-covid levels.
Some people may think that is a weird way of motivating myself but it worked for me and I’ve been 3 times week cardio/weights since December (minus my covid weeks) .”
3. Keep it interesting.
“If I set a rule like every M-WF or whatever, I know I’ll rationalize a reason to be lazy one day. I did this for years and always felt like such a bum for not following through.
Now I do my exercise routine 3 days on/1 day off. Every week it’s a different set of days. Being a different schedule every week helped my boredom problem.”
4. Do your own thing.
“I’ve started piloting my own flexible fitness protocol, because I’m terrible at following a routine program or schedule.
Aside from a few main lifts that I’d like to continue slowly progressing on, I map out a workout routine for the day right before I go to the gym.
Intensity varies, based on time of day, energy levels, sleep, etc. I aim for 4-5 workouts a week, with a few walks in between.”
5. The routine.
“Make it a habit.
Go on the same days every week at the same time. Set yourself up to avoid distractions.
You won’t need motivation, it just becomes a thing you do.”
6. Good idea.
“Routines are ideal, but I have trouble sticking to them and so I have weights next to my computer.
I do sets throughout the day between meetings and gaming with friends.
It never feels like I need to “allocate” time for working out.”
“I started off doing it for “bigger muscles” etc AKA wrong reasons. But over time I found that I like the feeling of progress.
Adding numbers to previous bests. A sense of accomplishment. So now I have no problem lifting or going to the gym, because I have a fondness for it.”
8. Just do it!
“For me, my talk changed. I stopped saying “Im going to the gym” to just “Im at the gym”. We are strange creatures. We will find 1,000,000 reasons not to do something but cannot find a reason to do something or keep doing it depending on who you are.
I didn’t even say I was gonna start jogging I just stepped out the house one day and started running because I couldn’t give my brain a chance to tell myself I dont have the best shoes or what if I look stupid.”
9. Work the different areas.
“Having specific days that you work different muscles was super important for me. Sometimes life happens and you can’t lift one day and ur like”da**it I missed chest day or i had to miss back day”.
Being upset that you missed a day is how you can tell that you’ve made a good habit and that you’re motivated to continually work out. As long as you are being diligent and have decent workouts you’ll see improvements.”
10. Keep improving.
“Results happen quicker than you think; although your body won’t transform that fast, you’ll notice that exercises get easier and easier to do or you’re able to lift more weight.
I’m doing a bodyweight routine right now and it’s kind of addictive to see myself get closer and closer to being able to do pull ups, or being able to do push ups with proper form and range of motion.”
11. This is HUGE.
“For me it feels good to exercise, and it works wonders for my mental health as well.
This understanding of myself has made it easier to come back and keep up the exercising.”
12. Do it badly.
“Discipline is doing it even when you’re not motivated, because it is part of your routine.
I like to tell myself “do it badly” when I’m unmotivated, because that gets me to show up, and showing up is like 60% of the battle.”
Do you have any good exercise tips or advice?
If so, please talk to us in the comments.
We’d really appreciate it!