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Workout Motivation: 10 Ways to Start Exercising and Stay Motivated

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Are you finding it hard to lace up those trainers and start your workout? Or perhaps, you start strong but lose steam midway?

In fact, the biggest battle is not always in the gym. It’s the battle within oneself! In other words, it’s about choosing to work out over an extra episode on Netflix instead of hitting snooze.

That’s why, we’ll give you unique and effective strategies to fuel your workout motivation. You’ll learn how to overcome hurdles, set fitness goals, and cultivate a mindset that keeps you motivated. Ready to change your workout routine?

Let’s get started!


The Major Misinterpretation of Motivation

You might often catch yourself saying, “I just don’t have the energy for it,” particularly when it comes to consistent body workout motivation at home. It’s a widespread assumption that motivation is the ignition key for any action. But, this is a misunderstanding.

The Authenticity of Motivation

The fact is that depending solely on motivation isn’t reliable. We’ve all had times when we’ve held back, waiting for workout motivation women to spark before initiating something.

However, motivation isn’t the initiator; it’s the outcome of the first step.

Initiative Fuels Motivation

When you take the initiative, motivation ensues. It happens because once you start witnessing the benefits of your efforts, you feel driven to persist. So, if you’ve attempted a morning workout at home and felt a motivation deficit, it’s likely because you were waiting for motivation to ignite first.

Altering Your Mindset

The notion, “I just don’t have enough early morning workout motivation at home,” is merely a thought. It’s not necessarily the reality. When you accept this thought, you behave in a way that validates it, and the outcome is you don’t exercise at home, or at all.

Two Minor Adjustments for Major Outcomes

If you desire different results, like regular home workouts, saving funds, getting fit, or having more vitality for your kids, you need to make two minor adjustments:

  • Rethink: Instead of thinking, “I just don’t have enough motivation,” try thinking, “I am receptive to the idea that I can be motivated to workout at home”. It demands practice, but start by being conscious of your thoughts.
  • Act: Remember, motivation stems from action. Persist in showing up for your home workout, even when you don’t feel motivated.


What’s the Difference Between Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Exercise Motivation?

When you get the psychology of motivation down, you’ll be able to align with your brain’s innate mechanisms. To begin with, let’s distinguish between the two main kinds —

Aspects Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation
Definition Comes from personal satisfaction. Influenced by external rewards.
Example Exercising to feel healthier. Exercising to see friends or for a reward.
Effect on Exercise Routine Leads to a long-term routine. Helps start a routine but may not sustain it.
Psychological Phenomenon Not linked to a specific phenomenon. Linked to the overjustification effect.
Long-term Sustainability More sustainable due to self-fulfillment. Less sustainable as it depends on external rewards.


Best Positive Workout Motivation to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Best Positive Workout Motivation to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Every now and then, we stop pushing ourselves to achieve our fitness goals. A survey by the Global Health and Fitness Association finds that 4% of people who join gyms for New Year’s resolutions leave by the end of January, and 10% by February.

Because of that, we have compiled the best workout motivation after consulting with numerous physicians and body trainers.

So, check and implement them.

1. Set a Clear Objective

Creating a distinct objective is a strong driving force. With that said, the SMART framework, an acronym for —

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

In fact, SMART is a well-known strategy for goal setting and improving the workout motivation for men.

On the other hand, the WOOP method provides a holistic approach to setting goals. Here’s how it unfolds —

  • Wish: This represents your ultimate aim or goal. In a fitness context, the wish could be to become fit.
  • Outcome: This is the tangible result you aim to achieve from realizing your wish. For example, the outcome could be crossing the finish line of a 5K run.
  • Obstacle: These are potential barriers or hurdles that might hinder you from realizing your wish. Potential obstacles could be a shortage of time or energy.
  • Plan: This is your blueprint for overcoming the identified obstacles. For instance, you could schedule your runs for a time when you’re feeling more energetic.

Through segmentation into these four elements, the WOOP method not only helps you define your goal but also prepares you for potential challenges. It can increase your motivation and improve your likelihood of achieving your goal.

2. The Unreliability of Motivation

Motivation can be erratic, which makes it an unstable catalyst for workout enthusiasm. Even the most committed athletes and trainers encounter days with diminished motivation.

As highlighted by renowned author James Clear, “Motivation is not constant, and depending on it for steady progress is ineffective. You don’t require additional motivation or determination to stick to your objectives. Rather, self-discipline and ingrained habits are your support system.”

Motivation is beneficial when it’s present, but when it’s absent, your established habits and routines are what will maintain your training routine.

3. Begin Your Workouts with a Mental Warm-Up

Just like thoughtless eating can lead us astray, working out without a clear aim can leave us feeling unfulfilled and lacking drive, says West Virginia University’s Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences director.

To become more aware, you should learn more about mindfulness and its health benefits. So, before you jump into your exercise, take a breather and think over why you’re doing it. You could be working for a significant fitness target, or you might just be trying to let go of the day’s tension.

Plus, understanding your ‘why’ can anchor you during your workout and boost your motivation. Realizing your set goal can trigger a satisfying cycle of positivity.

That’s why many sports psychologists recommend mentally preparing before exercising so you can focus on your goals. The more involved you are in your workout, the greater the chance of reaping the benefits you seek, which is key to cultivating positive motivation.

Begin Your Workouts with a Mental Warm-Up

4. Set a Specific Objective for Each Exercise Session

Every workout you engage in should ideally be an advancement from your previous one. However, this forward movement only materializes when you have accomplishments to leverage.

You don’t have to ace every rep, but strive to better at least one element of your workout each time.

Here are a few instances —

  • Making minor progress on a tough fitness goal (such as pull-ups, handstands, or full-range push-ups)
  • Pulling off 8 reps with the load you could only lift 6 times before
  • Reducing the rest period between sets
  • Accomplishing a deeper squat than your last attempt
  • Upholding flawless posture during the challenging final round of lunges or burpees

5. Adopt the 10-Minute Rule

The ten-minute technique is a straightforward yet potent motivational strategy that anyone can use. This method involves dedicating a mere ten minutes of your time to an activity. It could be a warm-up, a single workout, or a brief routine.

Picture this —

You’re on track to lose a substantial amount of weight. In the beginning, you visit the gym daily, but you set a rule for yourself – you’re not allowed to stay beyond five minutes. You hit the gym, do a five-minute workout, and exit right when your time is up.

After several weeks, you think, “I’m always here, so why not stay a little longer?”

Fast forward a few years, and the extra weight is no more. It’s not common to view change this way, since people are mostly focused on the outcome. But remember, even a single sit-up is better than no workout at all.

In fact, practicing the violin for a minute is better than not practicing at all. Reading for a minute beats never cracking open a book. Doing less than you had hoped is still better than doing nothing.

If the thought of starting intimidates you, reassure yourself that you only need to commit to five or ten minutes. Even a small amount of activity is better than none. It’s the heart of the technique.

6. Getting Value in Line

By understanding your essential values, you can develop goals that align with them, leading to a lasting behavior change. According to the University of Massachusetts, people feel the urge to transform when they see a difference between what they’re doing and what they want.

workout motivation for females

You’re more likely to make substantial life changes when your current behaviors conflict with your values or impede the achievement of your goals. When you value camaraderie but don’t have time to socialize, you’ll be less likely to maintain it over time.

Conversely, if wellness is your primary concern, but you miss the gym occasionally, being mindful of this value can increase your odds of sticking to it. When you’re less motivated to work out, having a compelling ‘why’ can serve as an effective motivation for your new healthy habits.

Try the value cards exercise, and write your top-priority core values in a spot where they’ll be easily visible when you need an extra push.

7. Team Up with a Fitness Friend Who Inspires You

Here’s the simple truth: You’re more likely to reach your fitness goals when you have a workout partner who’s on the same path. It’s not just about getting energized, it’s about channeling that energy into real progress.

Training with a friend or even a group brings a sense of enjoyment and motivation to your fitness routine. Interestingly, if your workout buddy is in better shape than you, it can potentially double your workout time and intensity, according to a Kansas State University study.

Moreover, they can assist you during your weightlifting sessions, offering the assurance you need to achieve your specific workout objectives. It’s a beneficial arrangement for both!

8. Energize Your Exercise Routine

Here’s a straightforward suggestion: Think about incorporating a caffeine-filled drink, like coffee, into your workout regimen. Besides, research indicates that a moderate amount of caffeine (3-6 mg/kg body weight) can amplify your exercise results.

But that’s not all. Caffeine has the potential to reduce muscle pain and the sense of effort during your workout, possibly inspiring you to go the extra mile. So, you might surprise yourself by pushing beyond your usual limits!

However, you must maintain a balance. Excessive caffeine can be detrimental and may interfere with your sleep. Therefore, consider adding caffeine to your pre-exercise routine, but always in a controlled manner.

9. Always Include the Post-Exercise Relaxation

We’ve all considered bypassing the final 5 minutes of a workout, the relaxation phase, to avoid the locker room rush or to get started on the next item on our agenda.

But here’s the key point: that relaxation period is a must, not only for your physical well-being but also for sustaining your exercise enthusiasm.

Moreover, research has indicated that those who included a 5-minute gentle relaxation period after a 15-minute strenuous workout felt more positive than those who didn’t.

Always Include the Post-Exercise Relaxation

The explanation? We tend to recall how we felt after the exercise. Therefore, always allocate time for that relaxation phase. And drink water to avoid the effects of dehydration during that time.

10. Enjoy Yourself

Sure, workouts can be tough, compelling our bodies to adjust to new routines and levels of intensity. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find pleasure in it.

In fact, research titled ‘Self-Efficacy versus Perceived Enjoyment as Predictors of Physical Activity Behaviour’ indicates that enjoying physical activity positively impacts our commitment to regular exercise.

In layman’s terms, if you find your workout enjoyable, you’re more likely to maintain it. Keep in mind that exercise isn’t confined to the gym. Perhaps you’d enjoy a casual game of tennis more than lifting weights.

Whatever your preference, the goal is to find joy in the activity. So, relax, have a good time, and keep up the daily workout motivation!


Final Words

When it comes to fitness, your workout motivation is key. It’s not just about how strong you are physically, but also about the mental determination that keeps you on track. Plus, understanding the contrast between internal and external motivation can greatly improve your workout routine.

Now, we’ve touched on several elements that shape motivation. From understanding the psychology behind motivation to recognizing the power of mindset, these factors can transform your fitness path. So, explore these areas further and see how they align with your journey.

Finally, keep in mind that motivation isn’t a one-off event, but a constant journey. It involves making small adjustments and consistently working towards your fitness objectives. So, take on the journey, stay driven, and keep pushing ahead. You can do it!


How do I fix my lack of motivation and laziness?

You can fix your lack of motivation and laziness by rewarding yourself for completed tasks. Plus, break down your tasks into smaller, manageable parts, and incorporate these tasks into your daily routine.

Should I exercise if I feel lazy?

You should consider exercising even when you’re feeling lazy. Exercise can be a powerful way to combat fatigue, particularly when it’s due to stress, depression, or chronic illness. It can increase your energy, mood, and focus, and improve your sleep.

Am I lazy or just unmotivated?

You’re unmotivated when you temporarily lack the enthusiasm or drive to begin or complete tasks, particularly those you find challenging or uninteresting. Meanwhile, you’re lazy when you show a general disinterest in tasks. It can show up as procrastination, difficulty focusing, or feeling stuck.



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