How do you motivate yourself to exercise when there are dozens of things you’d rather be doing?
You know it’s good for you. Exercise helps you reach and maintain a healthy body weight, lowers blood pressure, gets rid of bad cholesterol, strengthens bones, lowers your risk for cancer, and decreases stress.
But we all know the truth: finding the time and motivation to get off the couch and work out isn’t always easy.
Here are seven ways to get—and keep—the motivation to exercise regularly:
1. Find something you enjoy doing.
Many gym-goers spend hours on the treadmill even though they hate it (this used to be me).
Yet there are plenty of other forms of exercise that can be just as (or more!) beneficial for weight loss and cardiovascular health.
Try a new class, substitute long cardio sessions with interval training, join a friendly sports team with your buddies—anything that will help you look forward to exercising, rather than dread it.
2. Keep track of your progress.
Using a journal to track measurements like weight and body fat percentage as well as progress made in your workouts will keep you much more motivated than looking in the mirror every day.
Just being able to see in print (or on the screen) that all your hard work has paid off can be the motivator you need to keep you working out on a regular basis.
3. Notice how you feel after exercise.
If you’re like most people, you may be tired and unmotivated before your workout, but feel nothing short of amazing afterwards.