How Do You Keep Motivated to Exercise?

Updated on February 13, 2011
M.B. asks from Sherman, IL
17 answers

What keeps you motivated to exercise? I've hit a wall and can't keep myself motivated. Any "bright motivation" ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks Everyone!
Its nice to hear others get a little less motivated too! I really appreciate everyones nice words of encouragement.
Now I just have to get it done!

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

My parents (now deceased) and siblings were/are unhealthy and spend a lot of time in the hospital for obesity related diseases; my motivation is to not put my daughter and husband through the heartache of losing someone you love too early because of their poor choices in life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

This sun. I'm not joking. When it's sunny I feel energized to get up and get out. I'll swim, walk, hike, play, swim, swim, swim. Dreary rain (like what is overhead right now) and I just don't feel motivated.

Not very helpful, but the truth fro me.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

I stay motivated by working out first thing in the morning.

Also, I think of exercise the same way I do as eating, showering, getting enough sleep, getting a yearly physical exam or pap. We all know it is healthy to eat properly, to brush our teeth every night, and to do other things on a regular basis and I believe that exercise falls into that category. It is essential for proper health to work the heart and the muscles on a regular basis to keep your body in top shape.

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answers from Chicago on

I have made it part of my life, just like brushing my teeth. When I wake up the first thing I do after my coffee is go to the gym or work out at home. If I know I can't make it to the gym that day I will go to the gym at 5:00 AM to make sure I get my work out in.

Other things that motivate me is the scale staying at a number I like and my clothes fitting perfect.

You can do it!

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answers from Johnstown on

You look at the numbers on the scale as they fall...and then when you get depressed, you go grab the amount of weight you've already lost and realize just how far you've come.

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answers from Seattle on

Purely by results & experience.

I LOVE hitting plateaus (where you're still exercising/eating healthy but lose ZERO for several weeks to a couple months). Because (from long experience) when I'm plateauing my body is "resetting" what "normal" is. If I slip AFTER a plateau I don't go above my new "normal"... if I make the mistake of pushing through a plateau I can gain all the way back to my LAST plateau, and have to work myself all the way back down again hoping hoping for a new "save point" to think in videogame speak.

My NUMBER 1 moto trick? Being well rested. If I'm tired, next to nothing will get me moving consistantly.

NUMBER 2 : Doing things that are fun. I'll do fun stuff for HOURS longer than the boring old gym.

NUMBER 3 : Being comfy. AKA having appropriate gear/clothes for what I'm doing.

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answers from Glens Falls on

I am a walker mostly. I do a little yoga and weight resistance if I'm in the mood but mostly I walk. And I'm not one to exercise with others, although I do like to chat on my cell phone while I'm walking, makes the time go by fast. It was harder in the winter, so I bought a pedometer and that helps to motivate me. The other thing I do is fill dead time with a few minutes of exercise - like if I'm waiting for something to come out of the oven in 3 minutes, I'll do a few lunges or toe touches or's only 3 minutes and I couldn't do anything else with that time anyway.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I have to agree with the other posters. I started smaller, running on the treadmill every 3rd day. Just 10-12 minutes. I started increasing it to every other day and 15-17 minutes. I then added free weights to 3 sets of squats and arm exercises. I knew I couldn't get right in to every day workouts. I also knew I wouldn't keep going if I knew I'd have to be on the treadmill for 25 minutes. I will also tell myself it's "ok" to take walking breaks or just go for a quick 10 minute run, but will keep going 95% of the time.

Like many others said, it's just part of your routine. If you'd have told me last year at this time, that I'd be getting up at 5-5:15 in the morning to work out, I'd have laughed in your face. My oldest is now in jr. high and gets on the bus at 6:50, so I get up and workout before he's usually up and ready to go. I've found that I'm much more of a morning person than I thought!

Right now, I run on the treadmill. I can't wait until it warms up, and I'll be doing more of a variety of workouts. If you haven't tried rollerblading, I HIGHLY recommend it! It's the best workout, and so much fun! In the winter, it's hard to really change things up, much. I don't have a gym anywhere close to me, so it's all what I can do at home.

For me, after a couple weeks of steady and consistent workouts, I started to want to get up and do it. I've been in a very regular routine, now, for almost 5 months. It's kind of like an addiction, now (alhtough a good one). Hubby said he needed to have the motor to the treadmill serviced and we will be without it for maybe a week. I'm freaking out. I can't go a week without running!!!
* You don't normally need to "service" a treadmill motor. Our's was under water when our basement flooded several years ago. Something happened to it, where if there's more than about 150 lbs on it, the belt won't move, so since hubby is 200lbs., it doesn't work for him. Just thought I'd put that out there, so that people weren't thinking, "Uh oh, we've never had our treadmill's motor serviced!!" LOL!!

Keep at it and it will get easier!! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm curious to see how eveyone responds! I need help getting motivated to start! Thanks for posting! =)

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answers from Modesto on

flab and weight, lol. I try to keep a routine, but some weeks go by and I realize I didnt do anything for my body! It's not easy. I have a machine in my livingroom sitting about 6 feet from me, my hubbys coat is hanging on it right now. My cat uses it more than I do for a jungle gym :)
Sorry, that was not a helpful answer, just wanted to let you know I'm in your boat too sometimes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

The only way I can stay modivated is to have a workout buddy... Then we can keep each other on track.


The only way I can stay modivated is to have a workout buddy... Then we can keep each other on track.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am very competitive so I set challenges. I don't belong to a health club or have a treadmill so I walk outside. I got a Nike+ (goes on your shoe and tracks your miles, time, calories, etc...). I create a weekly or monthly or even yearly challenge and it helps keep me motivated. This year it's 1000 miles. So far I am at 184 miles- even in this cold and snow. Good Luck and I wish you the best- it took me about 2 years after my youngest was born to really get motivated.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think about how the exercise feels SO much better than feeling horrible when I don't like the way my clothes fit!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Make a plan. Either weekly or monthly even, set up your workout schedule. Including days off. That way, you know when you get a break and when you really need to hit the gym. Then log your accomplishments too.

Another idea is to take your measurements and your body fat and then give yourself a deadline to drop so many inches and or body fat percentage. Maybe 6 weeks or 3 months? With an end goal, you will be much more motivated to exercise.

Or just focus on a future event for which you want to look great. Wedding, swimsuit season, vacation? Those are great motivators too. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i baby-step and schmooze myself. i always have the option to walk instead of run, to just do a few sit-ups or bicep curls, or just 10 minutes on the stepper. but i have to do SOMETHING every day. for me that's clutch. one day off and i fall right off the wagon. once i'm doing something i almost always go ahead and do a full workout. i LOVE the way i feel afterwards, and i'm finally getting to the point where i actually crave running (please gods let spring come soon.) so i don't give myself an out altogether, but i do give myself permission to do just a little.
:) khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

I personally feel the key is to start small. Its really difficult to go from no exercise to vowing to exercise 7 days a week. Maybe start with cardio 3 days a week. Run for 20 mins, jump rope whatever you want. Then maybe after doing that for a few weeks add strength training. Maybe buy a few dvds. I like Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred or 10 minute solutions pilates both are relativly short.

I also subscribe to several health/fitness mags. I like Self, Fitness, Shape, Health. Getting those in your mail is def motivating. Or fitness blogs are free. I love the fitnessista, hungry runner girl, and skinny runner.

I suggest maybe signing up for a 5 or 10k in the summer in your area that will give you extra motivation.

Lastly find a positive mantra. Mine is from a Nike shirt "Every damn day just do it" or there a plenty of sites with them!

Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Personal Trainer! They offer new and creative things to add to your workout, I've had mine for 3 years and she is now one of my best friends.
I also enjoy pilates.

1 mom found this helpful
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