How to motivate yourself to exercise

How to motivate yourself to exercise

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I’d like to begin by reassuring you that you are not alone in your search for how to motivate yourself to exercise.

For some, finding motivation to exercise comes naturally. 

Many people thrive on the thrill that exercise gives them, the release of endorphins.

But for many others, even just the thought of it can feel like complete torture.

But then there is the bigger majority of us who don’t mind exercise when we find something we enjoy, but there can be times where life just gets in the way.

We lose that motivation for whatever reason it may be. And it can be hard to get back into a routine of regular exercise.

I am one of these people. 

I actually love to exercise and I love the feeling of accomplishment it gives me afterwards.

But I can also get off track easily when life seems to get in the way.

What do I mean by life? Stress, worry, work, change, holidays…I think you get it.

So lets start from the beginning, and figure out why you lack motivation in the first place.

Then we can talk about how to motivate yourself to exercise.


1. Why do I lack motivation to exercise

Before you start to think about how to motivate yourself to exercise, you need to figure out why you lack motivation to exercise.

You can’t properly implement lifestyle changes and motivational techniques if you don’t know why you lack motivation to begin with.

There can be many reasons for lacking motivation to exercise.

Figuring out your own reason is a very important first step in the entire motivation process.

This will enable you start putting strategies in place to over come these issues.

This doesn’t need to be exercise related either, this can be used at any time in your life when you are struggling with motivation.

Once you figure out why you are are struggling with motivation yourself to exercise then you can start asking yourself this;

“Am I just making excuses or is this a deeper personal issue I have with myself that is holding me back?”

2. Am I making excuses?

You may have now figured out what your reason is for lacking motivation to exercise.

There could be multiple reasons or even just one.

What you now want to establish whether they are just excuses or if it is a deeper reason.

Examples of excuses you might be coming up with are;

‘It’s too cold”

“I’m too tired”

“I just ate so I’m too full”

“The gym is too far away”

“I’ll go tomorrow”

“I’ll start Monday”

“I don’t like exercising by myself”

“I don’t like cardio”

“I have no time”

Have you ever got yourself out of exercising by using one of the excuses above?

That’s what they are i’m afraid – excuses.

And i’ve used all of them!

What is an excuse?

An excuse is a reason people come up with as a reason to justify why they can’t, won’t or haven’t done something.

We come up with them to make ourselves feel better about why we’re not, wont or can’t do something.

There is not one excuse that I just mentioned that is a good enough reason not to include exercise into your lifestyle.

Once you establish why you want to or should exercise, and focus on this and the rewards you will reap for it then you will begin to change your way of thinking.

You will start to  rethink making these excuses next time you contemplate exercising or not.

There is no point in searching how to motivate yourself for exercise if you will continue to make excuses for not doing it.

3. Are there deeper issues for lacking motivation to exercise

Not always are we coming up with excuses to make ourselves feel better about not exercising.

Often there are some deeper reasons why, with depressive thoughts being one main reason.

Even mild depression can be a huge factor in why we can lack motivation for exercise.

I have definitely been in this position and I am sure many of you are with me when I say it is something that can feel extremely suffocating.

Because, no matter how much we want to do things, we just cannot get our minds into the right space to make it happen.

I am not a psychiatrist or any doctor for that matter so I can not give you professional advice on depression.

But what I can tell you is how much exercising helped me to deal with my own depression.

One thing I would always remind myself is how good it felt to exercise.

Not just after the exercise. but during it as well.

It releases endorphins which really help promote a positive mood change and help to reduce anxiety.

Exercise was my number one outlet when it come to dealing with my own depression.

If you can keep in mind the positive effect exercising can have on you while dealing with depression then hopefully you can find enough motivation to put on some workout gear and make it happen.

I guarantee it will be worth it.

4. Keep your goals in close sight 

What is your reason for exercising? and what do you want to achieve from it?

We all have our reasons for exercising and different goals,  but exercising should be one of the most important things to include in your lifestyle.

It has so many health benefits not to mention how good and accomplished you feel afterwards.

No matter what your reason is for wanting to exercise, remember to always keep your goals in close sight.

Focus on the positive outcome that reaching them will produce.

This is my biggest motivator when I am lacking motivation.

I focus on why I am exercising, I remind myself how good it makes me feel and how accomplished I feel afterwards.

Not everyone likes to exercise

For some it will be much harder than others.

But everyone at some point will lack motivation, so we need to figure out our own motivators to push through these time.

We need to focusing on our goals and how great we will feel once we achieve them. 

5. Make it a lifestyle change, not a temporary change

Try to think of exercise as a necessity, like food and water.

Stop thinking about it as a process or a chore.

Incorporate it into your life as though you can’t live without it, rather than a temporary task to reach a certain goal.

Once you can change your mindset into seeing this as your new lifestyle and the benefits that it will have for you, then your battle with lacking motivation will start to decrease.

Exercise will become more of a habit rather than a chore.

Even better, the more results you start to see the more you will enjoy it and probably even get excited about exercising!


Hopefully this has helped you to not only figure out how to motivate yourself to exercise,  but also get to the root of the problem in why you lack motivation to begin with.

I believe this is the key first step in overcoming motivation issues.

Exercise is great for our overall health and well being.

The more you train your mind to see it as a necessity rather than a chore, the more habitual it will become.

You will eventually see results and that will be a big motivating factor in itself!

Whats your biggest motivation issue holding you back from exercising? 

Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

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    Looks very interesting and very good.

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