Getting Re-Motivated To Exercise

Getting Re-Motivated To Exercise

Now that we’re starting to move into spring weather, you might be feeling slightly more motivated to be more active during the week. However, this can feel like a challenge when you have not been incorporating exercise into your weekly routine. 

Here are a few suggestions to help get you re-motivated to exercise and be more active during the week! 

Write Down Your “Why”

Actually writing down your reasons for wanting to exercise, and reminding yourself of these reasons every morning is a helpful motivator. Reasons could include having more energy, improving my heart health, feel happier, sleep better at night, feel stronger, or to feel more confident. 

Whatever the reason may be, remind yourself of this reason every day.

Set Small Goals

Often, when we think about exercising, we feel the only way it “counts” is to spend an hour being active. This can feel impossible for anyone just starting to get back in a routine. 

Beginning with smaller goals can be a helpful way to break sedentary habits. Start with a 5 or 10 minute walk on a lunch break or taking 5 to 10 minutes to stretch or do yoga before you shower and get ready for the day.

Half of the battle is to just break the cycle of not being active. 

Create a Schedule

Scheduling workouts within your day and treating them like an appointment can be a helpful mental shift in sticking to your scheduled time. For example, if my doctor told me I had to go to physical therapy 2 x/week for 1 hour, I would go to those appointments. When we shift the way we see exercise to a standing appointment for our health and wellness, this can help you stick to your schedule as well.

You might have a walk written down for your 15 minute break at work, or for the 15 minutes as soon as you're done with work, before you go home.

Set Up Your Day For Success

Consider ways to make incorporating exercise into your routine easier. Sometimes having your walking shoes by the front door is a helpful reminder or laying out your workout clothes the day before. For others, its leaving an extra pair of walking shoes in the trunk of their car or at work to help get some steps in on a break.

Try preparing your breakfast the day before to make your morning more efficient. This will save you a little time, and you can avoid the debate of "what's for breakfast."

Change Your Mindset

Exercise should be seen as a part of your routine, fun, and part of your self-care for the day, rather than a burden, exhausting, and annoyance.

When it is seen as quality time for yourself and a time to refocus and recenter your day, this can help increase your motivation to move more and set aside activity in the day.

Create a Reward System

Listen to your favorite podcast or audio book on your walks and have this as the only time you can enjoy them. If you have workout equipment at home like a treadmill or  stationary bicycle, you could watch your favorite 30 minute show during that time. 

You can also create your own reward system for reaching the small goals you’ve set for yourself. For example, once you’ve done 5 workouts or walks, buy a new book or workout shirt with a motivational phrase. 

Make Exercise Fun

If you really don’t enjoy walking or going to the gym, these options are not going to help you feel motivated to be active.

Choose activities that don’t feel like exercise, but make you happy! For example, turning exercise into a social activity helps break the monotony so you catch up with a friend or family member.

Katie Ott, MS, RD

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