Monday, June 26, 2017

Motivation for Exercise in 8 Easy Steps

womanRunningWhen I was asked to write this article on How to Get Motivated to Exercise, I assumed everyone knows the textbook answer as to why we should exercise. Exercise is my career and passion so I know what I think, but I wondered what others are thinking. So, I emailed my clients and students in various exercise classes and asked them 2 simple questions. I thought I’d share the results with you:

Question 1: Why did you start an exercise program?

  • 54% said to stay in shape and maintain health
  • 26% said to lose weight
  • 10% said to look good
  • 10% said for spouse

Question 2: What motivates you to keep exercising for the next 30 days?

  • 48% said they like the feeling after exercising—feeling good and feeling energized
  • 26% said to stay healthy
  • 16% said they have an upcoming event
  • 10% said to develop the habit of exercise or to lose weight

Conclusion: Most people start an exercise program because they want to stay in shape and avoid heath issues. A vast majority of the responses said they kept exercising because they liked the feeling after exercising. Not enough time, aches and pains, etc., are not good excuses in my book. They’re merely obstacles and challenges—we CAN work around them.


Does anyone really like to exercise? I don’t think so. But does anyone really like to wash their hair or brush their teeth? I don’t think so. However, we do like the benefits of clean hair and good teeth. I run 4 miles every day—why? Because I enjoy the benefits—not only now, but hopefully long term. You will never feel the reward of exercise unless you begin. I say “Stay Energized – Stay Fit!!” This could be as simple as walking around the block. If you see stairs, climb them. Park farther away from entrances or take a walk after dinner. If you have a desk job, get up and move around every hour. We’re creatures of habit. Once you add something to your routine it will become a part of your daily habit, like brushing your teeth, and you won’t feel good until you’ve completed the task.

First, allot the time for exercise (decide if it’s daily or M,W,F, etc.). You get to make this decision. Turn your decision into a commitment by writing it down as if it were an appointment on your calendar. It also helps by telling others about your new commitment to exercise. Next, begin to make a game out of it. Try to increase the speed, or the distance, or the type of training, such as trying something new like riding a bike or training for a 5K. Exercise can also be fun—think about different forms like tennis, canoeing, dancing, hiking—feel free to add to this list!

I suggest these 8 simple steps to get you started on a new exercise routine:

  1. MIRROR: Look in the mirror, and being truthful and sincere to yourself, say out loud why you should exercise—we all know the standard answers—but what is your personal reason?
  2. START SIMPLE: Start out simple, just to get exercise into your weekly routine. Look at your calendar and schedule it in. If you miss that appointment, don’t forget to reschedule it.
  3. 30 DAYS: Set a 30-day goal—goals don’t have to be about weight. Here are a few ideas to consider:
    • I will work out 3 times a week
    • I will increase my time
    • I will go a total of X miles this week
  4. VARIETY: Vary your workouts. Try to make exercise as fun as possible—listen to music, workout with a friend, go outside and try new locations. Hire a personal trainer or try something new—cycling, yoga, canoeing or using a workout DVD.
  5. JOURNAL: Keep an exercise journal—it’s important to be able to measure your progress. Write down what you did, how far, and how long you exercised. If you want to know how many calories you burned, feel free to email me the information.
  6. PROGRESS: How did you do after 30 days—— you make your goal?
  7. REWARD: Reward yourself (but never with food) if you made your goal. If not, ask yourself why you didn’t reach your goal and what you could do to reach it. Do you need 2 more weeks? Did you set your goal too high? Try again—DON’T GIVE UP!
  8. CHALLENGE: Set a new goal, if you made your prior goal. This time make it a little more challenging. Self-improvement feels good!

BONUS TIP: How about a bonus tip to help you get motivated to exercise? You deserve a bonus, because you’re considering this wonderful self-improvement routine. If I were only able to give you one suggestion to help prompt you to exercise, it would be to be a motivator and surround yourself with energetic people who believe in exercising.

The more active you are, the more exercise oriented you will become. I guarantee you will see endurance, attitude and body changes. Exercise will change your life! Anyone can find a reason not to exercise. Don’t let that be you. Stay Energized – Stay Fit!

About the Author

Denise Meyer

Denise Meyer

Denise Meyer, Certified Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer
At DM Fitness, we know that reaching your fitness goals involves more than willpower, desire, or ability. It involves getting you emotionally excited about your fitness program and your progress. At DM Fitness you will have access to fitness journals, message boards, newsletters, and more. You’ll also have access to Interactive Web Personal Training and live Video Workouts. We will also answer any fitness question you may have at no charge.

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