How to get motivated to exercise

10 way to excuse-proof your exercise routine so you can stick with it.
Published 11 January 2019

10 workout motivation tips

Isn't it funny that the moment you decide to exercise, something seems to get in the way? Your Mum stops by. The kids need help with their homework. The dog ate your running shoes. If that sounds like you, maybe it's time to organise your exercise? Here's ten exercise motivation tips.

1. Work around your lifestyle

Plan a schedule that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you work irregular hours, don't sign up for classes that start at the same time each week. Instead, choose exercise that can be easily slotted into your day. Walk the kids to school or run errands on foot during your lunch hour.

2. Set up a weekly timetable

To help you organise your time, draw up a weekly timetable of planned exercise. Try to do something for at least 20 minutes each day, even if it's just going for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.

3. Set yourself rewards

Buy yourself some flowers once a week for completing all of your planned workouts, or do something nice for yourself, that makes you happy – even if it’s just taking time out for a bubble bath. You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, such as playing with your kids or catching up with a friend on a walk.

4. Get everyone on board

Make sure your family and friends know when and where you plan to exercise. That way you shouldn't get any unwelcome interruptions. If you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, arrange it in advance.

5. Anticipate motivation dips

Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time, but preparing for these feelings can go a long way to combating them. For instance, if you sometimes struggle to go to your Pump class, get a friend to call you to make sure you're not sitting on the couch!

6. Avoid your 'danger zones'

Many things can distract even the most dedicated exerciser: your favourite TV show, staying back later at work each night, or a neighbour popping in for a chat. Learn to recognise these particular 'danger zones' and take steps to negotiate your way around them.

7. Buy comfortable workout clothes

Think about investing in some well-designed, comfortable and supportive gym clothes; you'll be more motivated to work out if you know you look the part.

8. Have a dedicated fitness drawer

When you're in a hurry, the last thing you need is to be hunting around for your gym socks. Keep all your exercise clothes in a special drawer so you can grab them quickly.

9. Leave your gym bag by the door

Always leave your gym bag by the front door. This serves two purposes: one, you’ll always know where it is; and two, it’ll remind you to get your exercise done.

10. Wear and wash

When you get back from the gym or pool, put your dirty clothes straight in the wash. Nothing is guaranteed to put you off exercising more than having to rummage around in the laundry basket for a semi-clean pair of socks or sports bra!