Getting in the mood to exercise can be a big challenge. You know you should work out regularly and you feel great after exercising, but it’s just so much more comfortable to sit on the couch.
Luckily, it’s possible to find motivation by yourself. You can teach yourself to develop a better attitude toward fitness just like you can build any healthy habit. It takes practice and commitment, but it’s ultimately up to you to have a better attitude toward fitness. Here are a few quick and easy steps you can take to get in the mood to exercise.
Improve Your Workout Setting
First, think about where you work out.
If your equipment is in a dark basement, you’re probably not excited to get down there. Instead, join a local gym or enroll in a dance class where you’ll be around other motivated individuals. Or maybe set up your own home gym with plenty of free space and healthy lighting.
If you choose to go for a home workout area, be sure to incorporate your biggest motivators. For instance, if you want a yoga room in your home:
- Put up peaceful messages or images on the walls
- Place plants around the room to help you stay calm
- Post up your favorite motivational or funny gym quotes next to your treadmill or elliptical
If working out the same way and in the same space starts to feel stale, switch up your routine or redo your setting once in a while. Go outside for a run or a bike ride, and maybe incorporate your favorite music into your workout routine.
Working out does not have to be a chore. When you establish the right setting for yourself, you will start to see improvements in your motivation.
Get the Right Gear
Another great fitness motivator is getting the right equipment. This means investing in the right machines, like high-quality treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and weights. It also means finding the right shoes and workout clothes.
Build up a home gym with all your favorite fitness equipment. What are your go-to machines at the gym? What exercises make you feel the most challenged? Consider investing in fitness gear that’s versatile so you can do multiple exercises or workouts with one piece of equipment.
Order a new pair of running sneakers and there’s no doubt you’ll feel more motivated to get outside in them. Find clothing that you feel comfortable and confident in. Even if you’re just working out at home, these small upgrades can be big motivators.
Set Realistic Fitness Goals
We all have moments when we feel extra motivated. In those moments, we tend to start setting lofty goals like, “I’m going to start running five miles every day” or “Every morning when I wake up, I’m doing an hour of yoga.” While these goals are attainable for seasoned athletes, when you’re just starting out, it’s best to start smaller.
When creating fitness goals, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t set yourself up for failure by overreaching.
- Make sure to measure your improvement or progress—lap time, reps, amount of weight lifted, and so on.
- Assess your typical workout routine to find out what exercises you enjoy the most or where your workouts should fit in your schedule.
- Track your progress and feelings in a fitness journal.
Be sure to establish rewards for reaching your goals. Rewards can be anything from taking a day off from exercising to eating your favorite meal.
Setting fitness goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable and keep you motivated to work out.
Avoid Drinking too Much Alcohol
There’s one big reason many people fail to keep their fitness goals: drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that can have major impacts on your mood, mental health, and motivation. It also affects your physical health by dehydrating you and impairing your balance.
Drinking too much alcohol makes it harder to stick to healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. It’s almost impossible to maintain a positive attitude toward working out if you drink too much.
Try cutting out or minimizing drinking in your life. According to the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines, you should drink in moderation—limit yourself to just one or two drinks per day at most.
We get that it can be fun and relaxing to kick back with some alcohol on the weekends. But when treating yourself, be sure not to overdo it. Instead of letting alcohol control you, control the alcohol in your life to stay fit, motivated, and healthy.
Exercise and healthy eating go hand and hand. When you pay attention to what you put into your body and choose to eat right, you’ll start to feel better overall. But if you regularly eat junk food or overindulge, your attitude toward working out will become worse. When you eat healthy, you’ll feel better. And when you feel better, you’re more likely to feel motivated to go out for that run or perform those stretches.
Remember how Great You Feel Afterward
Finally, remember this: working out helps improve your mood. While you’ll have different results after each workout, the very act of working out can help motivate you. After a jog or yoga session, relish in how positive and healthy you feel. Hang onto that feeling of after-workout triumph or relaxation when it’s hard to get up and move. When you focus on how much better you’ll feel after exercising, you’ll feel motivated to chase that feeling however you can.
You can Shift Your Attitude Toward Fitness
It’s not always easy to get in the mood to exercise. But remember that it’s up to you to turn things around:
- Set realistic goals so you can hold yourself accountable.
- Eat healthy and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Make sure you’re working out in a setting you enjoy.
- Invest in the right equipment and workout clothes.
- Hang on to that great feeling you have after a workout.