How do you keep motivated to do exercise??
Any tips?


  • jeri30
    jeri30 Posts: 46 Member
    Find your why. I mean a real why not just I want to look good in these jeans. That's shallow and won't last.

    I watched my mom in her "old" age. She died at 72. She didn't exercise so she got physically weaker so I had to open jars and even got to the point I had use the manual can opener to open canned food for her. She got unsteady on her feet. She had a triple bypass and surgery for an almost totally blocked carotid neck artery aka the widowmaker. She died from IPF which was out of her control, but just watching her get weak and what she went through from the surgeries and lack of exercise is my why.

    I want to open my own jars and do things and enjoy my life as much as I can. Not be sick all the time going to the doctors constantly worrying about how to pay that medical bill.

    Research has shown if you don't take care of yourself you'll be sick about 5 years before you die vs about a year of ill health if you do. Which do you prefer?

    I also have double depression and getting exercise in does help with that when I can make myself do it esp walking outside improves my mood. It's just hard since i don't tolerate cold/winter well.

    That's my why. I don't want to end up like my mom if I can help it.

    Thanks for asking this and reminding me. Got my butt up off the couch. Walking around inside my house typing this up.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,215 Member
    It's a stepwise process; you have to eventually get beyond motivation and tap into self-discipline to create structure and habits that support your goals.
  • coffee_n_weights
    coffee_n_weights Posts: 115 Member
    Motivation won't always do it - it does take discipline and dedication, too. If you're still developing an exercise "habit", maybe write down all reasons you're doing this and your goals as well, and look at them when you don't feel motivated, or come to the forums, friends - anything that might help give you that "push". Once you've developed an exercise "habit", that self-discipline will often develop as well to kick in when you aren't motivated. You've got this!
  • jeri30
    jeri30 Posts: 46 Member
    Also there's the usual. Lay out your exercise clothes the night before so you see them and they remind you and you don't have to dig for them so you lose interest. Out of sight = out of mind.

    Habit stack. Do this, then that. For example, when you go to bathroom, then do 5 pushups or whatever.

    Set reminders like alarms.

    Schedule it in like a doctor's appointment and then keep it.

    Remind yourself it'll get better. It may take you a while to look forward to it but it'll happen eventually. It took me several months. I like how I feel afterwards now. More energetic instead of tired and sleepy. Just got to power through it. a habit.
  • cgcdavis7
    cgcdavis7 Posts: 85 Member
    Personally, you do it even when you don't want to to develop habits. I got to a point months ago where things felt not right and not good when I skipped that 3rd day of working out or eating a double cheeseburger when I didn't really want it bad enough to fit into my cals. I'm talking multiple times a week. You have to stick to your goals till you get to that point of "this doesn't feel RIGHT" when you deviate.

    I also got a high of seeing and feeling progress and that helps for sure. It also helps to have accountability here. Therapy if you need help with how you see food. A workout area in your house. Finding a workout that works for you. Challenges. You'll get there if you just harness consistency. Have grace for yourself when you trip up but also, stop making excuses because that won't get you to where you need to be.
  • AsthmaticHippo
    AsthmaticHippo Posts: 62 Member
    Hmmm I don’t really need to keep myself motivated in that sense because I really enjoy my workouts. That said I need an objective to get me to really push myself.

    I enforced adherence to my exercise routine by cycling to work I have a ferry ride so if I did not buy a monthly car ticket there was no choice but to cycle......
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    I enjoy the vast majority of my exercise and I enjoy the results of that exercise, it's simply a great feeling to feel fit, strong and capable.
    It's not a chore for me at all, quite the opposite - I get grumpy when I can't exercise.

    Even for the training or exercise sessions that aren't enjoyable in themselves I know that I'm working towards my fitness and health goals so it's worth the investment.

    Plus I get to eat a lot more food as a bonus.
  • AsthmaticHippo
    AsthmaticHippo Posts: 62 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Plus I get to eat a lot more food as a bonus.

    ⬆️ This too
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,989 Member
    All of that stuff about habits and discipline isn't false, but - hedonistic aged hippie that I am - those aren't my strong suit. Therefore, I'm predominantly on team "try different things until you find something fun" . . . or at least something not punitively odious.

    I think some people define "exercise" in a way that paints them into a corner: If it isn't super-intense, uncomfortable, etc., then it isn't good exercise. Not necessarily true. Any type of moving more is useful. Bonus if it's just the tiniest bit of a challenge, y'know, that point where it's kind of fun to work at something and discover you can do it? But short of miserable and exhausting, for sure. If you start moving, and - using the discipline thing a bit at first, maybe - keep doing it, it gets easier, and other activities that used to be out of reach become doable, and even enjoyable. It's a virtuous cycle.

    After a while, not-exercising is what feels bad. I've been pretty active for 15+ years now, starting after cancer treatment, and was lucky enough to find an activity that I love so much (on-water rowing) that I'd do it even if it weren't good for me. I found myself doing other things, to support my rowing or get better at it (swimming lessons, strength training); and doing different activities that maybe weren't quite as fun, but still kinda enjoyable, in the off-season (such as spin classes), so I'd stay in shape for rowing. That's my personal example of that virtuous cycle at work.

    Now, if I'm an inert lump for too long (as usually happens a bit in Winter), I get stiff, feel moody, get stressed, and truly feel a need to get moving again. It's mostly self-perpetuating.

    See if you can find something that's at least a little bit fun. There are too many kinds of ways we can move our bodies, IMO, for all of them to fall under "hate exercise": Walking, dancing, swimming, active video games, skiing, canoeing, yoga, gardening, martial arts, . . . . and on and on.

    Best wishes!

  • ihateparsnips
    ihateparsnips Posts: 4 Member
    Thanks all !!! 😀
  • mauresco
    mauresco Posts: 6 Member
    Accountability partners. I'd feel like I let my friends down by not showing up.