The Problem: Lack of Motivation
How do you get motivated to work out?
How do you get motivated to work out…AGAIN?!
How do you get motivated to work out after work?
In your home?
In the morning?
When you’re depressed?
Are your thoughts about exercising holding you back from becoming healthier and more fit?
How many times have you had thoughts like these?
- I hate exercising.
- I’m tired.
- I don’t have time.
- I’m too busy.
- I think I’m too old.
- It’s too difficult.
- It’s too painful.
- I have an injury.
- It would take a lot of time to get in shape.
- It would take money to get fit.
- I’m bored with exercising.
- I’m just not motivated enough…
If you were to exercise more regularly, what would that mean for you and for your life?
Take a moment and consider:
- Would you like to have more energy?
- Would you like to lose weight?
- Would you like your clothes to fit better? And to go down a size (or more)?
- Do you want to look in the mirror and feel great about what you see?
- Do you want to feel great after your workout not just physically, but because you have kept that commitment to yourself and your health?
- Would you like to lift weights and build muscle, so you don’t worry so much about osteoporosis?
Did I hear a “yes!” to any of these?
How I Stay Motivated to Exercise
I have been exercising for much of my life.
When I was pregnant with each of my children, I worked out at the gym up until the day of their birth. I knew that by being in good shape, I would recover more quickly- and I did.
In my adult life, if I didn’t belong to a gym, I was running outside and training for running races.
When I reached the age of 50, I had enough injuries from running, so I decided to step back from training. I kept up my exercising habit by walking and lifting light weights at home.
My weight started to go up because my easy exercise plan just wasn’t enough, so…I decided to work out to exercise videos from YouTube.
[I never stopped working out – it has long been a part of my life – but the activity level, the intensity of the workouts lessened. And my weight went up because of it.]
I gained 10-15 pounds after menopause and after I stopped running. Being over 50, I was more cognizant of injuries. That’s because I learned the hard way: I inadvertently caused severe knee pain after a workout on a mini trampoline. They’re so fun, but they’re terrible on your knees!
That workout set me back months! Ouch!
As I found out, some workouts are better than others. I’m fond of low impact workouts now 😊.
At the same time, I was also eating the same amount as I was in my forties. I tried fasting and keto but both diets caused me major health problems.
My issue was not whether I was motivated to work out or not. No, I needed to work out differently and more intensely, while keeping it easy on my knees and joints.
I had slid into complacency telling myself that walking and light weights every other day were enough. They weren’t.
I loved walking – I didn’t need the motivation to do it, but it’s not like running – you’re not burning up tons of calories.
Looking back, I don’t think my style of walking qualified as working out at all. It was lovely. I love being outdoors, but it wasn’t challenging.
I found that the workout videos on YouTube were helpful, but most were focused on younger people. I had to improvise with burpees, with mountain climbers, with jumping…and I joined back in when I could. Talk about taking the fun out of the workout, though! Yeah, let me just march in place until you’re done, lady. That ended up being half the workout sometimes!
I realized that there weren’t a lot of workouts on YouTube that focused on women over 50. That was my defining moment to start recording my own fitness videos. And, to get my personal trainer certificate.
Now I had created the motivation to do the cardio workouts on my own at least twice a week (for filming). Plus, when you’re in front of the camera doing fitness workouts, it is [gosh darn!] a commitment to stay in great shape!
In addition to the cardio workouts, I still do light weights two to three times a week (we have what I would call a professional gym in our basement – it is full of almost anything you’d find in a gym). I’ve also been known to get on the floor to do push-ups, sit-ups, or a plank during the day. Like during an online business meeting 😊.
Part of my weekly workouts are on a Peloton bike and oh my goodness! It is so much fun! [I never thought I’d say that! Ever!]. Their classes make cycling workouts go by so quickly and it’s a great workout! My legs haven’t been this strong since my running days.
My experience is different from yours which will be different from your family and friends.
Find what works for you. Because when it fits you, you’re more likely to stick with it.
Below, I’ve listed some ways to get you motivated to get in shape. It’s never too late – and it is such an incredible gift to yourself when you are healthy and fit (and happy!).
6 Ways to Stay Motivated to Work Out
- Find the joy. Find the fun! Find a workout that you love/like/enjoy and do it! I like kayaking – and that counts as a workout! Like swimming? How about walking (get your heart rate up there, though)? Yoga? Elliptical machine? Bicycling? Hiking? Tennis? How about workout videos on YouTube? Be creative and try something new. Just keep moving!
- Start where you are. You don’t have to be an elite athlete; you just have to get going and start. Did you quit – then start and stop again? Just start again. Just keep going.
- Community, connection, and accountability. Find someone whose company you enjoy - a friend or family member – and ask them to do it with you. Community and connection can be a great way to get motivated, plus, you can hold each other accountable, too!
- Schedule workouts into your day/week and make it part of your routine. Make an exercise plan and stick with it by putting it into your calendar.
- Set goals. Want to lose 5 pounds in a month? What would that look like if you broke it down to weekly goals? What meals would you eat? How much would you exercise? Think about your end goal and keep that top of mind when you begin to make an excuse about why you don’t feel like working out.
- Reward yourself. The biggest reward is getting healthy and fit. Think of small rewards along the way to help keep you on target.
What have you found that motivates you to exercise? Let me know in the comments below!