Motivation for Workout

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8 Ways to Stay Motivated During a Workout

October 08, 2012



You’ve just started your workout and you’re already over it. But let’s be honest; those two and a half minutes on the elliptical don’t really count as a workout. So how do you keep going? Everyone has different things that motivate them to follow through with a workout; if you’re not sure what yours are yet, try some of these ways to motivate yourself to push through to the end of a workout and feel great.

  1. Choose the right music:

    Studies have found that people tend to work out longer and harder when they’re listening to music. Put this phenomenon to work for you! If you’re feeling tired or want to quit early, pump up the jams. If you’re already listening to tunes, try something a little faster. The ideal beats-per-minute range is between 120 and 140 BPM. Search online for other people’s favorite workout songs or run your own music through a BPM calculator to find the best fast-paced tunes.

  2. Set goals:

    Having both short-term and long-term fitness goals in mind can help keep you motivated every time you work out. Weight and size goals are great for consistent inspiration, but weekly and daily goals can keep you going when you’re taking it minute by minute in a grueling workout. For example, if you’ve decided that you’ll work out four times a week, you won’t want to cut a workout short because you’ll have to make it up another day. Or, say you’re running on a treadmill; set an attainable distance or time goal. By the time you reach it, you might feel like you can go on for another quarter mile or five minutes, and you can keep moving your goal in small increments, making you feel great every time you reach your newest goal.

  3. Take a class:

    You know that unpleasant little thing known as peer pressure? Well, it can work wonders for your workout motivation. If you take a fitness class, whether it’s Zumba, yoga, spinning, or something else, you’re going to feel the pressure to stick it out. Beyond not wanting to feel like a quitter in front of a room full of people, you’re probably also paying for this class (either per class or as part of your gym membership), and money can be a great motivator! Get your money’s worth by finishing the class, even if you need to take it at your own pace.

  4. Find a workout buddy:

    Just like a class, a workout partner can provide a certain amount of peer pressure, but they can also be a great encouragement. When you’re not feeling motivated, they can help remind you why you’re doing this. Plus, who’s going to spot them on weights or keep them moving if you quit? Bring your friend along for inspiration, competition, and even just a companion to keep your mind off of all the hard work you’re doing.

  5. Do something you enjoy:

    You won’t be counting down the agonizing minutes if you’re busy having fun. Finding an exercise you actually enjoy is the best way to sustain an active lifestyle. You won’t dread workouts and they’ll be over before you know it. Figure out whether you enjoy team sports, swimming, dancing, or something else entirely, and then do it! Motivation won’t be an issue.

  6. Mix it up:

    Even exercises that you like can get old and boring if you do them every day. For the sake of your sanity and your motivation, you’ve got to mix up your workout routine. If you’re in the middle of your workout and you feel like quitting, consider moving on to a different activity. Switch between different types of cardio, or vary when you do cardio, weights, yoga, and sports. You’ll feel mentally refreshed whenever you switch to a different activity.

  7. Buy new workout gear:

    Of course one of the main reasons you’re working out is so you can look good and feel good, but looking good while working out can actually make you feel good. If you’ve found that your will power has been waning in the middle of a workout, try a few new workout outfits. New pants, shorts, tops, and shoes can give your self-esteem a boost that can actually make you feel better about pushing forward with a workout. You look awesome, so why wouldn’t you want to show it off?

  8. Have a reward in mind:

    It’s amazing what rewards can do for our motivation. Just knowing that you’ll earn something tangible if you keep going can be enough to get you through another half hour of biking, lifting weights, or jogging. Choose something you’ll enjoy, but not something that will cancel out the workout you just did (so hands off the Twinkies!). Some suggestions: a few new workout songs, new clothes, a nap, a bubble bath, anything that will keep your body moving until the end of the workout.

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