Five tips to get more motivated to exercise

Almost everyone who exercises regularly from time to time struggles to one degree or another with staying motivated.
There are lots of reasons that people find to not exercise. We get too busy, feel tired, sore or distracted. Sometimes there are more fun or easy things to do, like lay on the couch watching a movie or playing with video games or the computer.
Here are five tips to get you more motivated to exercise:
1. Find your top motivation – When you don’t want to exercise, think about the top motivators you have to stay fit and remind yourself why you exercise in the first place.
While I naturally want to look good and feel good like most others, my biggest goal these days is to feel healthy and strong as long as possible so I can be active with my 3-year-old boy as he continues to grow.
I know if I stay away from the gym too long, it will be harder and harder to run around with him down the road.
2. Plan ahead – You make time for everyone else, so do your best to schedule time into your daily routine to exercise. Perhaps on some days if time is really tight, you can think of ways the entire family can exercise, such as a going for a bike ride, run or hike.
3. Find a good place to exercise – That may seem easy to do, but sometimes people don’t realize how much better they could make their home workout room.
Put your fitness equipment in a comfortable room, one where you’ll enjoy putting in lots of hours of exercise. If you set up a treadmill in a crowded, cluttered garage, do you really think you’ll use it a lot there?
Now that could be different if it’s a big garage and set up nicely for exercising, or a basement that’s big enough and cleared out enough for fitness equipment.
Wherever you set up your fitness area, make sure it’s conducive to working out. Try to make it as fun a room as possible to be in. Set up a stereo and/or TV. Put up pictures or posters that motivate you. It’s hard enough to stay motivated for fitness the older we get, but if it’s a boring room to be in that certainly won’t make it any easier.
4. Set goals – Setting goals gives your workouts direction. Start with easy goals and then advance to long-range goals. Set goals that realistic and achievable to begin with because you could get frustrated and quit if your goals are too lofty.
5. Make it fun – It may be hard for some to believe, but exercising should be fun. Find things to do for fitness that you enjoy, such as going for bike rides, playing softball, basketball or taking a dancing class to cross train. Sure, some exercises you should probably be doing aren’t as fun, but try to make working out as enjoyable as possible.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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