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How to maintain your exercise motivation

Need a shape-up on exercise motivation? Though you stuck to your fitness resolutions for first few weeks of the new year, now it’s March and your fitness resolve is starting to fade – fast. You know working out is good for you and you still really want to get in shape for summer, but your workout motivation has waned considerably since vowing to go running every morning and try out all those strength training classes at your gym. So what’s a well-meaning but fitness-fatigued woman to do? We’ve put together some simple fitness strategies to help you maintain your exercise motivation and break free from workout boredom.

Woman with rollerblades

Try these 5 exercise tips for maintaining your exercise motivation

Exercise motivation tip #1

Enlist a friend to exercise

If you haven’t been able to make it to the gym on your own or get out for your evening power walk without having to give yourself a 20-minute pep talk first, find a friend to work out with. Just knowing that someone is waiting for you at the gym, or better yet, coming to pick you up at your house, will help spur you on to get moving. Whether you take a class, go running together or hit the local pool, having a friend working out alongside you helps keep things interesting.

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Exercise motivation tip #2

Change up your workouts

If you can’t stand the thought of looking at the treadmill, let alone getting on it for 45 minutes, skip the equipment that makes you cringe. Instead, look around at all the other ways you can burn calories. If you’re not sure how to get the most out of certain equipment or can’t tell which weight machines best suit your fitness goals book one personal training session to get the lowdown on anything you’re not sure of or that intimidates you. Otherwise, skip the weight room and cardio equipment altogether and try a class or go outdoors. You’ll be re-energized by the fact it’s something new and motivated by all the other people sweating it out beside you.

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Exercise motivation tip #3

Focus on fun rather than fitness

If you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to lose weight, or stressing out about putting in a certain amount of hours at the gym, working out can become more of a burden than something you enjoy. Rather than focusing on calories burned or hours logged on the Stairmaster, put the emphasis on moving your body in whatever way you enjoy. Play a weekly game of touch football, dig up your old pair of roller blades, spend an hour a week at the pool or try something that takes you totally out of your comfort zone (like rock climbing or snowboarding). Whatever you choose, do something that makes you forget you’re actually exercising.

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Exercise motivation tip #4

Set new fitness goals

Sure, losing five pounds or having well-defined abs are legitimate fitness goals, but working toward them can get old fast. Instead, set more interesting goals for yourself that you actually get excited to follow through with. Start training for a half marathon, vow to try two new activities every month or aim to join a local co-ed sports team and train with them at least once a week. The point is to set more exciting goals and be inspired by fitness rather than bored by it.

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Exercise motivation tip #5

Make your workouts manageable

Committing to an hour every day or every other day can be frustrating. You’re tired, you’re stressed out and the last thing you feel like doing is breaking a sweat. We understand – working out isn’t always fun. So rather than adopt an all-or-nothing mentality, break up your calorie burn into smaller, more manageable time frames. Walk for 15 minutes on your lunch break and 15 minutes after dinner – that’s 30 minutes of exercise when it’s convenient for you. Supplement that with crunches and lunges while you watch TV and one weekly class at the gym (either cardio or strength training) and you have a well-rounded weekly workout routine that fits your schedule.

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More exercise motivation tips

How to stay enthused to move
Tips to get – and stay – motivated to exercise
6 Reasons to not work out – and how to overcome them

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