5 Ways to Get Motivated for a Workout

Leah Faye Cooper
workout motivation

Photo: Getty Images

Do you wake up every single morning dying to work out? Do you have trouble containing your excitement before spin class or barre or yoga or marathon training? Wait, you don’t? What a coincidence—neither do we. While there’s no denying that exercise provides tremendous mental and physical benefits, we know that motivating oneself to go for a run or get to the gym can be a struggle. If you, like us, are in need of some workout motivation, make a note of these tips—all shared by professional trainers tasked with motivating their clients every day. May they be just what you need to resist the lure of the snooze button.

Set small, realistic goals
“We often overwhelm ourselves,” says Dallas-based fitness coach and wellness expert Faryn Schwartz. “If you take things one day at a time—as opposed to being fixated on losing a certain amount of weight or looking a certain type of way—you’ll be proud of yourself for overcoming small hurdles. This will build confidence, which triggers motivation.”

Keep the benefits in mind
“Tell yourself that even if you don’t feel like working out, you’ll feel amazing when you’re done,” says Jeanette Jenkins, celebrity trainer and creator of The Hollywood Trainer Club. “The benefits to your health—decreased risks of heart disease, cancer, and depression, and improved mood, self esteem and brain function—make it worth it!

Dress the part
“One thing that I always tell people if they don’t want to come to a workout is simply to put their workout clothes on,” says NYC fitness expert Jay Cardiello. “It’s about creating rituals that lead to behavioral change and forming a habit. Generally, after their workout clothes are on they begin the session.”

Exercise with a group 
“I think the best way to get motivated is to take group classes,” says NUFit founder Natalie Uhling, who’s also based in NYC. “When your friends are there and counting on you being there, it motivates you to go. Plus it creates a unique community of like-minded individuals who share something in common. Friendships build and it’s a special bond formed in a class setting.

Find out what’s holding you back
“When clients are unmotivated to exercise, I recommend a reflection session,” says Chicago-based trainer Michael Moody. “Sit down and list the reasons why you don’t want to go to the gym. You need to uncover the obstacle and find out what’s holding you back. Are you intimidated by the gym atmosphere? Are you frustrated that you aren’t seeing results? Have you set unrealistic goals? Are you trying to exercise at a busy time in your schedule? If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll most likely find a needed adaptation to refuel your fitness fire.”

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