No Workout Motivation? These 4 Tips Will Keep You Sweating

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Health

If you want to get fit but are struggling to find or to keep your workout motivation, all you need is a little bit of help. There are plenty of things you can do to stay inspired and invested in your goal, whether you're looking to lose weight, tone your muscles, or simply adhere to a more active lifestyle.

Below you will find four easy tricks that will keep you going when it's hard to follow through with your exercise plan.

1. Reward Yourself

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One sure thing to keep you motivated is treating yourself to a real reward post-workout. According to Daily Burn, awarding yourself a small prize for the effort you put in is a "scientifically proven way" to boost motivation.

It can be something as simple as enjoying a smoothie or watching an episode or your favorite series. The trick is to train your brain to associate exercising with a tangible benefit, explains the media outlet, citing journalist Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

“An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile,” details Duhigg. “It increases the odds the routine becomes a habit.”

The beauty of it is that it's a temporary fix since you won't be needing external motivation anymore once your brain begins associating working out with the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain.

2. Figure Out What's Holding You Back & Work On It

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If you often find yourself making excuses for not working out (you're too tired, you're working late, you can't wake up early to go for a jog), the answer is simpler than you might think.

According to Gabriele Oettingen, a psychologist at New York University and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, all you need to do is identify your wish (let's say, going for a morning run) and visualize the outcome (imagine the crisp morning air, the feel of the sun on your face, your muscles pumping). Then identify what's holding you back -- a technique Oettingen calls "mental contrasting" -- and find a way to go around it.

For instance, lay out your workout clothes before you go to bed so that they're the first thing you put on in the morning or switch to lunchtime workouts if you're not an early riser.

“After you imagine the obstacle, you can figure out what you can do to overcome it and make a plan,” says Oettingen.

3. Try Out New Things

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Another useful tip to stay motivated is to keep your exercise routine fresh and exciting. Don't be afraid to try out new things to keep your workouts interesting.

"Try walking, biking, hiking, tennis, kayaking, swimming, dancing, kick-boxing, karate, yoga or pilates," suggests Better Living. "Better yet, find a few activities you like and rotate them into your schedule to stave off exercise boredom."

Another great idea is to take advantage of the fitness opportunities that come with every season.

"Spring and summer are great for swimming, paddle-boarding, kayaking, surfing, golfing, and gardening. In the winter, activities like downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and sledding are fun ways to burn calories."

4. Get Your Music On

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It may sound like old news but listening to music can go a long way when it comes to keeping you sweating. An upbeat, motivational playlist can increase your heart rate and improve your performance, maximizing your feeling of satisfaction, per a 2019 study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

Getting your tunes on can also help you push through fatigue and make you exercise harder, uncovered a study featured in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Another benefit of listening to music is increased endurance during workouts by as much as 15 percent.