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How to stay motivated to work out

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Why is workout motivation important?

Chris Wilde Personal Trainer PureGym Leeds City Centre North

When you initially start your fitness routine, your motivation is often what gets you going, and so it requires less effort and will to show up. As you continue, it's natural to have days where it feels like a chore rather than something you feel motivated to do. Sadly, losing your motivation can lead to a drop off in how regularly or intensely you work out, which in turn can lead to the loss of some of the fantastic benefits you’ll have gained from your exercises. You could find your fitness levels dropping, your mental health taking a dip and other health indicators being impacted (find out more with our guide to what happens to your body after a break from the gym).  

If you’ve lost your training motivation and are looking for inspiration to get back into it, we have some top tips to get you back in the gym. 

How to find your workout motivation

As the saying goes: "Motivation is what gets you started.. Habit is what keeps you going." To help you make going to the gym a habit you can stick to, here are a few of my top tips

1. Have a clear purpose

Having a clear reason you want to workout can be a big motivator - this is your ‘Big Why’. Think really carefully about why you want to go to the gym and how it’s going to make you feel. If you haven’t already, set yourself some goals and targets that you’d like to achieve that are either going to make you happy or proud. Then every time you think of bailing on the gym, remind yourself of your overriding purpose, to help spur you on in that moment to get up and go, and make it to the gym. Find inspiration from the workout motivations of Chris Hoy and some of our PureGym members in our Finding Motivation to Exercise guide.

Set some goals with things you really want achieve

 

2. Celebrate your achievements

Sometimes you can be your own worst critic, and it can be easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come if you are focusing on how far you’ve still got to get to your goals. When you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, just take a moment to think about what you’ve improved, over the last week, month or year and give yourself credit. Looking back and reflecting on your own achievements can be a great way to drive yourself forwards.

Look back on the progress you've made.

 

3. Find someone who inspires you

Find your inspiration - whether it’s someone close to you or an athlete, or maybe even a person you see at the gym. Having someone to look up to that you aspire to can help to get you on track. Alternatively, there might be things that inspire you to be better. Write down all the things and people that inspire you like a checklist and refer back to it when you lose your way, and get your drive back up. Going to the gym with a friend can help too, provided you maintain safe social distancing and follow the Government guidelines. 

Note down what motivates you

 

4. Switch your workouts

If your workouts start getting a bit repetitive and predictable for you, chances are, your body and your mind are probably a bit bored for your workouts too. Your body is very good at adapting to training stimulus, so this means, if you keep doing the same thing over and over, you can’t expect your body to change unless you make changes. Make sure you are continually making your workouts more challenging as you get better or stronger, whilst ensuring good form. Or try doing a different combination of exercises altogether that are still aligned with your goals. If you are unsure of alternative exercises you could be doing, you could always ask a personal trainer for advice or check out our exercise guide section for ideas. Slightly changing what you are doing can help give you a fresh perspective and can help reinvigorate your training and performance.

Adapt your routine every now and then

 

5. Set yourself regular challenges

While the ‘Big Why’ should be your main motivator, signing up for challenges can be a good way to set yourself shorter term goals to strive for. Runners do this before a long race (for example a full marathon) but putting in races for shorter distances (like 10K or a half marathon). Perhaps set yourself a target strength or weight loss goal to reach by a specific date. Make yourself accountable by completing the challenges with friends, or by sharing your journey on your social channels. Not only will you be pushing yourself to improve, but you’ll be able to celebrate each achievement as you go.

Keep challenging yourself

6. Stack habits together

If you’re still struggling with getting motivated to exercise, you could try pairing it with your other habits, so you can make exercising a habit you can stick to. Some people will pack their gym bag before they get ready for bed so they have everything they need to go get a workout in the next day. Others change into their workout gear first thing, so they don't have to bother or worry about getting changed to workout later in the day. Perhaps pick an audiobook (or some feel good tunes!) to listen to when exercising - if you want to find out how it ends, you’ll need to hit the gym. Or consider signing up to any of the number of fun workout apps available; many of these help to gamify your workouts or nudge you to get to the gym. The PureGym workout app, for example, helps you to set a personalised training plan, with lots of fun videos and ideas to keep you exercising.  

Find ways to make it easier for you to hit the gym

Hopefully this has helped you find some motivation for your next workout. If you’re still struggling for inspiration, our fitness classes could be a great first step, or you can work with one of our personal trainers for some one to one support to keep you focused.

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