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How to Motivate Yourself To Exercise: 4 Easy Ways

By University of Missouri Athletics Sports Nutrition Department

Have you been able to successfully motivate yourself to start and maintain an exercise routine? The answer could mean the difference between failure and success if you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off. Even though exercise is the golden bullet when it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease and other ailments, many people simply can’t make the time or find the motivation. The problem is that exercising to prevent a condition later in life is not a big enough incentive to get most people off the couch. So, here are some ways to motivate yourself to exercise that will make your life better now.


1. Light Up Your Morning. You’ll be more willing to get up and go if you’re in a bright space. Try opening your curtains right when you get out of bed. If it is cloudy or still dark when you wake up, try turning on bright lights throughout your house.

2. Refresh Your Routine.
You’re going to be the most sluggish immediately after waking up. So to overcome the inertia that can keep you from getting started in the morning, place your alarm clock away from where you sleep so that you have to get up and out of bed to turn it off. This will make it less tempting to hit the snooze button. Create a refreshing routine in the morning when you wake up. Having a breakfast with a little bit of coffee or juice, taking a shower, or even reading the newspaper will give you a chance to wake up and you will feel more alert. Also having a small snack or light breakfast will provide glucose to fuel your day. Prepping your coffee and morning breakfast/snack the night before will save time.

3. Enlist Help.
Get someone to hold you accountable if you’re trying to get up and go to the gym. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine says that people who received telephone calls encouraging them to exercise were more likely to do so than those who didn’t get a call. You can stay on track by asking a friend or family member to call or text you in the morning!

4. Rethink Your Sleeping Habits.
Too much or too little sleep can make it more difficult to get out of bed. Aim to get about seven to eight hours of quality sleep a night. For those with a hard and fast morning schedule, you can figure out your needs by going without an alarm clock for two weeks, the amount you sleep on average is the amount you probably need on a regular basis.