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Creative Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Workout

Creative Ways to Stay Motivated During Your Workout

by Paige Gibbens, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

Working out can mean many things. It does not have to mean lifting heavy weights or participating in a jazzercize class. Working out is an essential part of life to encourage a healthy living lifestyle. Exercise can help to improve brain activity, bone and muscle strength, and ability to perform activities of daily living, as well as reduce weight and risk of chronic disease.

Benefits of Exercise

Regular exercise can come with many benefits, as mentioned above. Some of these benefits can be immediate and some are over a longer duration1.

Immediate benefits of exercise can include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Improved cognition
  • Reduced short-term feelings of anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • Reduce risk of depression and anxiety

Longer duration benefits may include:

  • Weight management
    • To maintain current weight: it is recommended to exercise up to 150 minutes of moderate activity each week
    • To lose weight and then maintain: it is recommended to exercise more than 150 minutes per week and adjust eating patterns
    • For more information on weight management, please seek the advice of a professional registered dietician
  • Reduced health risk
    • Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
    • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
    • Improved prognosis following any type of infectious disease
    • Decreased risk of developing cancers
  • Strengthening of bones and muscles
  • Improved ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Fall prevention
  • Longer life expectancy

Now that we know some of the benefits of working out and exercising regularly, how can you stay motivated to continue forming a new habit? Below is a creative list of four things you can do to improve consistency and stay motivated during your workouts.

Tip #1: Pick Forms of Exercise You Enjoy

All forms of exercise have benefits, some may be different than others. Strength training will have different benefits when compared to cardiovascular exercise like running. While having a good variety to prevent injury is important, making sure your exercise routine is something you enjoy is important. If you don’t enjoy lifting weights and try to make that a habit, it will never stick. Find ways to incorporate exercise into your life that are enjoyable to also make them sustainable.

Tip #2: Start with Workouts That Easily Fit into Your Current Lifestyle

When adding a new activity into a routine, it can seem cumbersome and time consuming. Finding a form of exercise you enjoy and something that easily fits into your schedule is critical to maintaining this new addition. Start small with short periods of time, while it is recommended to do 150 minutes of exercise per week, building up to that level is important. Start with 10-20 minutes a day for 5 days.

Tip #3: Create Goals

Creating goals and keeping track of them are an easy way to help stay motivated during workouts. When creating goals, making sure they are SMART is essential. So, what is a SMART goal? A SMART goal is something that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By making sure your goals have all these qualities, you can ensure they will keep you motivated to achieve them.

Tip #4: Make a Playlist of Music You Love

In the past decade, the research surrounding music and exercise has increased significantly. This has helped to determine why music is so effective at motivating people during a workout. It has been found that music distracts people from fatigue and pain, as well as improves mood. These things can lead to increases in endurance and effort during a workout to improve the metabolic efficiency associated.
Music can be a highly motivating addition to workouts and are an easy way to stay motivated. Adding a new song to the playlist every so often can also help to keep you motivated over a long period of time2.

Tip #5: Find an Accountability Partner

Finding a workout buddy or accountability partner can really help to keep motivation during workouts. Sometimes it is hard to find someone to work out with, or you may enjoy working out on your own. This would be the perfect time to find an accountability partner. This would be someone you check in with regularly about your workouts, but you don’t do the workouts together. If you enjoy working out with a partner, this would very easily fill that role. This could also be a personal trainer if you feel you are needing more guidance.

Starting a new exercise routine and staying with it can be very intimidating and sometimes challenging. Utilizing the above tips can make exercise more enjoyable and sustainable to improve your life. A personal trainer could be a good fit to help provide guidance if you are unsure. If you find you are noticing aches or pains with exercise, reach out to your local Athletico team to ensure you stay happy and health during your workouts.

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*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, June 28). Benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,ability%20to%20do%20everyday%20activities.
2. Jabr, F. (2013, March 20). Let’s get physical: The psychology of effective workout music. Scientific American.

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About the Author:
Paige Gibbens is a physical therapist specializing in lower extremity treatments and is certified in dry needling and Graston. She is also the Missouri & Southern Illinois regional coordinator for Athletico's Endurance Program.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Exercise and FitnessGeneralhealth and wellnessweight managementworkout

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