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3 Evidence-Based Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

Motivate | Pledge to Fitness |You got this motivational message

You’re too busy, you’re too tired, you’ll go next week…There will always be excuses to give yourself to skip working out, and overcoming all those mental roadblocks is half the battle to getting in shape. Keeping up your motivation is paramount to sticking to your workout plan…

Ideas on how to do this are not in short supply (to put it mildly), but have any of them been verified to actually work? We’ve put our academic hats on and identified three proven ways to motivate yourself to hit the gym.

Use Social Media

The socials get a fairly bad rap as being toxic or otherwise bad for you, but if you treat them like a workout motivation tool, you might find as Norwegian researchers did in a study in 2020 that following motivational posts on Instagram makes you enjoy your exercising more.  Best of all, it took participants only a few minutes a month to increase the positive feelings associated with working out.
Since you probably don’t speak Norwegian, try following Fitness Quotes Daily or The Good Body for a regular dose of inspiration.  Of course, you can always follow us, too!

(Micro) Reward Yourself

A recent study published in Nature involving over 61,000 gym-goers found that of over 50 incentives to exercise, the top motivator for getting someone back to the gym after a missed workout was…a reward of 9 cents. Curiously, this amount worked slightly better than giving them an award worth $1.75.

What’s the takeaway here? Although getting fit and feeling better should be their own rewards, it seems that being able to “earn” something small yet tangible that you can see immediately after your workout can be a powerful driver. So maybe you can set up a money jar you put a little change in every time you work out, then spend it on something silly you want but haven’t been able to justify spending money on, like a Lego Batmobile or something. (And that aspect is key–if you always buy whatever you want without saving, rewarding yourself with your own money ain’t going to motivate you!)

Get a Little Healthy Competition

For lots of us, nothing gets the juices flowing better than beating somebody at something. As it turns out, when that “something” is an exercise program, that’s all the motivation we need to go all-in. According to a 2016 study out of the University of Pennsylvania, attendance rates at weekly fitness classes were 90% higher in a group with online leaderboards and prizes than a group with just online chat encouragement.

Fortunately, opportunities and platforms for competing against your friends–or total strangers–are abundant these days. For example, there are apps like Stridekick, smart devices like Apple Watch that let you set up contests with friends, local Houston-area challenges for good causes, and more.

We Have Your Back at Pledge To Fitness®

A great personal trainer has to know how to motivate you, and great trainers are the only kind we have at PTF™. Come talk to us today and see how we can help you get on a fitness plan and stick to it.

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