Readers Speak: How To Get Motivated To Exercise

The other day, I announced I’m fat as a house and totally unmotivated to exercise! I asked you, dear Frisky readers, for your advice on how to get my butt in gear. And you had tons of ideas! Frankly, I found it to be rather moving. One, talking about it here reminded me I’m not the only one who has a hard time getting off my rear. Two, there were a ton of great suggestions that fit a variety of different mentalities. Three, it was buoying. So, thanks! I went to yoga all of twice last week (which was two more times than I went the week before), and I’m planning on going three times this week (uh-oh, now I’m accountable!). In any case, after the jump, we’ve rounded up some of the best of the many great tips on how to get motivated to exercise. Frighteningly enough, summer and its bathing suits are right around the corner …

In the winter, I take a hot shower before the gym. This wakes me up and warms my bones so I’m motivated to leave my house. — ICYHOT338

I put my exercise routine on my calendar. That way, it’s visually in front of me to work out, and not just hiding in the back of my mind. — maroon

I hate to work out but I’m training for police department physical abilities test so I don’t have a choice. When I run solo I do the treadmill and I listen to my favorite “Glee” tunes. There, it’s the music that motivates. If I run with my husband, then my motivation is not having him turn around 50 times telling me to keep up. — Javi

Much of my personal motivation these days comes from my dog — he needs a lot of activity or he becomes a pain in the butt, so I have every reason in the world (a relaxing evening, for example) to take him for twice a day walks, bike rides, and/or runs. — unbounded

Start small, with something that you actually enjoy. I started taking regular walks with my boyfriend when the weather got warm, then mile-long walks on my lunch hour, started doing WiiFit on a regular basis because I already knew all the exercises from when my roommate had one. Basically, whatever it takes just to get moving. — SEMI-girl

I looked for a building with all amenities so I wouldn’t have to get motivated about going to the gym. There’s a gym and a pool right in my building so I have no excuses. Also, I keep my daily work outs short — 30 mins at the gym and 30 mins in the pool and 10 mins in the hot tub. — iris.blue

Its hard…really hard, but I keep telling myself that the real me is buried underneath all this fat, and I want so bad for her to get out! So I walk and walk and walk some more. Going to try a Zumba class with a friend this weekend, hope it is fun! — cmcclain

I’m a huge relier on routines. If it’s not in my weekly routine, I’m probably not going to do it. So I bought p90x (highly recommend) and I scheduled an hour into my daily routine – and now, I’m programmed. Same time every day, this makes it super easy and takes out the “ifs” “ands” or “buts”. Plus I get the results without leaving my house or getting dressed – (wow I sound like an advertisement!). — SisterMoon

There is always something on the horizon that I want to look good for…currently a family reunion in June with my dad’s side of the family that I rarely see. Usually it is some sort of vacation, holiday or friends or family get togethers that I don’t want to be the one that everyone looks at and thinks, “wow, he’s let himself go since the last time I saw him.” It is usually months between these get togethers so its not like they can see me slowly get more out of shape, if there is a change it’s pretty obvious. Therefore, I always want it to be a good change. — LV_Badger

Team sports are my thing and I play 3 right now (ice hockey, rugby and cricket). I’m motivated by the competitive nature of the sports and the amazing women I get to hang out with a few times a week. If you’re not already involved in a team sport don’t let it stop you from joining a new one. I only started playing cricket this fall. — Meiyho

I go right after work, I don’t eat until I get back that way I get it done as soon as possible… And it helps that I listen to music that turns me on… I drift into space and the time goes quickly! I’ve already lost almost 30 lbs since December and I shaved 3 minutes off my 5k time! Woot woot! — miadu

I’ve always had a problem with exercise. I hated it. But about a year and a half ago I was at my absolute worst – fat and completely unhealthy. I discovered yoga through a friend and love it. I’ve lost 27 lbs (and I quit smoking). I do have to force myself to to cardio a few times a week, I bargain with myself – I can eat ice cream if I get up and run for 30 min. I do love going to yoga. Even when I get off of my work-out schedule when I get back to it it’s no big deal. I set up these challenges like I’ll be able to do a handstand by so and so date. It keeps me motivated. I feel strong and healthy for the first time and I’m not at my thinnest, go figure. — Gnat

Find something you really love doing. I started rock climbing last year and it is so much fun that I can’t wait to go to the gym. Whenever I have to work too late or am otherwise busy I get sad that I can’t work out. Plus, most rock gyms will have fun competitions or meet-ups and things so it’s a great way to meet people as well (even though it’s hard to talk to your partner when you’re climbing 30 feet above them). — NikkiL

[M]y tip: write down all your excuses for NOT working out — and spend your usual workout procrastinating time finding SOMEthing that crushes them all.

I use sparkpeople.com and have lost 10lbs so far. It’s free website that allows you to track your food and exercise. It walks you through the whole process and there is a community element to help keep you motivated. I like to have a goal to work towards like running my first 5k. Also setting up rewards is a great way to motivate yourself. Non-food related of course. The website encourages you to start with just 10 mins a day. Sometimes we try and throw ourselves back into exercise to quickly and we get burnt out. Start small, mix it up and include things that are fun so it doesn’t always feel like torture. — FoxyThumbs

I was having issues going to my jazzercise classes in the mornings – so I went “public” with my problem. A motivator for me is the loss of money I am having from paying for a membership. So I am keeping track of how many class I miss for non-legit reasons and taking that money that I lose every time I miss and donating it to the charity that gets the most votes on my little poll. And the days that I got more than 4x a week I am taking the money and putting it towards my nest egg. Throwing money down the drain is my biggest motivator. — megs_elyse

I focus on the glowly, accomplished feeling I’ll feel after working out. I always tell myself…”You’ll never regret working out, but you will regret NOT working out.” Also, although I know deep down i’m working out for aesthetic reasons, I try to make it more about “feeling strong, fit, and good”, instead of “hot”. The first method of motivation seems to pull from deeper inside of me. — laughcryrainbow

I use multiple things to motivate myself, but what first got me started was something my health teacher in high school said: whatever routine you want to get into, do NOT deviate from it for the first three weeks. After three weeks, it will be a habit, making it easier to stick to, so if you want to take a day off once in a while after those three weeks it’s not a big deal. That really worked for me, because once a routine becomes a habit, I feel icky (and guilty) when I don’t follow it. — Jessalyn

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