Getting motivated to exercise

We know exercise is healthy. But, without motivation, it’s hard to get started. Try these tips to get excited about working out, to get going and to stay with it.

•  Set goals you can achieve. Try 20 minutes of exercise, 3 days per week. Once you’ve mastered that habit, move it up to 30. Then, increase the number of days, and so on.

•  Make exercise “me time.” Exercise class, a walk or your favorite sport is time that helps your body and mind get healthier. Think of it as a treat to yourself.

•  Write down something you’ve achieved with exercise. Whether you met your goal for two weeks or perhaps noticed your mood was better, take note of it. Go back and look at the good things you’ve accomplished over time. This can give you positive encouragement.

•  Don’t dwell on setbacks. Everyone has a day where they miss a workout. Just move forward and figure out how you can get back into your routine tomorrow.

•  Find support when you need it. Sometimes, it helps to have a friend cheer you on. Or, maybe a family member is willing to babysit your kids while you exercise. Maybe you can ask a friend to exercise with you. Together, you can motivate each other.

•  Skip the stuff you don’t like. If you really dislike a certain class or activity, don’t do it. Instead, find an exercise you can look forward to. Do what gets you active and feels fun and invigorating.

•  Try something new. Whether it’s a new class, a new video or a new piece of equipment at the gym, variety can be fun. Doing the same exercise every day for weeks or months can kill motivation.


If you have any health conditions, or haven't exercised in a long time, ask your doctor which types of exercise would work best for you.


Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.


The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.