Exercising at Home: How to Keep Yourself Motivated

Exercising at Home: How to Keep Yourself Motivated

Why Exercise Motivation is Hard

Some days, working out just isn’t on the top of your “want-to-do” list – getting a few more minutes of sleep in the AM might seem more attractive. Conversely, if you usually work out after work, you may be just too exhausted to get on the elliptical and go a couple miles before dinner.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry; you’re not alone!

Lots of others in Shreveport who want to be healthy have trouble motivating themselves to work out. But there’s hope yet. To improve your health, lose weight, and gain muscle tone, follow these four tips to motivate yourself to workout at home (even if you have a lot of other things on your mind).

1. Create a reward system for yourself

We all like rewards, right?

Even kids will do extra chores if they know they’ll get a “special prize” at the end. Use this psychological trick to your advantage and set up a rewards system for your workout routine. Doing so can help boost your motivation in a significant way!

But you can’t just set up any old rewards system and expect it to work. In order to have an effective rewards system, you’ll need to make sure the rewards are unique to your exercise: don’t tell yourself “I can only have a glass of wine today if I get on my home gym equipment” unless you follow through on that promise. In other words, make the reward connected to a specific GOAL. For example, if you hit an extra set on the resistance machine, or run a mile in less than 10 minutes.

It’s also important to reward yourself daily with micro rewards. Studies show humans are more motivated by small rewards at regular intervals than big rewards once in a while. If you’re working toward “I’ll take myself on vacation if I run a 5K,” it’s actually easier to skip a day of exercise than if you’re working toward “I can go out for lunch today at my favorite sandwich shop if I spend 30 minutes on my elliptical.”

Again, make sure you pick something you can follow through on: if you reward yourself with “going out for lunch,” you’re going to be hungry the day you skip your workout and forget to pack a lunch (or you’ll reward yourself without working out).

And, finally, never ever reward yourself for “working out extra tomorrow.” If you haven’t done the work, you don’t get the reward. Period. Promises of “tomorrow” don’t count here folks!

2. Train for an upcoming event

Often, rewards on their own can seem random and unconnected to your exercise routine. When rewards just aren’t cutting it, consider pairing your rewards system with training for an upcoming event. Not only will this motivate you to reach an exercise goal by a specific deadline, but it’ll add purpose to your routine! And purpose can go a LONG way in keeping you motivated, especially when you have to perform in front of others.

Exercise events have a number of 5Ks and many benefit great causes. The Providence House Home Run 5K benefits Providence House, a charity that works to end homelessness in the area. Another race, The Mission: Possible 5K run and walk benefits The Shreveport Bossier Rescue Missions Life Recovery Program, which helps the homeless and those struggling with addictions to get back on their feet.

If 5Ks aren’t your thing, you can always create an event of your own. For example, if you love mountains, you can train for a challenging mountain hike – the Life Fitness Integrity Series Summit Trainer is a fantastic option from Life Fitness Equipment for incline training. Then, when you’ve reached your training goal, reward yourself with a vacation to the mountains (complete with challenging hike to breathtaking mountain summit).

Whatever your fitness focus, you can find or create an event that connects your fitness to a tangible goal.

3. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine

Not all exercise equipment designed for your home is bulky, and not all exercise needs to happen in one big block of “workout time.” If you have trouble fitting exercise into your day, try looking for workout equipment for your home that’s slimmer and more attractive, like the Elliptigo 3C. The machine looks like a small bike parked in your home, but functions like other long-stride elliptical exercise equipment.

Home gym equipment like the Elliptigo 3C can fit in your den or home office, giving you the opportunity to work out for five or ten minutes in-between tasks. Waiting for water to boil? Hop on the elliptical. Finished responding to emails and need a break before diving into your next project? Hop on the elliptical. Family watching an episode of Stranger Things together? Hop on the elliptical.

Putting your exercise equipment in a convenient place can make it easier to get in that home based workout by carving out a few minutes here and there, making the whole routine less noticeable and easier to manage.

4. Complete a challenge with a friend

Just because you’re working out at home doesn’t mean you have to work out alone! Fitness studies have proven that individuals are more motivated to work out, lose weight, and eat healthy when they have an accountability partner. If you and a friend have conflicting schedules, but coordinating fitness goals, try completing a fitness challenge with them!

Fitness challenges are basic, daily challenges, created for your specific home gym equipment. They might be as simple as “Keep a speed of 6 mph on 10 resistance for 30 minutes,” or as complex as “Spend 2 minutes at 5 resistance, 2 minutes on 10 resistance, 3 minutes on 7 resistance, then repeat.” You can find them by Googling “Great elliptical workouts,” “Treadmill workout ideas,” or similar keywords. Find one you like, send it to your friend, and work on it together for a week; then, let your friend pick one for the next week. Having someone to talk to about sore muscles and achieved goals can make your fitness routine more fun…and it’ll increase your motivation, too.

You can do it!

The number one motivator, beyond any of these, is a positive spirit. Without an attitude of “I can do it!” you won’t be motivated to push yourself to achieve your health goals. Every day, when you step onto your home exercise equipment, remind yourself: “I am strong; I am motivated; I can do this.” Because it’s true: you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Get yourself a set of exercise machines at Fitness Expo. From treadmills to weights, we got your fitness needs covered. We serve clients in Baton Rouge, Metairie, Kenner, and Jackson in the Mississippi area. Our doors are always open!