There’s no denying that exercise is good for us. Exercise can help increase our metabolism, boost our energy, keep our cardiovascular system and bones healthy, and help us maintain or lose weight while keeping our muscles strong and toned. It can also improve our immunity, keep us sleeping soundly, and even encourage the body’s release of chemicals called endorphins, which can relieve stress while easing anxiety and pain. And lastly, combined with a proper diet, exercise can help you fit into your favorite pair of jeans again. Not too bad.
So if exercise is so good for us, why aren’t we doing more of it? A 2018 study from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found that almost 80% of adults in the United States aren’t getting nearly enough exercise needed to stay healthy. Another study in 2009 found that 50% of those who begin an exercise program end up quitting within the first 6 months. Anyone who’s ever worked out knows how easy it is to find excuses to do anything but. And the longer you put fitness on the back burner altogether, the harder it is to get back in the habit.
There’s no doubt if you stay active, your mind and your body will reap the benefits. But if you’re looking to start getting fit, you’re definitely going to need tools to keep you on track (and I’m right there with you).
Here are some tips and tricks to help motivate you to start exercising consistently and keep you excited to keep going:
1. Try New Things and Find Activities You Actually Enjoy
One of the best ways to set yourself up for fitness success is to find styles of exercise or activities that you actually enjoy. With so many ways to get active, there’s no reason not to be able to find something you like. Try walking, biking, hiking, tennis, kayaking, swimming, dancing, kick-boxing, karate, yoga, or Pilates. Better yet, find a few activities you like and rotate them into your schedule to stave off exercise boredom. You’ll be more likely to keep going if you do. If you don’t know what you’re currently into, experiment until you find a routine that’s the right fit for you. And if you like to travel, that can be a perfect time to try new activities as there’s usually always something to do. For example, one of my favorite activities, when I travel somewhere tropical, is snorkeling, which is super fun and involves lots of swimming. Love what you do, and you’ll never want to quit.
2. Have Seasonal Fun With Your Fitness
New seasons always bring us new opportunities to keep moving. Spring and summer are great for swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, golfing, and gardening. Activities like downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and sledding are fun ways to burn calories in the winter. Hiking can be great any time of year, and seasonal household chores like shoveling snow, raking leaves, or mowing the lawn provide a great workout without having to even leave your property.
3. Join a Local Club or Take Group Classes
Once you’ve found an activity you enjoy, joining a local club can be another great way to stay motivated. Not only do clubs usually schedule events that can help keep you on track, but you’ll also be able to meet new friends who share your fitness interests. There are hiking clubs, cycling clubs, and kayaking clubs in my area, just to name a few. If you don’t know what type of activity clubs are available in your area, you can head to meetup.com to find local groups that fit your interests.
4. Take Your Fitness Outdoors
Part of staying motivated to work out is keeping your routine fresh. And getting active outside can give you the change in scenery you need to help keep you motivated. Exercising outdoors can help increase our vitamin D levels while boosting energy. Time spent in nature has also been linked in studies to lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (our stress hormone) while promoting calmness, positivity, and focus. Best of all, it’s free! Walk your dog, bike, jog through your neighborhood or take your exercise routine to a local park. You can also find some local trails to hike or bike on. Live near a beach, lake, or river? Swimming and kayaking are also great options to get active outdoors.
5. Find Ways to Stay Accountable
Sometimes it’s just easier to skip exercising and eat tacos and ice cream instead. But you’re much more likely to stay active and reach your fitness goals if you find a way to stay accountable. That can mean finding a buddy to work out with who wants to get fit too, but it may be hard to find someone with the same goals and schedule as you. Your next best option might be to find a trainer. But what if you’re not interested in stepping back into a gym right now? I totally get it.
That’s why downloading a fitness app can be a great option. Not only can they help keep you accountable, but they’re convenient no matter what your schedule. For me, using the Future Fitness App has been a game-changer. Available in the Apple store, Future is the most helpful thing that has kept me consistently motivated to stay active, get stronger, and achieve fitness goals I thought were only for Instagram fitness models. It also did what I thought was impossible: it has me actually excited to work out every day. How did they do it? Having a Future is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to choose and work with one of their elite coaches.After a FaceTime meet and greet with your coach to discuss your goals, they will create a personalized weekly fitness routine for you based on the exercises you like to do. My ways are always fresh and mix Pilates, boxing, yoga, and weight training. But what really sets Future apart from other fitness apps is the relationship you build with your coach. They check in with you each day to track your progress and keep you motivated to achieve your fitness goals. And it’s achieving those goals that will motivate you even further. Plus, what’s even better is that you don’t need a gym membership, and you can literally take it with you anywhere.
Last winter, the thought of exercising for me was torture, but Future has me working out like never before and loving it. Personal accountability seems to be the thing that’s clicked for me when it comes to staying motivated to exercise, and it might just be for you too. See our complete review of Future here.