Health & Wellness

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

12.05.11 running

It’s one thing to say you will exercise.  It’s another thing to actually do it.  We all know that exercise can help manage your weight, improve your health, lift your mood, and increase your energy level.  However, lack of discipline, scarce amount of time and little stimulation can cause you to avoid exercise all together.  But Cotton Candy knows that all you need to get started is motivation.  Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Energy’s certified diabetes educator Kristin Greenspan gives us five simple ways to encourage yourself to exercise.

No. 1 Make exercise fun.
Exercise does not necessarily mean the traditional treadmill, run or gym workout.  There are many activities or classes that can give you a great workout.  If you like sports, look for intramural teams.  If you like running or cycling, sign up for a club or meet up group.  This is not only a fun way to exercise, but it is also a great social outlet.  If you like to dance, sign up for some dance classes, such as Zumba.  If you are daring, try a pole dancing class, indoor rock climbing, or roller-skating.  Also remember that updating your workout playlist is a quick and easy way to give your workout an energy boost.

No. 2 Find a partner.
Whether it is a friend, coach or trainer, enlisting a partner gives you built-in accountability.  It becomes more cumbersome to skip out on a workout, when you have committed to meet with someone.  This can be especially true when money is involved and you have paid a trainer.  Exercising with a partner often motivates you to work harder than if you workout alone.  Plus, scheduling a workout with a friend also allows you to spend more quality time together.

No. 3 Sign up for a 5k.
If you sign up for a race or event, you will have a goal to help motivate your workouts.  Knowing that you have a race to train for will keep you on a consistent workout schedule and help you stay focused.  As you train, you will also start to see improvements in your endurance.  Seeing this progress is not only motivating, but can also help boost confidence.  Who knows? This may lead you to sign up for further races and maybe even a marathon.

No. 4 Reward yourself.
Set fitness goals, and give yourself a reward once you achieved each one of your goals.  Track your progress in a log, and once you met a goal, treat yourself to a massage, a new pair of sneakers, or anything that feels like an indulgence.

No. 5 Remember how you feel afterwards.
Exercise can often give you a burst of energy and an endorphin rush, enabling you to raise your pain threshold.  Even if you feel tired before you begin exercising, you will likely feel better once you start your regiment.  Try this five minute rule: Put your sneakers on, start your workout and tell yourself that if you do not feel energized in five minutes, you will stop.  Guaranteed, that once you get started, you will be motivated to keep going.  Also, keep in mind that if you remember how good it felt and the sense of accomplishment, you will be likely to repeat it.


Written by: Kristin Greenspan

Kristin Greenspan is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with Nutrition Energy, a private nutrition practice in New York City.  She has extensive experience as a nutrition counselor in private practice and is well versed in sports nutrition and exercise.

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