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How to Get Motivated to Workout: 9 Tips to Boost Gym Motivation

How to Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym


Sure, working out is good for you. And it's true that embracing a regular exercise routine can be a transformative journey for both your body and mind. No one's debating that. 

We may know the benefits of physical activity, but let’s face it: finding the motivation to actually make lasting changes in our lives is HARD. 

We get it. 

So Planet Fitness has put together a comprehensive guide with realistic, easy-to-follow strategies to help you break through motivational barriers and develop a workout routine that is both consistent and enjoyable. 

You got this!

Understand Your "Why"

Let's dive in. 

Motivation—lasting motivation, that is—always begins within. Finding motivation to workout starts with a deep, personal understanding of your reasons for exercising. 

Whether you're training to run that bucket-list marathon, need to keep up with your grandkids, or just want to be the healthiest version of yourself, identifying your "why" is crucial—it fuels your commitment and keeps you focused on your goals. 

Reflect on what drives you, whether it's the desire to feel stronger, the need to manage health concerns, or the pursuit of mental clarity.

Create a Positive Environment

Location, location, location! You won't commit to a habit if you don't enjoy the space you're in. So the environment in which you work out is worth a little attention. Design a space that not only meets your functional needs but also inspires and uplifts you. 

This could mean setting up a small workout corner in your home with motivational quotes and posters, boosting your home gym with fun lighting, or even just organizing your workout gear in a way that excites you. You want to create a space you look forward to being in, so you're excited to achieve those fitness goals!

Establish a Routine

Consistency is key. You've heard it before, but it's annoyingly true. To build and maintain workout motivation, you must treat your exercise commitments as unmissable appointments. It's easier to keep up with your routine if you start with short, manageable workouts and then gradually extend the duration and intensity. 

Find a rhythm and time of day that works for you—whether that's an early morning jog, lunchtime gym session, or after-work yoga—and stick to it. In time, you'll weave exercise seamlessly into your daily life, building sustainable and long-lasting habits over time.

Find Enjoyable Activities

If you like it, you'll do it. End of story. It's important that you don't overlook the enjoyment factor in choosing your workout activities. Discovering a new hobby or activity you enjoy is the cornerstone of sustained motivation. So don't settle for anything less than true love!

Play the field by trying a variety of workouts—from high-energy Zumba classes to peaceful morning runs or a day-long hike in a scenic outdoor setting to a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Whether you're at the gym or searching for free workout classes from home, keep trying new things! 

Exercise Motivation Made Easy

  • Connect Exercise with Daily Activities. Working physical activity into your daily life is easier than you think. You don’t have to get in an hour-long gym session: it can be as simple as walking or biking to work. When you choose activities that align with your interests and daily routine, it's both more enjoyable and less of a chore.
  • Visualize Success. See yourself as successful in your journey, even if you haven't yet achieved the end goal. Keeping what success looks like in front of you can be a powerful motivator along the journey. You can even post reminders or inspiring visuals in places you'll spot them regularly, like your phone or computer background, for added jolts of inspiration throughout the day. 
  • Celebrate Small Wins. Motivation begets more motivation. And rewarding yourself along the way can keep your motivation alive. Build a positive association with exercise by recognizing your efforts, no matter how small. 

A Few Benefits of Exercising Regularly

Regular movement goes beyond physical health. It's a full-body shock to the system, a gift to both body and mind. It probably comes as no surprise that regular physical activity enhances daily bodily function by improving heart health, strength, and flexibility while reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Mentally, working out reduces stress, anxiety, and depression while simultaneously promoting increased energy and what we all dream of: better sleep quality.

And we’ll let you in on another secret. Looking for that real-life fountain of youth? Look no further. Studies show that embracing regular physical activity leads to increased longevity and an overall higher quality of life.

9 Strategies for Motivation to Workout

We all want to succeed when we set our minds to something. But success isn't guaranteed at the start of any adventure. Luckily, there are some signposts along the way to help guide you on your unique journey. 

  1. Start Small and Build Up Gradually: Begin with short sessions and progressively increase their intensity. This gradual approach helps avoid burnout and keeps you motivated.
  2. Set Realistic Goals: Create achievable goals tailored to your fitness level and aspirations. Breaking down your goals into smaller, manageable milestones can significantly enhance your sense of achievement.
  3. Treat Yourself: Implement a system of rewards for reaching milestones —or just for getting your body moving! This could be as simple as a relaxing bath after a particularly grueling workout or a new workout outfit for hitting a month-long streak.
  4. Mix It Up: Monotony can be a motivation killer. Keep your workout routine fresh by experimenting with different exercises, fitness classes, or even outdoor adventures.
  5. Cultivate a Positive Mindset: Focus on the positive aspects of exercising, such as feeling healthier and more energized. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations about your fitness journey. You got this!
  6. Monitor Your Progress: Utilize tools like the My Journey feature in the PF App to track your workouts and celebrate every achievement, no matter how small.
  7. Connect with a Workout Buddy: Having a workout partner or joining a fitness community can provide you with the necessary support and accountability. The Planet Fitness Black Card® is a perfect example, allowing you to bring a guest for free to every gym visit.
  8. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Understanding the science behind exercise and its benefits can deepen your connection and commitment to your fitness routine.
  9. Motivate with Music: Create workout playlists that invigorate you, or crank up one of Planet Fitness' motivational Spotify playlists. The right music can transform your workout from a chore into a thrilling experience.

3 Practical Tips for Staying Motivated During Workouts

  • Suit Up: Comfortable, functional attire and appropriate footwear can significantly enhance your workout experience. 
  • Prep Your Media: Select your music or audiobooks ahead of time. This pre-planning ensures that you have engaging content to keep your mind entertained as you exercise.
  • Tailor Your Workout Times: Pick workout times that suit your lifestyle and energy levels. Consistency is easier to maintain when your workout schedule aligns with your natural rhythm.

The First Step on Your Journey to Workout Motivation

Caring for our bodies is a lifelong endeavor, and establishing a consistent exercise routine requires dedication and overcoming lots of motivational hurdles. But, with the benefits that accompany working out, the journey to a healthier lifestyle can be an enjoyable one. Remember to celebrate your progress (no matter how small), embrace challenges that arise, and keep taking deep breaths along the way. 

Get started now for FREE with a short, beginner's workout video on the PF App