Genius Ways To Stay Motivated to Exercise



If it were easy to stay motivated to work out, then we'd all have rock-hard abs. Alas, the drive to get out of bed for an early morning sweat session is elusive, except for those infectiously positive and perky fitness trainers and instructors—or so you thought.




Grab a pen

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A journal is a place for Iannone to hold her sudden inspirations. "I come up with phrases or mantras that pop into my mind, and write them down or create a [digital] poster to share with my followers online," she says. Feeling unmotivated? Look back all those positive vibes you wrote before.


Set attainable goals

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Setting an extremely lofty, unrealistic, or unhealthy goal is just setting yourself up for failure or exhaustion, says Mulgrew. "If you don't make the progress you want to see in the short-term, you could say 'oh this doesn't work, so I just won't do it'," she warns.


Eat Often

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You hate being hangry just as much as your friends hate to be around someone who's irritable from a rumbling stomach and low blood sugar. Avoid that feeling and make sure you have the energy needed to take on your next workout by eating throughout the day.


Change your mind

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There is no such thing as a quick-fix solution for your health and fitness goals, reminds Iannone, and she believe the first step starts inside you. "It's not just about working out," she says. "It's about working within."


Take a breather

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Sundays are typically rest days for Swan, but if you happen to find her in the gym that day, it's not because she's working out seven days a week. "I give my body a full day's rest no matter what," she says. "Physically, it's the best time for your muscles to recover, and it's so important for your muscles to be able to grow, but a full day's rest is going to rest your mind, too. Allow yourself to decompress."


Go shopping dress the part

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They say when you look good, you feel good. Sounds like an excuse to go shopping! And Swan is definitely on board, "I'm not going to lie, a new gym outfit gives me motivation," she says. "Brand new spandex or a killer sports bra is just like buying the perfect little black dress."


Set the mood

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What wakes Iannone up in the morning? Techno. Admittedly not a morning person, she says she prefers energetic music in the early hours to pump her up. "Music is fuel for your body," she says. "Feed the excitement and passion to keep going forward."


Be thankful

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It's all too easy to get caught up in your own problems, frustrations, or never-ending to-do list, but Iannone finds it helpful to back away from complaints and consider what she has to be thankful for.


Think about how you'll feel after

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"I work out for my sanity, not vanity," says Swan. "Workouts are my therapy. I know if I don't get to release those endorphins, I'm not as carefree."


Scroll through your news feed

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"Sometimes I check in on fitness hashtags on Instagram to see what other people are doing," says Iannone. "Seeing bodies in motion and images of strength motivates me."


Drink more matcha

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A caffeine jolt before the gym may enhance exercise results. In an International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism study, trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned about 15% more calories for three hours post-exercise, compared to those who ingested a placebo.


Watch yourself

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The floor-to-ceiling mirrors surrounding most studios are not there to torture you. Sure, you may feel a little awkward while you're getting the hang of a particularly challenging move, but looking in the mirror can help perfect your form over time.


Think about what you can accomplish right now

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You might have a larger goal in mind—dropping pounds, training for a marathon—but it's crucial to remember all the baby steps it takes to get there.


Get in those steps for the day

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You signed up for spin class only to realize it was at the location across town. Instead of dreading the commute, make good use of that time! "Sometimes to get motivated for class, I force myself to run, walk, or bike there instead of taking the subway as a way to get my blood flowing and endorphins up," says Bulvanoski.


Listen to your body

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Your body could be telling you things you may not want to hear. Mulgrew says that sometimes her body wants to push her out of her comfort zone. "So I look around at other people at the gym or in class and tell myself if they can do it, so can I."


Surround yourself with positive people

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Mulgrew says spending time with positive, hard-working co-workers and friends makes her want to follow their lead. "If I'm having a rough day, my team keeps me focused on the good, and helps me power through," she says.


Practice being mindful

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The art of being in the moment, blocking out all the external day-to-day stressors that can get in the way is sometimes easier said than done, but this kind of mindfulness is something Daniela Iannone, personal trainer and instructor at Prime Cycle in Hoboken, New Jersey truly believes in and follows.


Connect with friends

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A workout buddy holds you accountable for the time and effort you put into your workouts—research proves it. Plus, socializing as you sweat can make exercise more fun.


Plan a post-workout meal

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Having a food in mind for your post-workout nosh will motivate you to crush your sweat session. Erin Bulvanoski, trainer at KORE New York, says it helps her really work for that snack she's craving.


Give yourself a pep talk

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Whether it's a family member's words of encouragement that have stuck with you, or lyrics from a familiar song, keeping a mantra, catchphrase or motto handy when you need a boost of confidence or determination can work wonders.