Simple steps: Finding the motivation to exercise can be a challenge–here are some strategies

Bringing a friend, setting realistic goals, getting sufficient rest… Sometimes it’s as simple as finding an exercise activity that you actually like!

Have you tried to workout? Are you motivated to workout? Did you quit after a couple times even if things get “hard?” Going to the gym is a helpful way to improve your strength and endurance and even your mindset, but only if you use it properly.

Still, some people find it difficult to get motivated. This column will help you find different ways to help build that drive for physical activity and change your mindset into a healthier lifestyle. You’ll find that just a few simple changes and little steps can make a big difference in your motivation.

The first step toward motivating yourself is to understand the benefits. To live a healthy lifestyle, adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, along with teenagers and children who should get at least 60 minutes per week. Working out is a great form of physical activity and can provide you with better health benefits. One of the health benefits the gym gives you is better sleep because all the working out you do can cause fatigue which helps you have better sleep.

One of the best ways to get motivated and stick to your workout plan is to bring a friend. This can make working out fun and a friend can provide support and motivation to push through the wall that may be blocking you from working hard. Try to reach your goals together. You and your friends can compete with who can get the highest number of pushups to how long did you last on the treadmill.

One problem that hurts our motivation is the frustration we feel when we don’t see an immediate improvement. When we work so hard to get the results we want and don’t see them, some people give up. In this case, our unrealistic expectations are the barrier. Remove that barrier! Start with knowing not to expect a six pack after the first time you go to the gym. Say you are motivated to lose belly fat so you do a hundred crunches. Those crunches will help make your core stronger but it does a very little job of reducing the fat stored. In order to reduce belly fat you should do full body workouts. Full body workouts help burn off calories, crunches don’t make you have abs instantly. We all have abdominal muscles but the people who have defined abs have a very low belly fat. So keep your expectations in check. As you continue to learn about fitness, your goals will become more realistic and you will experience less frustration.

Another reason people might quit is because It can be hard to motivate yourself to work out if you have an obstacle in the way such as an injury, as I described in a previous column. Injuries can cause mental stress along with frustration. Wanting to improve yourself while having something in your way can cause you to give up. Instead of giving up, use this injury as an opportunity to improve yourself. Dwelling on what you can’t do it isn’t helping. You should to take this anger and change it into motivation. If you are going through this you need to understand that it is ok to feel sad. It is ok to cry. But the place where people go wrong is that they give up. Do not be a quitter. Use this time that you are out to make your mental health stronger. Just because you have an injury it shouldn’t be an excuses to put your health on hold. Trust me I know it can be hard, but after your recovery you will be even stronger than before!

Another way to increase your motivation is to gradually gain and maintain momentum. The little steps you take can have an impact on you. If you start making the gym a consistent pattern you will start to see changes in your image. Sometimes people don’t go consistently because they are working out for too long. The more effort and work you put into these workouts will help you reach the goal you have. Start with setting a reasonable goal such as trying to finish a set of exercises without a break. The little goals you set and reach can help boost the drive you have to motivate you and set another goal! When workouts are too long it can cause fatigue faster and your training can be inconsistent. Instead of working out for hours with a low intensity, Train with HIIT. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, this type of training helps with getting your heart rate up which burns more fat in a shorter amount of time. It all starts with the little steps, and the little steps start changing into habits which will result in bigger steps and that’s where your routine starts.

Working out can be a struggle to those who have low energy. A quick solution to this is to go to bed at a proper time. Get the most sleep you can, so your body can rejuvenate and your brain can get better function without feeling sleepy in the middle of the day. Going to bed at a good time can help you gain more energy to working out. People who work out consistently go to bed at a healthy tie because they want to feel energized and ready to take on their next day in the gym.

Maybe your lack of motivation is telling you that you need to find a type of exercise that is more enjoyable for you. If you are not a gym type of person try something else because the type of atmosphere and training might not be for you. If you are spending more time dreading going, try to join a different form of working out. You could workout at home, join a sport or even go outside and pursue running! Running is a great form of physical activity because it provides cardio. There are many different types of physical exercise that can help you be in the shape you want, with the help of hard work and effort.

You should believe in yourself before anything. Hard work pays off, so you should never give up on any goal you have. If you get knocked down, get back up and enjoy the ride of improving yourself because If we didn’t make mistakes in life we wouldn’t learn anything! Working out has many benefits, so the more you motivate yourself to go and work hard the more you are improving yourself! Bringing a friend, setting realistic goals, getting sufficient rest… there are lots of little things we can do to improve our motivation. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding an exercise activity that you actually like! But whatever you do to get there, always remind yourself that working out will help you feel better mentally and physically so after finding that drive, nothing will stop you.

Simple Steps is an advice column focusing on motivation, written by Bear. Need some advice? Ask Bear by emailing Your identity will always be kept confidential.

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