4 Ways to Get (or Stay!) Motivated to Exercise
Instead of just worrying about shrinking belly fat or building up your biceps, focus on what really matters to you. Arias looks to her 16-month-old daughter for fitness inspiration. "I want a clear mind, to feel energized, and to be there for her," she says. Finding your emotional impetus is a more effective incentive than focusing on appearance for sticking with your routine long-term.
2. Open your mind.
Barring serious health issues, you're never too stiff, too slow, or too old to try a workout, says Arias. "Go into your activity of choice without preconceived notions of what it's supposed to be like, give yourself a chance, and you'll be surprised at how your body can adapt," she says. "It's never too late—even if you're starting from zero."
3. Think small.
"There's nothing wrong with big goals, but you're more likely to succeed if you break them down into increments that work for your lifestyle, age, and ability level," says Arias. For example, if you can jog a mile in 15 minutes, first aim to shave 30 seconds off your pace rather than focusing on a 10-minute finish. Small victories along your journey will give you a sense of accomplishment that'll fuel your fire.
4. Mix it up.
Arias says she'll attempt any and every type of workout, from boot camp to AcroYoga. Why? Experimenting staves off boredom. And trying a new class or activity can also help with accountability: "You have an opportunity to make friends who may expect you to show up," she says. "And when someone else is relying on you for motivation, it's a lot easier to stay motivated yourself."