ATLAS Health Tips
June 19, 2024

Hate Working Out? Try These 10 Exercise Motivation Tips

two smiling women enjoying their workout session

Do you dread working out? Finding exercise motivation can be a struggle for both beginners and seasoned gym-goers. In this blog, we have some proven tips to help you stay motivated and make exercising a part of your daily routine. 

Here are 10 ways to improve your exercise motivation:

1. Finding a Workout Buddy

Having a workout buddy can be a game-changer in your fitness journey. This person can be a friend, family member, or colleague (1). The camaraderie, mutual encouragement, and friendly competition can make even the toughest workouts seem more manageable. Furthermore, this partnership can transcend beyond the gym. You can share healthy recipes, discuss fitness articles, and explore outdoor activities together. Through thick and thin, you'll have a dependable partner in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. This spirit of teamwork and companionship can significantly boost your workout motivation and make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a fun, shared experience.

2. Seeking External Motivation: Apps, Friends, and Fitness Communities

In today's tech-savvy world, we have numerous resources at our fingertips. Fitness apps offer many motivational tools like workout plans, tracking systems, and achievement badges. Some even include a social network feature where you can connect with like-minded fitness enthusiasts. 

Friends and family can also be crucial in maintaining your workout motivation (2). They can provide emotional support, practical advice, and sometimes, a healthy dose of tough love when necessary. Lastly, joining a fitness community can be an excellent way to stay accountable. These communities, both online and offline, provide a platform where members can share their experiences, challenges, tips, and victories. Being part of a supportive group can not only help you stay motivated but also provide a sense of belonging, making your fitness journey much more rewarding.

3. Make It Enjoyable: Choose an Activity You Love

Remember, exercise isn't confined to lifting weights in a gym or running endless laps on a track. One of the most effective ways to maintain motivation is to engage in activities you genuinely enjoy. You might be a fan of dancing, so why not try Zumba or a dance fitness class? If the outdoors calls to you, consider activities such as hiking, cycling, or even swimming in a nearby lake or pool. When you love the activity, it no longer feels like a chore but a fun part of your day. Plus, the variety can keep things interesting and help you exercise different muscle groups. Remember, the goal is to make physical activity a regular and enjoyable part of your life. So, explore your options, experiment with different activities, and most importantly, have fun!

4. Scheduling Workouts in Advance

Planning workouts in advance is also important for retaining motivation to exercise. By scheduling your workouts, you eliminate the chance of skipping exercise due to lack of time or forgetfulness (2). Moreover, knowing that you've dedicated a specific slot for exercise can mentally prepare you for the session. You can also plan your post-workout meals and rest periods, ensuring your body gets the nutrition and recovery it needs. Remember, consistency is key to fitness. Treating your workouts as non-negotiable appointments, you're committing to a healthier lifestyle and setting yourself up for long-term success.

5. Trying New Workouts and Attending Group Fitness Classes

Boredom can be a motivation killer. If you find your current workout routine monotonous, it's time to switch things up. Look for different workouts online - yoga, HIIT, Zumba, or even kickboxing. Trying something new can not only spark excitement but also challenge your body in different ways, leading to better overall fitness (2). Attending group fitness classes can also add a social element to your workouts. These classes are led by qualified instructors who can provide guidance, ensuring that you're performing exercises correctly and safely. Plus, the group setting can create a lively atmosphere, making workouts enjoyable and less of a chore.

6. Create a Dedicated Workout Space: Set the Stage for Success

Having a dedicated space for workouts can do wonders for your motivation. This doesn't mean you need a fully-equipped home gym; even a small space with a yoga mat and a few resistance bands can do the trick. When you have a specific area for exercise, it helps create a mental association between that space and physical activity. Every time you step into your workout zone, your mind can more easily shift into exercise mode. This physical boundary can also minimise distractions and make it easier to focus on your workout. Plus, it's a constant reminder of your commitment to your health and fitness. Personalise the space with motivational quotes or images if you like. This little sanctuary can become a symbol of your fitness journey, keeping you inspired and motivated.

7. Celebrating Progress and Achievements Along the Way

Celebrating your achievements, no matter how small, is crucial for maintaining workout motivation. These victories are evidence of your hard work and dedication. They could be anything from sticking to your workout plan for a week, increasing the weight on your lifts, or noticing changes in how your clothes fit. Take a moment to appreciate these accomplishments. Share them with your workout buddy, friends, or fitness community. Not only will this boost your motivation, but it can also inspire others. Every milestone is a step closer to your ultimate fitness goal, and each deserves a celebration.

8. Incorporate Mindfulness: Engage Fully in Your Workouts

When it comes to exercise, quality often trumps quantity. One way to enhance the quality of your workouts is by incorporating mindfulness. This means being fully present and engaged during your exercise routine rather than just going through the motions. Pay attention to your body movements, your breath, and how your muscles feel during each exercise (3). Notice the strength in your body and appreciate what it can do. This mindful engagement can reduce boredom, increase enjoyment, and make you more likely to stick with your workout routine. Not to mention, it can also improve your performance and the effectiveness of your workouts. So next time you're working out, tune into your body, tune out your stress and turn your exercise routine into a form of moving meditation.

9. Assessing the Cause of the Break and Addressing the Issue

Life happens, and sometimes, breaks from workout routines are inevitable. However, before diving back into your exercise routine, take some time to assess the cause of your break. Was it due to a lack of time, a physical injury, or a loss of motivation? Understanding the root cause can help you address it effectively. For instance, if time was the issue, consider incorporating shorter, more intense workouts into your routine. If an injury caused your break, consult a healthcare professional before resuming your workouts. If it was a lack of motivation, try the tips discussed above. Open conversations with friends or family who have experienced similar situations can also provide valuable insights. Remember, overcoming these challenges is part of your fitness journey and will make your comeback even stronger.

10. Easing Back with SMART Goals

When returning to your workout routine, setting SMART goals can provide direction and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (4). For instance, instead of setting a vague goal like "I want to get fit," try something more specific, like "I want to run a 5K in 30 minutes within three months." This goal is: 

  • Specific: (run a 5K)
  • Measurable: (in 30 minutes)
  • Achievable: (with regular training)
  • Realistic: (a reasonable time frame for beginners)
  • Timely: (within three months). 

Having such clear and structured goals can give you a clear path to follow and a tangible target to aim for. As you achieve each goal, your confidence and motivation to tackle the next one will increase.

Boosting your exercise motivation doesn't have to be a daunting task. By understanding the importance of consistency, overcoming workout procrastination, and transforming exercise into an enjoyable habit, you'll be well on your way to building and maintaining healthy habits. Don't forget to celebrate your achievements and continually seek support from your workout buddies, fitness communities, or motivational apps to keep your exercise motivation strong. So, put on those workout clothes, lace up your sneakers, and get moving!


  1. 24/7 Fitness. (n.d.). 10 ways to find yourself a workout buddy. Retrieved from
  2. Good Housekeeping. (n.d.). This is how I motivate myself to exercise 5 times a week. Retrieved from
  3. Verywell Fit. (n.d.). Mindfulness during exercise. Retrieved from
  4. Origym. (n.d.). How to set SMART fitness goals: Everything you need to know! Retrieved from

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