5 tips to motivate you to exercise

It’s no secret that exercise is important to keep our bodies healthy and strong. And that’s important to a long, fun life! (a goal, right?!) The good news is there are fun ways to motivate you to get started (and stay moving). Keep reading to learn 5 tips to motivate you to exercise!

When I went through chemo and radiation for breast cancer a few years ago, I made sure I moved every day of treatment. Sometimes it was up and down my driveway for 15 minutes or a slow ride on my bike trainer for 20 minutes or walking the mall with a friend to get out of the house. Maintaining an active lifestyle helped my body stay strong and also really helped minimize the side effects of chemo and other medications I was on (a great bonus!).

And I know that sometimes you can’t exercise during treatment or whatever else is going on in your life, especially if you’re ill or facing an injury. That’s ok. Do what works for you. But I encourage you to be active in some way to help keep your body strong and healthy.

We all need motivation and tips at times so I wanted to share what has helped me through three cancers and just life in general.

5 tips to motivate you to exercise:

Make it manageable.

Starting something can be daunting, especially if you’ve taken a break for health reasons or other. Focusing on small increments and milestones can make the activity much less intimidating and actionable. For instance, I set my bike monitor to quietly beep every five miles. Those five-mile accomplishments make me feel good. This is especially helpful when I’m doing long rides – focusing on five miles is much easier mentally for me than 20 miles or more. So you can take 15-minute walks. Start with 20 minutes of weight training or yoga. Pretty soon, you’ll notice that those small increments go by quickly!

Reward yourself.

Do something nice for yourself. Seriously. Why do we always feel the need to wait until we’ve reached that huge milestone that sometimes seems so far away? I believe that each step is a milestone to reaching a goal. Hit a milestone, such as walking every day for a week? Awesome, maybe buy yourself new workout wear or walking shoes.

Get a coach.

Sometimes we all can use extra motivation, support and accountability beyond our family and friends. I admit that I often look for outside help with business, health goals and other stuff. Not because I don’t appreciate my family and friends, but I like, sometimes need, an objective perspective. In the past, I’ve hired a health trainer many times who created an exercise program based on my health (and titanium femur). It was really helpful! And I appreciated having someone to turn to with questions or keep to me on task.

Try new activities.
One of my favorite types of exercise!

People often complain about not enjoying exercise as an excuse to not exercise. There are SO many activities that provide great exercise and fun! I’ll admit that I don’t enjoy being in gym. That atmosphere and weight machines don’t motivate me. I instead enjoy cardio activities, such as biking, hiking, Zumba and more. I get my strength and weight training from barre classes and various online workouts (over the years, I’ve purchased weights and a bench for home). There are a lot of low impact activities such as yoga, tai chi and barre. I could make a list of about 50 different activities that provide great exercise (hmmm, a future blog post?). My point is there are LOTS of activities that provide great exercise that you will enjoy. So just try!

Recruit a friend.

Having a friend exercise with you can help your motivation and also accountability. When I tell someone that I’ll join on a hike, Zumba class or even virtual barre workout, I feel more motivated to show up because someone is counting on me. Plus it’s just fun to see a friendly face, even when you’re sweaty!

What are some other ways that you’re motivated to exercise?

I’d love to hear some suggestions in the comments!

PS. Remember to talk to your healthcare provider before starting an exercise routine. These are provided as suggestions and you exercise at your own risk.

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