What motivates you to exercise? Does working towards a goal keep you excited? Are you encouraged by others? Do facts and figures drive your actions? Motivation is one of the keys to staying consistent with exercise. It can be challenging to find the enthusiasm to keep lacing up your sneakers day after day, though.

Tap Into More Than One Fitness Motivation

Listening to music can make exercise more enjoyable.

Enhance your enjoyment of exercise by combining it with something you love, such as listening to an audio book.

Exercise can be its own reward. After a good session, most people feel better than when they began. Still, it can be vexingly difficult to start a workout. Along with the incentive to get fitter, add other enticements to make your motivation stronger. Here are some ideas:

  • Stick it in your ear: Music can make exercising more enjoyable. Studies have shown that people enjoy workouts more and were able to keep going longer when they listened to music. If you like exercising to tunes, make a playlist of your favorite songs. You can build a playlist from a library of MP3s or use a streaming service to take your music with you.
  • Get hooked on a book: If you’re a fan of audiobooks, listen to a page turner while you workout. When you’re involved in a good story, time passes quickly. You may even find yourself prolonging a walk or run to get to the end of a chapter. Make your motivation to move strong by only listening to a book while you’re in working out.
  • Use the buddy system: Joining an exercise group is a tried-and-true way to stay motivated. Looking forward to seeing your classmates can make the difference between working out and skipping a session. If formal classes are not your thing, arrange to meet a friend regularly for a walk, jog or to lift weights. You’ll feel more accountable when someone is depending on you.
  • Find strength in numbers: If you enjoy data, use that interest as motivation. Keep an old-fashioned paper or new-fangled digital exercise log. You can track the miles you walk, run cycle or swim. Document gains in strength by recording your strength-training feats. If you’re part of a medically supervised program, your health numbers can serve as both incentive and reward. Your improving weight, blood pressure, VO2max and resting heart rate will tell the story of increasing fitness.
  • Set a goal: Do you like a challenge? Perhaps you want to see how fast you can cover a mile, or you’d love to run Oklahoma Memorial Marathon. Maybe you’ve dreamed of becoming a salsa dancer, or hiking the beautiful Horsethief Springs Trail in Heavener. Set a fitness goal that has meaning for you. It could be something as simple as having the energy to ride bikes with your kids. If your aim is lofty, break it into manageable pieces. It’s easier to stay excited for a long-term goal if you divide the task into smaller weekly objectives.

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