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Get Motivated to Exercise

By Paul Rothbart

It seems easy at the beginning. Lose weight, get in better shape, start an exercise program. But it can be difficult to maintain. We're not all professional athletes. Job, family, pets, taking care of a home. Let's face it, there are days when it's just hard to add working out to that list. Being motivated to get in that run or hit the gym each and every day can be an arduous task. But it can be done. Here are some ways that science has discovered will keep you motivated and on track. 

Commit to a Contract

Research has shown that we are more likely to follow through on something if we make a commitment to it in front of family or friends. For example, determine to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week for the next six months. Failing to do so results in, say, giving $10 to a friend. The penalty doesn't have to be monetary either. It could be doing an unpleasant chore for someone, or maybe doing something embarrassing in front of friends. The point is to place an unpleasant consequence for failing to exercise and making it public amongst loved ones.


Being healthier, losing weight. Yes, these are rewards. But they're vague and not the best way to motivate. An actual tangible reward for sticking exercise is much more effective. Seeing a movie that's been on your list or watching an episode of a favorite TV show are examples of good rewards. Maybe grabbing a frozen yogurt or buying something you've had your eye on. Having a specific reward enables the brain to latch onto it and connect with the behavior that will earn it. It creates a loop neurologically that ingrains exercise as a habit.

Join an Exercise Group

There is great value in surrounding yourself with an enthusiastic group of individuals with a common goal. Joining a biking club, a spin class, or any exercise group provides a support system. They provide encouragement when things get tough, and help celebrate the good times, like reaching a fitness goal. Finding a form of exercise that is appealing and then joining a group that participates in it will be very helpful in staying motivated.

Staying healthy requires regular exercise. To stick with a workout program requires motivation. Staying on task day after day, week after week, can be challenging. By following these tips, that challenge can be met and the program stuck to. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mukilteo, Wash.

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