Workout motivation: 5 ways to stop the gymscuses

It’s easy to make a vow to get fit, but not so easy to stick with it. Here are our tips to keep the workout inspiration going
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1. Dodge the tiredness trap

Think you’re too drained for a sweat session? Turns out, researchers at the University of Georgia found that sedentary people who moan about being knackered can actually decrease fatigue by 65% with regular, low-intensity exercise. But one thing that can definitely make you tired is being dehydrated, so always have water to hand, even if you’re doing a gentle walk. This Chilly’s Water Bottle in White will keep your H20 cool for 24 hours.

2. Reframe your ‘too busy’ mindset

Let’s do the maths: the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week = 30 minutes per day, Monday to Friday*. Which is a mere 2% of your day! It’s a tiny investment with a huge pay-off, as it can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50%! On the days when you can’t manage 30 consecutive minutes, split it into shorter bursts – walking up stairs and escalators, jumping around to your favourite songs, or, if you fancy an energetic, super-short challenge, download the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout app: no equipment necessary.

3. Get competitive

A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that, when it comes to exercise, competitiveness is a bigger motivator than being given friendly support. In fact, gym attendance rates were 90% higher in those people who were competing with others! Give it a go by keeping track of your movements with a Fitbit Charge 3 Rose Gold/Blue Grey and download the app to pit yourself against friends and family in the Fitbit Challenges.

4. Try ‘temptation bundling’

Say, what? In a nutshell, it means giving yourself a fun ‘temptation’ to enjoy, but only when you are doing a specific chore you lack motivation to do. It might be that you’ve decided to cycle to work three times a week but struggle to stick to it. So you only allow yourself to listen to your favourite podcast, or audiobook, for instance, when you get on that bike. No cheating!

5. Write a commitment contract

Give yourself a concrete goal. For example, going from being a non-runner to doing a 5k run in six months’ time. And then download the StickK app, write a ‘commitment contract’ about your goal and put in some money – say, £50. If you succeed at your goal, you get your money back. If you fail? The money goes to a charity of your choice. We’re in!


*This recommendation is for 19-64-year-olds. If you have an existing medical condition, or haven't exercised in a long time, please see your GP before embarking on new forms of exercise.