Exercising at home is very convenient, but even so, sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated. Many distractions at home – housekeeping, kids, television and computers – all can hinder workouts. At the health club, in contrast, there are many pieces of equipment to choose from, different classes and personal trainers, which makes motivation to exercise come naturally – especially when you are surrounded by other exercisers.
If you’re not a health club member, then, how can you stay motivated during home workouts? Remember, motivation comes in many ways, and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily have the same impact on someone else, so try several of these suggestions to find the best for you:
Tips on how to stay motivated during home workouts:
- Designate a dedicated space – Keep all your exercise equipment in one place at home, and try to avoid a damp, dark basement if possible. Make your workout area pleasant by locating it near a window if you can, adding a fan, having a stereo or TV nearby and storing your gear neatly. Having everything in one place, including dumbbells, a mat, resistance bands and more makes you much more efficient and productive.
- Schedule times – Don’t wait to find elusive “free time” to exercise, or you never will get your sweat on. Schedule your workouts in your calendar and commit to them to stay consistent and keep up your motivation. Pick times that work for you, although research shows that those who work out in the morning tend to be more adherent than late afternoon or evening exercisers, who are more likely to get delayed, distracted or derailed.
- Commit, but be flexible – Of course, life sometimes interferes with your workout schedule – kids get sick, you have to work late, school activities pile up, etc. If you know ahead of time that you can’t get your scheduled workout in, try to complete it as soon as you can – schedule it for the next day or do a short version early in the morning if possible. The point is not to beat yourself up or quit. Just get it done when you can.
- Set goals – These can be simple and should be realistic, but establishing goals in writing gives you something to work toward, which helps keep you on track. It could be losing 10 pounds, training for a 5K or exercising regularly three times each week, but make them manageable – it’s better to set a goal for the next 3-6 months, for example, versus something you’re aiming for in a year, which seems like a long time away. Remind yourself of them often, and post your goals in your workout space.
- Incorporate variety — Although some people like doing the same thing every day, mixing up workouts can add interest and stimulate your body and mind. Try something new periodically to keep things fresh – check out workout videos from the library or online, pick up some new gear at a garage sale or secondhand sporting goods store, try different programs on your cardio machine, add new exercises with your strength equipment and take your workout outside when weather permits. Cross train to improve your results.
- Try technology – For the technically inclined, wearables and fitness trackers provide motivation in the form of numbers – steps taken, calories burned, average heart rate, etc. Or look into the many apps available that can help customize a regimen, remind you to exercise and track your progress.
- Reward yourself – If you’re adhering to your regimen, a little reward goes a long way – whether it’s a new workout outfit, tickets to a sporting event, new music or a massage.