Motivating Yourself for At-Home Workouts

This is a follow up post to the post on designing your own home gym. Check that out here.

When it comes to working out at home, pushing yourself to start the workout, like any other workout tends to be difficult. We all know that one person who has gym equipment at home but they always talk about how they haven’t been using it. Then it sits there for a few years until they sell it to you. 

If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to workout even though your exercise space is only a few metres away from you, it’s time to go to back to the drawing board. There may be a need to develop that ‘intrinsic’ motivation for yourself. At the present time, we are all socially distancing ourselves, staying indoors. Gyms are closed and working out at home is the way to go.

Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Some tips on what you can do to get yourself to workout. These will not work for everyone but they are good to try:

  • Create a schedule. Set aside a time for yourself to exercise and stay committed to it just like you would for any appointment.
  • Partner up! Have someone with you that keeps you motivated? Work with them. There are many ways to modify workouts with a partner.
  • Make exercise fun for yourself. Don’t make it a chore. Choose exercise that you enjoy and keep it up.
  • Make exercise accessible for yourself. Keep your clothes and shoes ready much before you workout. Set yourself up for the workout much before and automate things.
  • Stay objective! It is a good idea to track what you do to ensure continual progress. Keep a journal or use an app.
  • I hate to say this one but doing the old ‘reward’ yourself may be necessary. But don’t reward yourself with poor eating choices. Pick something you enjoy doing and attach it to the workout. Like listening to music? Combine the two. Want to watch an hour of TV? Workout for 30 min.

Now we’ll dive into extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. It is easiest to create extrinsic motivation for yourself. Take the last bullet point above for instance. Doing something in order to achieve something else outside of deeper meanings is the driving force behind various activities.

Some people may only workout to gain followers on social media or because they maybe trying to become popular on YouTube (for various reasons of course).

Alternatively, one may be exercising to achieve a challenge (paid/ unpaid) or win a competition.

Birthdays, vacations and other special events are also good at pushing people to look their best by a certain time.

Personally, I find using a competition or challenge to be helpful as it keeps one accountable. Of course, there can be psychological drawbacks and if the timeline is relatively short, it can be stressful. Extrinsic motivation depends on the person and is usually short lived.

Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is what you should be looking for.

Developing a deeper sense as to why you should be exercise has been shown to lead to long-term adherence. Are you exercising for your general health and well-being? Maybe you had received a heavy diagnosis earlier and exercise has taken a critical role in your life. Or maybe you simply enjoy exercising. There are methods to developing this but sometimes sitting down and re-evaluating the ‘why’ will help you realize the importance of what needs to be done. This does not only apply to exercise as it can apply to many other elements in our lives. 

With the clients I work with, some of them come to me already having a deeper need to exercise while others want to prepare for something etc. That’s great. They’re highly motivated. The ones who generally fall off the wagon are the ones who just need a little pick me up here and then. This is why online training works well. It establishes a communication medium and sets accountability.

Accountability can assist with motivation as having someone to stay accountable does provide somewhat of a guilt factor. 

So let’s dive into guilt. This one is easy to implement. Here are some ways to guilt yourself into working out:

  • Watch videos of other people working out
  • Have someone to be accountable to such as a trainer or family member/friend or community
  • Blackmail yourself. Take a picture of yourself, post it in the washroom or somewhere you can see and use that to fuel your drive to change
  • DO NOT use exercise, eating and guilt together. This can lead to a psychological mess. Yes, you can reward yourself with something small after working out but if you find yourself guilty afterwards, do not go down that path. This can damage one’s relationship with food and exercise

Guilt is not something I use with my clients although it can naturally happen as a result of missed workouts. And that is normal. Sometimes life gets busy and we have to miss a workout here and there. Alternatively, if you have lost the motivation to exercise because of various factors, take a step back, re-evaluate things or talk to someone and have that managed.

If you need to find the motivation to exercise, click here and set up a call so we can figure it out. If you’ve already got the motivation but don’t know where to start, click here and I can point you in the right direction.

Published by Shaneh-Abbas @ Myofiber

Registered Kinesiologist Personal Trainer Over 10 years of training experience in a variety of settings. Online trainer since 2017

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