How to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re not in the mood

-Sep 30, Jenny Paul , Fitness -

The physical and mental benefits of exercise are more vital than ever in the current climate, so it’s important that people are making time for themselves and factoring fitness into their daily routines. 

Making exercise a habit is extremely important as it can improve health, wellbeing and vitality – not to mention how much it reduces the risk of developing Chronic Heart Disease and obesity, plus it helps your immune system work properly and helps you sleep better at night!

Exercise also has reverberations on mood through the release of endorphins, giving you that feel-good factor and brain creativity, which are both things which can help to improve mental health and physical well-being.

Steven Virtue one of the experts at Total Fitness which has gyms across the UK, shares his five expert tips for maintaining a fit and active lifestyle. 

Join a community


Health clubs have great opportunities to get you moving in group exercise classes, which give you a community feel to help motivate you more than it would if you were exercising alone.

Make exercise a priority

If you’re not exercising currently, you need to ask the question, is it important to you? Chances are, not as much as you think and you may procrastinate around the thought of a healthier, happier lifestyle. Many successful athletes and fitness enthusiasts stick to their exercise routines by making it the first thing they do for the day. If you do this before study or work, this is one less thing to cross off the to do list and will enable you to get on with your day guilt-free, with a positive mental attitude.

Schedule your exercise like you would your work life

Whether you are the type of person to train early morning, afternoon or evening, scheduling into your calendar helps keep you accountable and you will be more likely to stick to a routine. By making this part of your lifestyle, it will help with organisation outside of the gym, which can permeate across multiple functions you have to contend with, such as work or family life.

Keep moving

Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England (2020), found the majority of UK adults surveyed were overweight or obese – this figure stood at 67% for men and 60% for women. It’s clear that there are too many of us are living sedentary lifestyles, even if exercise is forming part of our weekly schedule. Long periods of a sedentary state will cancel out the hard work we do exercising but there are easy steps you can take to avoid this:

Avoid standing still for too long and aim to move throughout the day, starting with atleast 5 minutes at the start of every hour. 

Choose to walk or cycle to your destination when possible, whether that be work, the shops or an afternoon at the park. 

Take the stairs instead of the lift so you can increase your step count.

If you must take the car, try to park further away from your destination so you can walk the rest of the way. 

Take walks instead of snacks when you need a break from work or studying. 

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring

It’s not uncommon to dread doing exercise sometimes, but this should be a happy place you can de-stress, rejuvenate and energise yourself. Making time for exercise which you enjoy will make it more sustainable and motivate you to pursue that happier, healthier lifestyle.

Ways to look forward to exercise rather than fearing it

  • Exercise with a friend. Regardless of the activity, this will help motivate you and the time will always go faster.
  • Create a music playlist with all your favourite songs before working out. Positive vibes will lead to a positive workout. 
  • Take part in group exercise classes at your local gym.
  • Hiring a personal trainer can help to keep you motivated. Trainers are specialists in their field and results are tailored specifically around your goals and lifestyle. This is a great step to making fitness a habit and helps to keep you accountable.
  • Get yourself a fitness tracker. Giving yourself a move, stand and exercise goal to work with on a daily basis helps to keep you on track whilst also letting you to see the progess pulled from the data these devices house. 

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