6 Ways to Boost Motivation to Be More Active

walking for fitness

Move more. Sit less. You’ve probably heard the advice before. But if you’re not in a regular habit of exercising, what can you do to be more active?

The knee-jerk reaction is to completely overhaul your life, buy a gym membership, and swear you’ll be there at the crack of dawn every day of the week. But we all know how that typically ends, because it’s just not sustainable for most people.

If you want to be more active, there are easier ways to motivate yourself and give your heart, lungs, and muscles a workout to burn calories, build strength, and maintain a healthy weight.

Here are 10 ways to boost motivation to be more active:

  • 1. Get a check-up

    It’s a good idea for most adults to see their doctor at least once a year for an annual check-up. Your doctor collects some basic info like height, weight, resting heart rate, and blood pressure. A blood test can also provide important biometric data. Get a complete picture of your overall health, and you might be motivated to make better food choices or be more active.

  • 2. Change your routine

    “Exercise is boring.” It’s a frequent excuse people make to put off going to the gym or taking a walk, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Try a new sport. Go for a walk in a new area. Take a fitness class you haven’t attended before. Keep things interesting, and you’ll be more likely make time for physical activity.

  • 3. Create accountability

    If no one knows you’re trying to exercise more to shed a few pounds, how easy is it to skip a workout and sleep in? Easy, right? But if you’ve got a training partner, a personal trainer, or a group fitness class you attend regularly, you’ve got a support network of like-minded people who will help you stay on track.

  • 4. Make an appointment

    Here’s another popular excuse people make for not getting enough exercise: “I’m too busy.” But the truth is, everybody should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. So how do you make that happen if you’re busy? Schedule exercise time just like you would an important appointment, and show up.

  • 5. Reward your progress

    If you have a big goal like lose 20 pounds, exercise 30 minutes a day for a month, or limit your diet to a specific amount of calories, you don’t get from point A to point B overnight. It takes time. Set a goal. Then break it down into daily and weekly actionable steps you can accomplish. Track your progress with a fitness device, food diary, or mobile app. When you hit your weekly or monthly goal, reward yourself (keep in mind a reward doesn’t have to be food), and you’ll be motivated to keep going.

  • 6. Look for ways to move more, sit less

    Maybe you don’t have a lot of time to get to the gym or go for a run. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be active. Use a stand up desk. Schedule walking meetings instead of in the conference room. Take the stairs. Park far away when you go to the store and get some extra steps in walking across the parking lot. Take your kids to the park or practice, and walk laps around the playground or field while you’re there.

Need a little motivation to be more active? Pick one of these ideas and get started.