Sometimes we feel in the mood to exercise and sometimes we need a little motivation. Some days, the hardest part of working out is to actually start! 

Here are some ideas to make your workouts more fun:

Lose Money If You Don’t Exercise

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently did a study that found rather than giving money as an incentive to increase physical activity that study participants responded better to having money taken away. They were given $42 upfront each month. On days they did not reach their goal, they had to give $1.40 back. At the end of the month, they could keep what they had left. Use any amount that will get you moving.

Get On Social Media

Popular social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are often blamed for making us more sedentary as we sit in front of screens chatting with our friends. But new research published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports (conducted by the University of Pennsylvania) showed that “health buddies” on social media can positively affect exercise habits. The health buddies idea provided motivating effects and produced “a substantial growth” in enrollment rates among peer networks according to the study.

Challenging Facebook friends for motivation will work as long as you and your friends keep it positive. Starting a new Facebook page just for your group would be a fun way to keep in touch and encourage each other to exercise or eat well. You could trade exercise routines, share pictures of yourself, post recipes, etc. You could also introduce challenges for anyone who wanted to participate.

Make It Easy

Research also tells us that many people don’t exercise or don’t continue to exercise for psychological reasons. They often don’t have confidence in their ability to do exercise or be consistent with workouts. Self-worth (i.e., the foundations of a person’s specific values about exercise) is also an important factor (especially in women) with adherence to exercise routines. It is essential for exercise programs to be designed so the participants will be successful.

Working with a personal trainer one-on-one at a gym or having them come to your home is a way to insure that you will get an exercise routine personally tailored to you and it will also feel like a bit of a luxury.

If a personal trainer isn’t possible, there are many classes designed for people with different degrees of fitness ability. Most gyms offer classes for seniors and many gyms nationwide participate in the Silver Sneakers program. This program is free of charge for seniors whose health insurance and gyms participate. Gyms allow all ages to join the Silver Sneakers class but younger people just have to pay for the class.

The other option, for people of any age, is just to simplify what you do. Be realistic about what your limitations are and at least do ‘something’ toward your goal. Many times we drop out because what we are trying to do is just too hard. Make it easy and take baby steps until you can do more.

Another tip is not to wait for motivation to hit you. Perform an action to get you motivated. For example, if you walk around the block, you will likely become motivated to walk a little further. If you do one push-up, you’ll probably do another to see if it’s possible.

These are just a few fun things to do to motivate you to work out. We all have to exercise to stay healthy so why not make it fun!

Sources:

http://annals.org/aim/article/2491916/framing-financial-incentives-increase-physical-activity-among-overweight-obese-adults

https://www.asc.upenn.edu/news-events/news/social-networks-can-motivate-people-exercise-more-penn-study-finds