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Why Motivation Is The Number One Cause Of Skipping Workouts

Working out is boring, especially for those starting out! Unless you’re a gym enthusiast, getting into the workout habit is difficult!

Sticking to an exercise routine is a battle. Life gets busy and sometimes that early morning gym session feels impossible. Motivation wanes when results seem slow, and that initial burst of enthusiasm seems non-existent. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “all or nothing” thinking, leading to discouragement after missing a workout.

However, progress isn’t linear, and even small bits of movement add up. So, see how my five techniques can help motivate yourself and get you back in the swing of things.

i) Listen To Music

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Despite our bodies doing the most, music plays a surprisingly powerful role in making exercise more enjoyable. Moreover, scientific research backs this up. Pulled from the Frontiers in Psychology, studies reveal that listening to music we enjoy elevates our mood and increase feelings of pleasure.

This positive emotional boost translates to a more enjoyable workout experience. Music also acts as a distraction. A 2012 study in the journal Perception found that listening to music can compete with the negative bodily sensations, like fatigue or discomfort, often associated with exercise. By diverting our attention, music helps us push through challenging workouts and reach our fitness goals. So, the next time you tie your sneakers, don’t forget your headphones – the science is clear: music can make workouts more enjoyable and effective.

ii) Track Your Workouts

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There’s a surprising scientific benefit to tracking your workouts that goes beyond simply monitoring progress. Studies published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine have shown that recording your exercise sessions can actually increase enjoyment. This phenomenon is linked to the concept of positive reinforcement. When you see a log filled with completed workouts, you are reminded of your efforts and accomplishments, triggering the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine.

In turn, this positive feedback loop can further motivate you to keep exercising, making the activity itself more enjoyable. Furthermore, tracking your workouts keeps you organized, which is key for mental health. By logging the details of your sessions, including exercises performed, sets, reps, and weights used, you create a personalized training log. This log allows you to easily monitor progress over time, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your workout routines strategically.

iii) Reward Yourself!

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We’re all kids at heart and our brains are wired for reward. When we engage in a desired behavior, like completing a workout, the dopamine reward system kicks in. Similar to the outcomes of tracking your workouts, dopamine arises with pleasure and motivation. This pleasurable feeling serves as a natural reward, encouraging us to repeat the behavior in the future. This is precisely why rewarding yourself after exercise can be a scientifically sound strategy for boosting enjoyment and motivation.

Pairing exercise with a desirable reward can actually make physical activity more enjoyable. Again, the reward acts as a positive reinforcement, creating a mental association between exercise and the pleasurable feeling of receiving the reward. Over time, this association strengthens, making exercise intrinsically more enjoyable. Therefore, strategically rewarding yourself after a workout can not only create a positive emotional response in the moment, but also allows for long-term exercise adherence.

iv) Change It Up

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Research suggests that incorporating variety into your exercise routine enhances enjoyment and adherence. I mean, who likes to do the same exact thing every single day?

Such variety provides both physical and psychological benefits. Physically, targeting different muscle groups throughout the week helps prevent plateaus and reduces the risk of overuse injuries. Psychologically, trying new activities keeps things interesting and prevents boredom, a primary reason why people drop out of exercise programs.

Now, this is what I recommend that you try to keep it interesting: strength training with weights or bodyweight exercises on Mondays, cardio like running or swimming on Tuesdays, a yoga or Pilates class on Wednesdays, a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) session on Thursdays, and a relaxing walk or bike ride on Fridays. This variety keeps your body challenged and your mind engaged, making exercise a sustainable and enjoyable part of your life.

v) Grab A Buddy

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Having a workout buddy isn’t just about moral support; science backs its effectiveness. The Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that exercising with a partner greatly increases enjoyment. Having social interaction distracts you from exertion and creates a sense of camaraderie.

Also, having a supportive exercise partner can motivate you to push yourself harder. They can spot you during weightlifting exercises, offering safety and confidence to attempt heavier weights. So, grab a friend and hit the gym – you might be surprised by the results!

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

So, what do we think?

I understand; going to the gym everyday is not easy, especially if you’re repeating the same exercises over and over.

I hope you put my words of advice into practice, and that may make going to gym a lot more enjoyable.

Thanks! Questions and comments will be responded to below!