June 5, 2021
Staying motivated to work out at home is difficult.
If you’re anything like me, when you’re at home, you’re in full-on relax mode—feet up, TV on, slumped into the couch, and ready for some Netflix. The last thing on your mind is how you’re going to get motivated to workout.
I get it. Working out at home is hard. Finding the time and motivation is even harder. But, with gyms across the country being closed, it’s never been more important to sweat and get in a great workout.
Fortunately, you can use few simple tactics to stay motivated, get your exercise in, and still have time to relax. Working out at home doesn’t have to be complicated or terrible.
Here are 9 creative ways to stay motivated to work out at home.
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One of the most important things you can do to start working out from home is to build out a schedule of when you’re going to exercise. We all have busy lives filled with various responsibilities in our professional and personal lives.
Sometimes, when life gets busy or complicated, our health gets put on the back burner to weather the storm. To start marking progress towards your fitness goals, you need to design a schedule and stick to it. For example, if you work a 9-to-5 job, that still leaves you with more than 8 hours to find time to workout. Create a simple 7-day workout plan and get going.
Replace “I don’t have the time” with “How can I make the time?” You’ll be surprised by the results.
Famous author and leadership development expert, Michael Hyatt, once said:
“What get’s scheduled gets done.”
This could not be more true of working out. If you want to start making time for a home workout, block off time on your calendar. Just like you have time scheduled for work meetings, dance recitals, and dinner dates—you should also block off time for exercise.
Your health is important, and it should be a priority. When you have time scheduled on your calendar for a home workout, you’re less likely to skip it.
To build home workout motivation, you need to make sure you don’t do too much too soon.
Building an exercise habit is hard. If you start by trying to do too much, you’ll burn yourself out and ultimately end up doing nothing. So instead, start by building the habit first.
Take a walk for 10 minutes around the block. Do 15 pushups before you eat dinner. Try some bodyweight exercises before you buy a new home gym.
Home workouts don’t have to be complicated or difficult in the beginning. Start slow and build momentum. The longer you’re able to stick with it, the more locked into the habit you’ll be.
Have you ever tried to get in shape before, only to fall short?
If you’re like me, your answer is probably yes. Unfortunately, that’s how this whole workout thing usually starts. You try, you fail. You try again, you come up short. You try again, and then it sticks. Getting it right, and making it stick, takes time.
Before you start building a new home workout habit, identify why you fell short in the past. Were you not able to find the time to work out? Did you not have the right gear? Did you not have a great workout plan?
Once you identify what didn’t work in the past, make a plan to ensure your new plan is well-oiled and clearly lays out a plan to work through your past sticking points.
A dedicated space to work out will help you stay motivated.
When I say “dedicated space,” it doesn’t mean you have to have a brand-new home gym, complete with all the bells and whistles. Nope. Of course, a tricked-out home gym would be ideal, but your dedicated space could simply be a closet where you store a yoga mat, jump rope, and your favorite exercise shoes.
The benefit of having a dedicated area is that it will help form a place that you actually enjoy working out in. Find a space in your home where you can temporarily create a small amount of space for your home workout. That could simply mean moving the coffee table or keeping room on your deck for workouts.
Sure, some people might find motivation in the idea of losing weight or feeling better. But for most people, that’s not enough.
If this describes you, try setting up a reward system for your home workouts. Make the benefits of working out more tangible by giving yourself something you actually want when you’re done. It could be something as simple as treating yourself to a smoothie after your workout. Or watching that new episode of your favorite Netflix show.
An external reward is incredibly powerful because your brain can lock on to it and create the link that the grueling, uncomfortable workout is actually worthwhile. And it will boost your fitness motivation.
Whatever the reward, by giving yourself a tangible goal to work towards after each workout or strength training session, you’re more likely to stick to your routine and training program.
One of the most powerful methods for sticking to a home fitness or workout plan is finding someone that can help keep you accountable.
An accountability partner can really be anyone—your significant other, your best friend, your coworker, a random person you know from high school, or even social media. The key to this motivation tip is that you tell someone what you plan to do, and they check in to see if you stuck with your goal. This external motivation, and the feeling of not letting your accountability partner down, will help motivate you to work out.
Additionally, search for a strong, supportive fitness community or friends that make you feel good about your home workouts. Find your exercise tribe.
While it might be enticing to keep your goals to yourself at first, the laughs, high-fives, and words of encouragement from people who are passionate about fitness and workouts will be invaluable in helping you stick to your plan.
It could be an online workout class, instructor-led classes your gym puts on, a virtual fitness coach, or yoga classes on your phone. Find a group of people working toward similar workout goals, and it will be much easier to stay motivated and stick to your routine and workouts every week.
When you’re at the gym, you have all the weights, equipment, and instructors you need. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to keep a similar amount of equipment at your house. That said, this doesn’t have to keep you from staying on track.
Home gym equipment doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. There are a variety of great options out there (some even free) that can help you build a healthy body from your house.
Maybe you buy a subscription to an app that provides access to an online trainer and workouts every week. Or you search for free videos on YouTube that share instructor-led workouts. Or you could buy a couple of weights and an exercise mat and keep them in a separate room of your apartment. Or you can use your phone to search for free workout gear on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
The key is to get creative and spend your money on stuff that you’ll actually use. A lot of the fitness tools in a gym go unused. When you’re looking for things to fuel your new fitness habit, you have full control. You can focus on buying things that you know you’ll enjoy and actually use every week.
At the end of the day, fitness and finding time for the gym isn’t everything. Although your physical health is important, it’s only part of what makes up a healthy body. Learn to be flexible as you start to implement a new workout routine.
Being flexible is about understanding that working out is a game that’s won over months and years, not days and weeks. If you don’t have time for a strength training or yoga session in a given week, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Success in health and fitness is won over the long term. It’s important to be consistent from week to week, but missing one or two workouts here and there isn’t the end of the world.
Equipped with these nine home workout tips, you’ll be able to more easily workout every day. Of course, it won’t always be easy or comfortable, but if you set a schedule, push yourself, and find a community of people to hold you accountable, your health and fitness will skyrocket.
One of the biggest tips for building a healthy body is staying consistent over the long term. Success in anything is created by taking small, consistent steps over a long period of time. Building your ideal body is no different. Find a method of exercise you enjoy, do it consistently, and stick with it over a long period of time. Your body will thank you, and your mental health will benefit from it too.
Author Bio: Devin Arrigo is a marathon runner, triathlete, online writer & self-development addict. He’s on a mission to help millions of people get healthy and feel better!