Starting and maintaining a workout routine isn’t always easy

Staying motivated is the key to success and I’ve discovered these 9 tricks that keep me on track.

Grab yourself a workout buddy

Not only will it be more FUN working out with a friend, but you’ll also keep each other accountable. When you set a date to meet up for an early morning run, you gotta go, no snooze button, no excuses.

You’ll also find that you’ll push each other a little harder (competitive much?) and so you’ll get more out of the workout than if you were going solo.

Try something new

Keep your body guessing with new ways to exercise. If you keep plugging away with an exercise you find boring, you’re bound to give up. Keep trying new things until you find one that makes you smile.

Actually, find more than one, mix it up a bit – in any given week, I’ll do a couple of spin classes, a yoga session, some weights and a run or some HIIT.

Never a dull moment = motivation levels high.

Get outside

Nothing beats fresh air while you’re getting sweaty. Sometimes, the view alone is enough to make me want to go for a run along the coast or around the lake.

Studies have shown that exercising outdoors boosts your mood, reduces anger, anxiety and depression plus delivers more post-workout endorphins than indoor training. So get off that treadmill and find a trail or track to get that wind in your hair.

Set goals

If you’re working towards something you’ll be more inclined to actually do the work. This could mean registering for an event, like 10km fun run, or reaching a new PB on your weights, mastering the non-assisted pull-up or getting to that perfect wheel pose.

Record your progress

Fitness trackers and sports watches are excellent tools to boost your motivation. I have become a little obsessed with my steps and find myself going that bit extra to help me reach my 10,000 goal every day (which is much harder than you think when you work at a desk). Another trick is to put pen to paper.

Even if you do have a tracker, consider writing down your activity, results and progress in a fitness journal anyway. Writing down achievements activates the reward circuitry in our brains and releases some yummy dopamine. This in turn makes us feel good about what we’ve done and helps us stay motivated to do it some more.

Sign up, book in

If you’re booked in or you’ve paid in advance, you’re a lot more likely to show up. So find a course of lessons you want to take, or get an app that makes it easy to book in to classes.

Eat right

It’s impossible to be motivated to move if your body isn’t fuelled properly. Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients into you, rather than counting calories. All calories are definitely not created equal.

Do some research and educate yourself on what your body needs to be able to perform to the level of training you’re undertaking. If you eat right, you’ll have higher energy levels, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and less body fat. You’ll feel better, fitter, stronger. Which will help you stay positive and motivated to go work out.


Rest days are more important than you can imagine. In fact, rest is necessary for progress, as well as to prevent burn out and loss of motivation.

Make sure you take time out to allow your body to recover and your muscles to repair.

I have days where I do no training at all, and also a day where I do something restorative like yin yoga or a stretch class to soothe my mind along with my body. It makes me keener to get back in to the swing of cardio the next day, with a bouncier spring in my step.

Go Shopping

And of course, if all else fails, buy some new activewear. I’m being serious! Reward yourself for that hard work. Put it on and see what happens. I bet you’ll be desperate to go try it out, and you’ll feel like a million bucks at the same time.

Start following these tricks and you’ll soon notice that motivation levels are at an all time high. Working out will no longer be a chore, but simply your lifestyle of happy choice.

Victoria Norton from Training for Chocolate
Matthew Guthrie
Tagged: move