Never Skip the Gym Again: 10 Workout Motivation Hacks

The next time you want to skip your workout, try one of these motivating tips.

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How to Motivate Yourself to Workout

Thinking of skipping the gym? We’ve all been there. The next time you’re debating whether or not you want to break a sweat, try out one these workout motivation hacks. But beware: after incorporating these fitness tips into your routine, you may not ever miss a workout again!

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1. Do it for a cause

After a long day at work, sometimes the thought of going to the gym isn’t very appealing. Inspire yourself to get moving by committing to a cause greater than the circumference of your waist. A charity run or fitness event is a great option.

“Running for a good cause makes all the difference,” says Sarah Bartley, a communications officer at World Vision who used her company’s running program, Team World Vision. Anyone can be a part of Team World Vision and take advantage of the discounted registration rates for popular marathons, like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. As a Team World Vision member, you also make a commitment to fundraising, which can be set to whatever goal you think is achievable. “It’s an opportunity to make a difference in an amazing way and do something amazing for yourself, too,” Bartley says.

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2. Find a workout buddy

You’re less likely to opt out of your exercising if you’re working out with a partner, which is why fitness dates are such a fun way to catch up with your BFF or significant other.

Amanda Vogel, a certified fitness instructor and blogger based in Vancouver, suggests activities where it’s easy to interact. Hiking on nearby trails, long walks around your neighborhood, bike rides and rollerblading are some great ideas. Catching up over coffee after going to a yoga class or grabbing dinner together after barre class are other ways to make exercise more social.

If your friends aren’t into fitness, don’t fret: there’s an app for that! Workout Buddies helps you to connect with other like-minded partners based on your location. Find it on the App Store or on Google Play.

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3. Try and inspire others

Once Bartley started training for her full marathon, two of her co-workers were inspired to sign up for a half marathon. “They probably thought that if this clown thinks she can run the full marathon, surely we can do half,” she says, laughing. Now, when the weather co-operates, the three go running during their lunch break. Talking about your goals and sharing photos or personal wins on social media is a great way to inspire others to get involved.

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4. Prepay for a new fitness class

The next time you see a deal for a new aerobics or cycling class, purchase a class package. When you sign up in advance, you wouldn’t want to waste your money by not going, which gives you the extra push you need to stick to your fitness plan. Need more workout motivation? Fitness programs help you achieve better result. “Trying new activities challenges your body to move in different ways, which might recruit different muscles and encourage you to learn new skills of physical coordination,” Vogel explains.

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5. Document your fitness journey on social media

Social media is a great way to connect with others who have the same health and fitness goals as you do. “Documenting your fitness journey on social media can help keep you accountable because you know that people are expecting to watch your progress over time-and cheer you on,” says Vogel.

In order to find a supportive community, Vogel recommends that your post authentic content that aims to inspire others.  Do your best to avoid accounts that perpetuate stereotypical images of beauty and fitness perfectionism, Vogel warns. “That kind of content can be more discouraging than useful.”

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6. Save the next episode for your workout

Didn’t think you could love your favourite TV show any more than you already do? Try running on the treadmill while watching it. “Exercise can give you more energy and elevate your mood,” Vogel says, which will make your workout and your TV time that much more enjoyable.

Because as much as we love curling up on the couch and binge watching the new season of Orange is the New Black, saving your favourite TV show or podcast for your workout will give you something to look forward to every time you hit the gym.

And of course, if you decide to just watch one more episode, you’ll be sure to break even more of a sweat.

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7. Take advantage of awesome apps, like Zombies, Run!

Being chased by zombies is a sure-fire way to make your morning run a bit more entertaining. This award-winning story puts you in a world where you’re one of the remaining survivors in a zombie apocalypse that motivates you to walk, run or jog at a personalized pace. If zombies aren’t for you, check out Vogel’s recommendations for four other great fitness apps:

Remix Workouts: Get a whole body workout by incorporating these adaptable body weight circuits into your fitness routine. Plus, there are a lot of different workout combinations so you won’t get bored.

Remix Workouts is available at the App Store or on Google Play.

Tabata Pro: Vogel says Tabata Pro is her go-to app for planning and timing her interval-training workouts. This easy-to-use Tabata timer app has a clean design and can work in conjunction with your own music playlist.

Tabata Pro is available at the App Store or on Google Play.

Strava: The Strava app lets you monitor your runs and bike rides using Strava’s GPS system. Use your times to compete against your former workout performances or with other Strava users on the leaderboard.

Download Strava is available at the App Store or on Google Play.

Trainerize: Trainerize is a Canadian-based app that allows you to find and work with a personal trainer online. You can even sync your Fitbit and other tracker info right into the app for your trainer to analyze, Vogel says.

Available at the App Store or on Google Play.

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8. Make a Pinterest board of different exercises you want to try out

Getting bored with your fitness routine? Browse Pinterest for new ideas. Pinterest is a great way to find and curate different workouts. When you incorporate different exercises into your fitness routine, you get fitter faster, says Vogel. “Creating variety in your movement patterns decreases the risk of repetitive stress injuries and helps you get more out of a fitness program for better results,” she says.

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9. Take an active vacation

If eating healthy gourmet food in a stunning destination while losing weight sounds like paradise, opt for an active vacation for your next holiday. From a yoga retreat in Costa Rica to a complete overhaul of your health and fitness habits in Malibu, California, there are tons of different active vacation options for your preferences and budget.

Incorporating dancing lessons, learning how to surf or exploring a new city by foot are other fun ways to get your daily exercise during a regular vacation.

For even more fitness fun, try RunGo, a virtual running partner and GPS that gives you turn-by-turn instructions for pre-charted routes all over the world. Locals create many of the routes, which makes it an amazing app to use if you’re in a new city or if you just want to discover new spots in your hometown. (Available at the App Store or Google Play.)

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10. Pack your bag the night before

Make it easier for yourself by packing all of your exercise essentials the night before. If you can’t find everything you need, you’ll be much more tempted to just stay at home.  Always leave your gym bag in one place and just swap out your dirty workout clothes for clean ones.


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