5 Mental Tricks for Mustering Exercise Motivation

A fitness expert shares his top tips for finding workout motivation

Most of us can admit, it’s not the exercising that’s the hard part, the real work is in motivating ourselves to get started.

More often than not, once you get into the groove of a workout, the resulting burst of endorphins is more than enough to keep you going.  

But before you even think about working out, lifestyle, wellness and fitness expert Jay Bradley says you should first take a look inside.

According to Bradley, in order to look and feel your best, in addition to taking control of your lifestyle and outward appearance, you should first prepare your mind by releasing fears and acknowledging mental blocks and obstacles.

His soon-to-be-released book “Live Look Feel” is centered around a 12-week journey designed to help the reader become more accountable for their fitness, nutrition and lifestyle choices through gentle introspection.

Below, Bradley offers five important tips that he says can help you analyze the obstacles that stand between you and a regular exercise routine and ultimately overcome them so that motivating yourself to move more is less of a challenge.

1. Change it up: “Shake things up in order to break your boredom,” Bradley said. “Try something new whether it be healthy new foods, an exercise class or a change in routine.”

2. Take a baby step: “Sometimes simply doing the next easiest thing is enough to get us moving through our blocks,” he explained. “Take a baby step towards a healthy, new routine.”

3. Process, then move on: “Sometimes when we’re stuck, it’s hard to do anything,” Bradley said. “Allow yourself time to process what is going on in your psyche but don’t wallow. Once you’ve processed, make a decision that you are going to move on to a more positive way of being.”

4. Be present : Bradley said that the single biggest reason we get “stuck,” is because we either live in the past or the future. “Commit to taking time each day to get present through meditation, journaling, breath work or yoga,” he suggests.

 5. Get physical: Even on the days when you feel like you have no gas in your engine at all, try encouraging yourself to move around for a short amount of time, like a five-minute walk or a few minutes of yoga. “Even a walk around the block is enough to help you to feel better,” Bradley says. Often you’ll find that within that short amount of time, your mood is instantly lifted and you’ll want to keep going.