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Why Don't You Stay Motivated to Exercise?

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We've all been there. We begin a new diet and exercise program and we feel that finally, this time, we are going to get fit. Then, we get busy with other things, a job, house cleaning, etc., our good intentions go by the wayside and soon we are back to being couch potatoes and eating chips in front of the television.

Lack of Time

Lack of time is one of the main reasons given by people for not exercising. As important as exercise is to our health and well being, we need to make time for it.

You need to find the time to schedule exercise into your busy life. If you truly believe you don't have time to exercise, and you can afford it, hire a home cleaning service so that you can free up some of your time. To be healthy and fit you must find a way to incorporate exercise into your life.

According to renowned West End fitness and motivation trainer AJ O'Neill, it is hard to hit the treadmills or stationary bikes every now and then. However, the main key in maintaining that constant motivation is defeating yourself, so to speak.

"I'm very lucky to be in a job I love but we still all have days when we just don't want to get out from under the covers. Getting to a gym can be even harder so it's important to set yourself achievable goals and don't judge yourself by what other people are doing. You are the only person you have to outdo (unless you're playing a team sport of course, in which case that competitive spirit really helps)!" O'Neill said.

The reason that most diet and exercise plans end up this way is because most people have trouble with delayed gratification.

Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification is when you put off what you want now for a later reward.

If the effects of exercise and eating clean were immediate, then everyone would be fit.

However, this isn't the case. For example, when we eat too much of the wrong food and fail to exercise, we usually don't notice the effects right away. It takes a little while, and day after day of doing this, to become out of shape. Likewise, when we do exercise and eat clean we often don't notice the effects of this right away either. This also takes a little while.

This is why it is so hard to stay motivated. When we don't see the results of our hard work, then it is easy to just quit. The people that succeed in reaching their fitness goals, and in life, are those people that can stay motivated for rewards that are delayed.

Occasionally overeating and skipping exercise will not make you fat, but if you overeat and skip exercising on a regular basis you will gain weight.

It's not just fitness and health where this principle applies. It applies in most other areas of life as well.

Immediate Satisfaction

The opposite of delayed gratification is immediate gratification or satisfaction.

An example of immediate gratification would be not exercising because you feel tired after work and would rather watch television. Another example of immediate gratification is eating an entire pizza because it tastes good, despite knowing that you are already overweight and that the pizza will put you 1200 calories over your daily caloric expenditure. As you can see, immediate gratification may not lead to good rewards in the future.

How To Stay Motivated

Because staying motivated is hard for most people, I'm sharing a few tips that I use to help me stay motivated. Hopefully they will work for you as well.


One way that I stay motivated is by watching the 360 series You Tube Videos. I absolutely love these. They are short 8 to 15 minute videos by fitness athletes. They have both male and female athletes and they are all fit. They tell you what they eat, which supplements they take, and how they train. When I feel my motivation lagging, I watch a few of these.

Here is my personal favorite 360 series video from You Tube:

From this series you'll find both male and female videos as well as all different body types. I find these videos highly motivating.

Books and Magazines

Another way I stay motivated is by reading fitness and health books and magazines. Plus, the more you know about your health and fitness, the better you are able to achieve your goals. Sometimes, when I have an especially hard time staying motivated, I even put photos of fitness models that I would like to look like on the refrigerator door. This will make you think twice before reaching for something you don't need.

My Fitness Pal

Another great tool is This site is very easy to use and you can track your daily calories and exercise. They have most foods in their database and if they don't have a food that you eat, then you can add it. I use this every day. You'd be surprised how fast your calories add up! I didn't realize how much I was eating each day until I started tracking my calories.

You can also enter your daily exercise activities, which will subtract a few of your ingested calories. It is an incentive to eat less, and exercise more.

Power of Positive Thinking

People usually get just what they expect. So, if you expect to get more fit and be more successful, then you will. The opposite is also true.

No matter how you feel about yourself at this moment, start visualizing yourself as more attractive, more youthful, and more fit and then you will likely become that version of you.