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Tips to get back your workout motivation

Health Adviser and Sports Enthusiast
04 February 2021

With January behind us, you might be wondering, where all your motivation to exercise has gone? Maybe you’ve lost steam after making some new year’s resolutions. Or are you struggling to get outside now that it’s darker and colder? Here I offer some tips to help you to get moving again.

What causes a lack of motivation?

As a health adviser, I’m aware that a lot of people are struggling with motivation to exercise at the moment. Here are some of the reasons you might be finding it hard to be active.

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made many people stressed, anxious, and tired, and this can make it harder to be more active.
  • Going outside can feel less appealing during the cold and dark winter months.
  • You might be missing your usual way of exercising such as playing a team sport or going to the gym.
  • Having to juggle responsibilities such as working from home and home-schooling might mean that exercise is getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.

But, getting more exercise can help boost our mood, and feel less stressed. So below are my top tips for getting moving again.

How do I get motivated to exercise?

1. Set yourself realistic goals

If you’re really struggling to find motivation at the moment, it might not be the right time to set yourself a huge challenge. Maybe you could try and get out for a walk every day, or go for a run twice a week. If you don’t like being outside when it’s dark, why not try home workouts? You’re more likely to stick to a plan that feels achievable.

2. Celebrate the small wins

Breaking down your main goal into smaller steps is also a good way to get motivated. Maybe you would like to run 5K eventually, but your first goal could be to run 2K without stopping. Reflecting on your achievements along the way will help to keep your spirits up.

3. Stop comparing yourself to other people

Feeling a sense of competition can be motivating. But it can also be easy to look at what other people have achieved and feel bad and unmotivated about your own efforts. If this happens, try to focus on your own goals and the things you would like to achieve instead.

4. Think about the benefits

Try to think about why you want to be more active. It might be that you want to get fitter or spend more time outside enjoying nature. Reflect on these reasons when you are finding it hard to stick to your plan.

5. Prepare for setbacks

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you lose motivation again. Try to reflect on why you’re finding it more difficult to be active and adjust your goals to get back on track.


Are you interested in learning more about your health? Discover more about our range of health assessments.

Charlie Dean
Health Adviser and Sports Enthusiast

    • Difficult feelings about the coronavirus pandemic. Mind. www.mind.org.uk, updated 02 December 2020
    • Wagner, Abram L., et al. "The impact of weather on summer and winter exercise behaviours." Journal of sport and health science 8.1 (2019): 39-45.
    • UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines. UK Government. www.gov.uk, published 07 September 2019
    • Join the Movement. Sport England. www.sportengland.org, accessed 01 February 2021
    • Obesity in Adults. Patient. www.patient.info, updated 09 Jan 2015
    • How to set goals that work. British Heart Foundation. www.bhf.org.uk, accessed 01 February 2021
    • Online mental health. Mind. www.mind.org, published September 2018
    • Physical Training. Patient. www.patient.info, updated 18 Mar 2011

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