Exercise motivation is a challenge for many women.
These Physiotherapist exercise motivation tips will help you get motivated to move more for your physical and mental wellbeing.
10 Exercise Motivation Tips for Women
Tip 1 – Choose Enjoyable Exercises
Choosing exercises and activities that you enjoy is a must!
There’s no point pushing yourself through an exercise if it feels like a slow form of torture – you’ll just end up disliking it and eventually you’ll probably stop.
Make a list of exercises or physical activities that you enjoy doing and start here.
Is there an activity you’ve always wanted to try?
Seize the day and explore women’s exercise options.
Tip 2 – Make Exercise your Priority
We can all make excuses not to exercise…
- I’m too bloated
- I’m too far gone
- I’ll start tomorrow
- I just ate a family block
- The cat’s sick …
Make exercise a priority in your life.
Morning is a good time for me to exercise. I get into my exercise gear as a priority first thing every morning. If I miss that window of opportunity my chance to exercise for myself is gone. It’s my time for me.
Organize your time and life so that your exercise session is easy to prioritize and commit to on a regular basis.
Exercise is your time for you and it’s important!
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Inside Out eBook and exercise workout video are both available in this cost-effective saver pack (download or hardcopy format).
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Tip 3 – Get into a Routine
Having a regular exercise routine makes exercise motivation much easier – working out can become almost automatic.
An exercise routine makes it easier to schedule your other activities and appointments around your exercise sessions.
Have your exercise gear ready the night before so sticking with your routine is easy.
Set your exercise time into your phone and set a regular reminder or write it up in your diary so that nothing else gets scheduled at that time.
Tip 4 – Exercise with a Group
Women often say they enjoy exercising with other women.
Group exercise is motivating for many reasons:
- Friendships are formed
- Other women expect you to attend
- There’s a sense of camaraderie that comes from exercising with other women
- You might do more exercise than you would have done on your own
- It’s fun!
The benefits of women’s group exercise extend well beyond physical fitness.
Tip 5 – Exercise with a Friend
Exercising with a friend can help motivate exercise and to do a little more exercise than you might have done exercising your own.
Sharing the joy of exercise with a friend will help your friend too – can you think of someone who would benefit from getting out for a walk in the park, a round of golf or a hit of tennis?
You might invite a friend to a women’s exercise class.
If you’re not keen on group exercise you might choose to go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t need to be every day, it may well be once a week.
I know two lovely women who walk together to and from the coffee shop every Saturday morning and treat themselves to a coffee half way.
Tip 6 – Focus on You
All too often women become discouraged with exercise by how they think they look or how they feel they’re performing.
Believe it or not no one else really cares or they’re too busy worrying about themselves to notice your perceived flaws.
If your exercise session feels like a fashion show or an Olympic trial event maybe you will benefit from reassessing what you’re doing and where (see next Tip 7).
Focus on what you’re doing i.e. the exercise you’re doing and how your body’s feeling rather than how you’re performing.
Women’s exercise shouldn’t feel like a competition with yourself or anyone else!
Tip 7 – Feel Comfortable
Choose an exercise setting where you feel comfortable exercising – everyone’s different.
If you’re not really fussed on tight fitting neon Lycra or grunting sweaty bodies then maybe avoid the local gym at peak hour.
Explore your options – perhaps you want to exercise with other women in a private setting.
Maybe you feel most comfortable and motivated exercising outdoors. Perhaps a home-based women’s exercise DVD will help your exercise motivation.
Tip 8 – Mix Up your Workouts
Variety is indeed the spice of life when it comes to motivating women’s exercise.
Exercise can feel like a chore if you’re doing the same thing day in day out.
Variety in your workout might involve:
- Different exercises
- Trying a new exercise class
- Changing your music
- Walking a different route
Varying your exercise routine will help your motivation and can also improve fitness, weight management and decrease the risk of overuse injuries associated with repetitive exercises.
Tip 9 – Think Positive (i.e. stop the negative self talk)
Notice your mental approach to exercise – is it positive or negative?
Do you have a lot of negative self talk going on?
- I can’t do it
- I’m too fat
- The exercises hurt, my knees are sore ….
Try to focus on what you can do and/or how you’ve progressed rather than what you can’t do.
Annette attends my regular group strength classes. A fall directly onto her knees 15 years ago cracked both of her knee caps causinhg her to stop exercising altogether.
When I first met Annette she openly admitted to “hating exercise”. She told me that exercise was a chore, she never lasted with it and her knees hurt so much that she couldn’t get off the ground so she couldn’t do floor exercises in our class. This was at Annette’s first exercise class 3 years ago …
How to Motivate Annette?
It wasn’t rocket science – it was obvious that if we were going to have any success I needed to gently motivate Annette to feel more positive about exercising.
1. The first priority was to help Annette experience some success by giving her exercises that allowed her to move without causing knee pain. I asked her to tell me if any exercises caused discomfort from the outset and offered her knee friendly alternatives.
2. Annette was given plenty of variety within the class context and comfortable options to choose. This empowered her by allowing her to participate in (and enjoy) group exercise.
3. While acknowledging that her knees could become sore at times, I tried to shift Annette’s focus from her knees to her sense of achievement and the feeling of well being that she had started to notice. These days Annette laughs during class always keen to share a joke and says she feels “virtuous” when she’s finished.
4. A few months after starting Annette inadvertently helped promote a more positive attitude by bringing along a girlfriend (who also happened to have sore knees and sore feet). Every week when class finished they share a coffee and a laugh.
These small changes have made a big difference to Annette’s motivation to exercise and now she can even get up off the ground unassisted!
Tip 10 – Make Exercise Fun!
Having fun with exercise helps you stay motivated and inspired.
Women’s exercise doesn’t always need to be serious although some women relish the serious side of competition and that’s fine too.
Having fun with exercise is about enjoying what you are doing not how you’re performing often in the company of others.
Exercise offers much more than physical fitness. For many women, exercise provides an escape from daily stress, a sense of empowerment, the opportunity to be in the moment and experience the joy of movement. These benefits can be just as important as the fitness and strength gains.