8 Tips to Stay Motivated to Workout at Home

There is a big appeal to working out at home.  You don’t have to drive to the gym on chilly mornings.  You can roll out of bed, throw on whatever workout clothes are on the floor of your closet and not worry about how you look or who you’re going to see and you can workout on your own time, whenever is most convenient for you.  Sounds great, right?

Working out at home comes with its own challenges.  One of the biggest is staying motivated.  It’s far too easy to procrastinate. (I’ll workout after work, after supper, after I watch the latest episode of ________, I’ll get up early tomorrow…).  It’s also easy to cut your session short when you get a text or you just feel too tired to continue.

How do you stay motivated for workout after workout, week after week?  Here are a few tips to keep you going.

1. Set a Goal

Climbing the Matterhorn is a great goal that will motivate your at home workouts.

I need a reason to workout.  Oh I know, it’s good for me and everybody should workout regularly.  Sure.  I’ve read a lot about that while sitting on my couch.  The reason can’t be something vague like getting stronger or losing weight or even fitting into that pair of skinny jeans.  It’s got be something fun and worthwhile.  With a real deadline.

Choosing a goal that inspires you, like climbing a mountain or running a 10 km or half marathon, can be very motivating.  Even better, invite some friends to join you.  You won’t want to be out of breath as your friends cruise ahead and then have to wait for you to catch up.

Check the internet for runs in your area or plan to run during your next vacation.  Just think how great you’ll feel sitting on the beach sipping that umbrella drink after you’ve finished a 13 mile run. There’s a great list at Runners World.

Or get inspired to climb a mountain by perusing a guidebook.  A couple of great books for the Canadian Rockies are:

  • Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies by Alan Kane, if you’re just getting started or
  • The 11,000er’s of the Canadian Rockies by Bill Corbett, if you’ve already got mountaineering experience.  Both are published by Rocky Mountain Books.

Another highly motivating goal is to sign up for a group program such as a guided mountain program.  If you have to pay to sign up, it’s even more motivating.  There are great introductory mountain programs offered here in the Canadian Rockies such as:

These courses will be much more enjoyable if you’re fit and strong.  Also, you’ll be participating with other people and you won’t want to be the slowest, holding up the group as you struggle to catch your breath.

2. Training Program

As you complete workouts, check them off.

Now that you have a goal in mind, the next step is to have a fitness training program that will prepare you to crush your goal. You can create your own program, buy a standard, pre-made program online or buy a customized plan that is created for you based on your goal, your starting fitness level and the time you have available to workout.  For a few options click here. (Yah, I know – shameless self promotion.)

Once you’ve got your program, book the time you’ll need in your calendar.  As you complete your workouts, check them off. Immensely satisfying!

3. Use an Online or In-Home Personal Trainer

A personal trainer can come to your home to train you there.

If you’re still having trouble getting yourself up off the couch, you may find it useful to hire a personal trainer.  The good news is that these days, you don’t have to go to a gym to hire a trainer.   There are many qualified trainers who will coach you online or come to your home.  A personal trainer will help you stay on track by meeting with you regularly (by phone or e-mail for an online trainer).

4. Recruit a Friend

Two women workout together to help keep each other motivated.

If you’ve invited a friend or group of friends to join you on a run, hike or climb, invite those same folks to invest in the same training program as you.  You can help keep each other accountable and encouraged to complete all the workouts.  Then you reap the rewards together when you climb that mountain or finish that run.

5. Set Up for Success

Store your home gym equipment where it's easy to access.

Keep your workout gear and clothes handy to make it as quick and easy as possible to get to your workout.  Sometimes I workout in stretchy jeans and a sweater, whatever I happen to be wearing, because the need to go get changed into workout clothes is just another reason not to.  Keeping your gear handy takes away another excuse.

6. Visual Motivators

Runners on the Las Vegas Strip at the Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Put up a photo of your goal or someone that inspires you where you will see it when you work out.  For example, if you’re planning to climb the Matterhorn, put up a photo of the Matterhorn.  If you signed up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas, put up a photo of the Strip where you’ll be running.  Is there a skier, climber or other athlete who inspires you?  A photo of that person may inspire you to workout.

7. Music, Netflix, YouTube

Use TV shows such as Netflix's House of Cards to motivate your workouts at home.

The nice thing about being at home is that you can play your music – whatever drives you.  I created a workout playlist and yes, I’m not too proud to admit it, Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch” made the list.

Netflix keeps me coming back to the treadmill.  I choose a TV show and only watch episodes when I’m on my treadmill.  Dying to know who Francis will stab in the back next?  No House of Cards unless you’re on the treadmill!

Training to hike the Pacific Crest Trail?  Why not watch YouTube videos made by folks who have done it.  The scenery and the challenges you’ll see will definitely inspire your training!

8.  Take the First Step Now

Runners cross the finish line adding motivation to home workouts

Whether it’s choosing a goal, setting up a program, calling up a friend to join you, getting your gear ready or ordering some dumbbells from Amazon, do one thing right now that will make it easier to workout at home.  Happy working out!  Crush that goal!

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