How to trick yourself into enjoying exercise

Here’s how to change your perspective from wanting to sit on the couch, to looking forward to a daily run.

Written by Medibank
Two beautiful girls working out together on the beach

Finding the motivation to exercise can be hard. From cold mornings to busy work schedules, it can feel like there’s always an excuse to skip it. But sometimes, all it takes is a small shift in perspective to trick yourself into enjoying exercise. Read on for our top four tips to get you started, and learn how to motivate yourself to workout.

1. Track your progress

Take advantage of what technology has to offer. A great motivator, using an app or device to track your steps, calories burned or kilometres run will allow you to see the progress you’re making in real time. Alongside technology, you could also try keeping a ‘fitness journal’, and write down how you’re feeling day by day. This could help you to pay attention to the ways in which working out is helping to improve your fitness, your mood and your day-to-day life.

MORE: Find a free exercise class near you thanks to Medibank’s Live Better activities

2. Enlist a friend

A recent study1 by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that working out with a friend may offer benefits. If you’ve got a friend or partner who’s interested in joining you for a run or a class, take them up on it! It’s a great way to trick yourself into enjoying exercise. You could even schedule your sessions for a weekend morning and turn it into a coffee or brunch catch-up afterwards as a reward.

3. Treat yourself

We all like to have something to look forward to to get us through a difficult task, so you could consider rewarding yourself for sticking to your exercise goals. Make sure you base your reward system on actions, rather than outcomes, and stagger them over time. For example, you could set yourself a challenge of moving for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week, and at the end, buy yourself those shoes you’ve been eyeing off.

MORE: Our favourite 7 fitness apps to help revamp your workout

4. Mix it up

Exercising regularly is important, however for some people, the feeling of monotony could be a deterrent. Mixing up your exercise routine — whether it’s trying a new class or just taking a different route on your walk — is a simple way to make sure working out doesn’t feel like a repetitive chore.

As we work towards our health and fitness goals, it can be easy to set high standards and then feel down when we skip a run or eat something that doesn’t fit with our plan. However, it’s important to show kindness to yourself and don’t give up when you fall short of a goal or milestone. Simply book your next workout in your calendar, put some of the tips here into practice and continue to move forward!

Did you know eligible Medibank members can earn rewards with the Medibank Live Better App? Like a gift card from our partners, simply by looking after their health and wellbeing.

Download the Medibank Live Better App to set your exercise goals and start earning points today.

1 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bjhp.12139

Written by Medibank

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