Blog Fitness Workouts How to Turn Exercise Motivation Into Real Actions?

How to Turn Exercise Motivation Into Real Actions?

“I’ll start working out on Monday.” It kind of sounds funny in both instances: when you promise it to yourself or simply boast about it to others. 

Monday – the international day of transformation when people have given themselves shallow promises the days before, and once Monday comes, they end up with “reasonable” excuses to postpone it. 

This could happen to you, especially at the initial phase of a workout routine. You fished out a bundle of exercise motivation quotes on Sunday, got a spike of blissful satisfaction from the fantasies about desired results, and fell asleep motivated. 

What occurs the next day? Let me guess, excuses. We can be professional excuse makers when it comes to working out. 

“The gym is too far from me”, “I’ve got no money for the sports clubs”, “Unfortunately, I have very little free time”, “I have no idea what sport I want to do”, etc. 

I know that life isn’t easy: some stressful situations can hold you back from becoming the person you sincerely wish to be. You keep asking yourself: how to motivate yourself to workout when depressed? How can you motivate yourself to workout after work? How to break from the laziness loop and start moving? 

Today, I’ll satisfy your desires and give you clear answers to one essential question: How to turn motivation into real actions? And no, I won’t gush about the importance of developing motivation. Spoiler alert: you don’t need any super effort to become motivated. The key to action is far beyond simple desire. 

What is the motivation to exercise?

APA Dictionary of Psychology defines motivation as the desire to make a physical and mental effort to achieve goals (1).

That said, motivation to work out involves the inner willingness to commit to sportive actions. Please don’t focus only on the gym membership. This applies to all kinds of sports or general physical activities. 

There are two Types of Motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. 

In a nutshell, intrinsic motivation is about doing something simply because you enjoy it. In contrast, extrinsic motivation is from external reasons (you aim for some reward or want to avoid punishment) (6).

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Overall, motivation is related to the desire to engage in physical activities. Stating that motivation is the key to achieving your sportive goals is silly as having only desire doesn’t necessarily push you to actions. 

Besides, motivation is something you shouldn’t exert great effort to attain. You have some goals, you fantasize about the results and therefore feel inspired to change. For some people, it could be enough but that’s probably not for you or me. That’s why you need something more than the desire, you need a big push for real commitment. 

If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!

What is the best workout motivation?

This might amaze you, but there is no one specific award-winning workout motivation for females and males. It’s like asking a writer what’s your key to successful novel creation whereas there could be dozens of such keys. 

exercise motivation  

Here it is: your motivation may differ from another person’s motivation. While setting goals is enough for you, someone else prefers something deeper and highly effective. The problem here starts when people aggressively seek motivation: they search meticulously for the positive triggers to make them move. 

It can be awaste of time. 

Based on my experience, I need to confess that my personal best motivation is in fact answering the main question: why do I want to work out?

Before rolling your eyes and thinking: “Thank you for this elusive piece of advice, dear writer”, I’m about to support my opinion with a reasonable argument. 

Before asking yourself How to Start Exercising Again, you should figure out why you need it. 

If you find the answer to the “Why do I want to work out” question, you’ll end up with a chain of small motivators: 

  • I want to exercise to feel healthier and shape myself up; 
  • If I’m healthier and shape up better, I feel proud of myself and begin to truly love myself and appreciate my body; 
  • If I love myself more, I make better life choices, attract better people to my life, and avoid the toxic ones; 
  • By making better life choices I do the job I truly enjoy and build healthy relationships with the right people. 
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Please don’t confuse my words with the aspiration to live up to some “idealistic” beauty standards. You shouldn’t change your body just to feel desired and admired by others. 

Working out is not about boasting a perky booty and receiving multiple dull compliments. It’s about helping your body to feel better. 

By the way, I wasn’t joking about higher self-esteem as studies show that physical activity influences self-esteem (5). If you love yourself enough, you intentionally promote your life by taking better care of yourself both mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

Now it’s your turn, ask yourself “Why do I want to work out?”

What are 3 motivators for exercise?

My top 3 motivators for exercise are: 

  1. Convenience and simplicity
  2. Positive environment
  3. Your perfect sport match

Convenience and simplicity

Who told you you should drive to the gym to work out? Interestingly, some individuals don’t take the home workout seriously. Surely, working with a trainer is better as they will keep tabs on your technique and help you avoid injuries. 

However, starting a workout from your cozy house is not a bad idea. For many people, it’s more convenient than trekking to the gym, another sports club, or even the park to hit the run. 

You may have heard excuses like “I do not have enough time”. My question is “Who told you that exercises must be lengthy?”. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 50 minutes, it doesn’t matter as long as you keep moving to stay invigorated and healthy. 

Lastly, aiming for tough weightlifting, running long distances, or doing 100 push-ups is a bad idea for the beginner. Engage in a workout routine with simpler exercises: grab lighter dumbbells, gradually shift to more complicated ones, run 2 miles instead of 10, and complete at least one push-up which is already better than nothing. 

Positive environment

By positive environment, I mean both people and things that surround you. Create or find a place where physical activity becomes enticing to you. If you want to know how to motivate yourself to workout at home, for instance, take the first step and purchase the exercise mat, a set of lighter weights, and comfy training garments. 

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The night before lay the mat on the floor, keep the weights in the visible place as well, and lay the workout clothes on the chair (7).

Now, the people. Join the special club to introduce yourself to other workout buddies. Sometimes the perky friend or co-worker ends up the key motivator. Let’s face it, the best motivator that inspires change is always another person, especially when you vividly notice the goals they’ve reached. 

Don’t fancy sport clubs? No problem, you can go for a brisk walk with a pleasant person and have a blast. The reality is that another healthy person with good self-esteem is the ideal role model. You can always ask them for advice, help, or support.

Read more: Motivation vs Discipline: Stop Wasting Your Time On One of Them

Your perfect sport “match”

Have you ever used dating apps? If yes, you remember that before getting into exclusive relationships with someone you went out on dates with various people. You did it to compare and define which person fits you the most. 

The same can apply to choosing physical activity. You don’t have to necessarily exhaust yourself with gym training. Why not try dancing? Or swimming? Or tennis? Any kind of sport is effective for your general health.

Obviously, if you’re striving for more specific goals, like gaining big muscles or peachy booty, gym training will benefit that. 

Still, when you choose the most enjoyable sports that match yourself, you won’t treat it as an obligation but as another hobby that enhances your well-being. Experiment with versatile physical activities and find something that will keep you moving with pleasure (7).

exercise motivation  

What can motivate someone to exercise?

Workout Motivation for Females and males potentially consists of many petite reasons that get you back on track. Here are the additional tips to motivate yourself to take actions for life transformation. 

  1. Welcome your exercises to your routine. Find a free window during your day to concentrate on the training. Again, 10, 20, or 50 minutes is enough (4). 
  2. Create discipline. I always insist on the notion that discipline is much more efficient for starting a new workout routine as it directly helps you establish positive habits (1). Motivation may fizzle out but the formed habits stay, they transform into automatic actions. 
  3. Buy yourself an eye-catching and comfy training attire. You deserve to look stunning even when you work out. Here I’m basing this on my experience. I misjudged the power of looking good and feeling comfortable in sports clothing. After I put it all on and watched myself in the mirror, I felt promptly energized to train my body. That said, choose something that doesn’t only offer comfort but also a dazzling “facade”. 
  4. Set minor goals. It’s especially vital to people who desire to lose weight. They may be too harsh on themselves from the beginning. They expect to lose 10 pounds per week and once they don’t, their motivation vanishes, and they stop the workout. Instead of aiming for impossible results, create discipline and stick to it. 
  5. Stay flexible. One study in 2020 found that allowing yourself the flexibility to achieve your goals might boost your chance of success. Researchers studied more than 2,500 Google employees who were paid for going to the company gym during a window of time they had identified in advance, while others could opt to go anytime. The researchers found out that people with flexibility ended up going more often after the payments ended. On the contrary, the group on the rigid program missed their planned workout, they didn’t go at all (2). 
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 How to motivate yourself to workout every day?

The best motivation to work out daily is to realize the potential benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. After contemplating all the good stuff, select an enjoyable physical activity. 

Later, set up smaller goals for yourself, and find the perfect time during each day for your training. Start with 15 to 20 minutes daily instead of striving for 50-60 minutes. You’re less likely to complete exercises daily by spending so much time on them. 

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Still, depending on your workout routine, it’s significantly important to take breaks from your training. Rest days’ benefits help you alleviate soreness or pain, repair and build muscles, prevent injuries, replenish energy stores, and lastly give your mind some rest (3). 

BetterMe app is a foolproof way to go from zero to a weight loss hero in a safe and sustainable way! What are you waiting for? Start transforming your body now!

How to motivate yourself to workout alone?

Working out alone offers more advantages than disadvantages. You don’t need to focus on another person. Instead, you’re entirely concentrated on your exercise and follow your schedule much more easily. 

Besides, there is no need to stick to someone’s schedule which happens often at the gym where you should follow the schedule of your trainer. 

Motivating yourself to work out alone includes the four basic steps: 

  • Picking up the perfect sports activity
  • Creating your convenient schedule and following it
  • Staying compassionate for not completing some exercises to the fullest
  • Feeling proud of yourself as you know that sport activities benefit not only your body but your self-esteem, which contributes to better relationships, life choices, and habits in general. 

Read more: Workout Motivation for Females: Here’s How to Boost Your Mojo

exercise motivation  


  • How to increase motivation?

The top way to boost motivation is to estimate all the benefits you’re about to get if you take action. But I suggest that you focus on establishing a discipline instead of waiting for the desire to spike. With discipline you’re able to form atomic habits that are crucial for achieving certain goals. 

  • Why is exercise important?

Exercising is important for your overall well-being. It doesn’t only keep your mind and body aligned, it helps you feel emotionally good about yourself. Staying physically active positively impacts your self-esteem and, therefore, helps you connect with the right people, avoid exasperating jobs, and take good care of yourself. 

  • Why can’t I enjoy exercise?

You don’t enjoy your exercise for different reasons: it may not be your right choice, you lack the proper technique, or set too high goals for yourself. In the last case, you fail to meet the desired results fast enough and end up frustrated. Try to change your physical activity into something more pleasant, or work on the right technique as it’s crucial for reaching all types of goals. 

  • How to start exercising?

Start with petite actions, like choosing the right exercise program for yourself. Find the suitable free time during the day. Later, purchase the training clothes and shoes and commit to your physical activity. Simultaneously remind yourself of the benefits you’ll reap with your exercising routine. 

The Bottom Line

Congrats, you’ve reached the end of the article. Now you’re aware of the effective ways to evoke motivation to work out. 

How to turn motivation into real actions? There are versatile ways to do that. The best motivation to work out is surely your understanding of the benefits you’ll reap with physical activities. 

Aside from these, the 3 key motivators for exercise include convenience and simplicity, a positive environment, and the ideal sport match. 

Other top-notch ways to stay motivated for workouts involve making exercises part of your routine, establishing discipline, buying comfy and eye-catching sports attire, setting minor goals, and staying flexible. 

You can implement these techniques in your solo or daily workout routines. And finally, please make sure you take breaks from the workouts to avoid injuries and pain in your muscles. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. APA Dictionary of Psychology (2018,
  2. Creating Exercise Habits Using Incentives: The Trade-off Between Flexibility and Routinization (2020,
  3. Health benefits of rest days (2021,
  4. Help a Loved One Get More Active: Quick Tips (2022,
  5. Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms (2016,
  6. What to know about extrinsic motivation (2023,
  7. When the Last Thing You Want to Do Is Exercise (2022,
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