How to Stay Motivated Even When You’re Working Out Alone

Workout buddies and group fitness classes make it easy to stay motivated. You feel accountable for showing up, and it would be a little awkward to lounge around when everyone else in the room is doing pushups.

Still, there will probably be times when your schedule or other events require you to exercise on your own.

When spin class is cancelled, or you’re snowed in at home, try these ideas to help you push yourself when you’re working out solo.

Things to Do During Your Solo Workout:

1. Remember your purpose.

There are many powerful reasons for exercising. Maybe you want to drop a dress size or have more energy.

Perhaps you want to manage the symptoms of a chronic condition or strengthen your heart. What’s your big reason?

2. Pick a space.

Even the simplest home gym can serve as a visual cue that puts you in the mood to work out.

On the other hand, you might prefer to head outside to a local park or your own backyard.

3. Play music.

Sit ups require less effort when you’re listening to your favorite songs.

Put together a playlist of upbeat music that makes you want to move.

4. Fight boredom.

Switch your workouts around to avoid mental fatigue. You’ll also be challenging your body in new ways.

5. Browse online.

If you’re looking for fresh ideas, search for exercise videos and courses on your computer or phone.

You can find any topic from CrossFit to ballet.

6. Start small.

Does an hour-long session sound overwhelming? Set incremental goals instead.

Tell yourself you’ll try working out for 5 minutes. Chances are you’ll continue once you take the first step.

7. Play around.

Make workouts fun. Pick a variety of activities that you enjoy.

Treat your sessions like a game where you compete with yourself to beat your last performance.

8. Enjoy me time.

It’s healthy to take some time for yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company and be comfortable in solitude.

Things to Do Before and After Your Solo Workout:

1. Plan ahead.

Design your full sequence in advance. That way, you’ll be less likely to give up in the middle of your session because you’re stumped for what to do next.

2. Eat well.

A balanced diet gives you energy. Start the day with a hearty breakfast, such as an omelet with fresh vegetables or grilled fish and rice.

3. Drink water.

Hydration is also important. In addition to sipping water while you work out, make it a habit to fill up throughout the day.

4. Rest up.

A sound workout plan includes adequate time for rest and recovery.

Avoid burnout and injuries by taking days off or alternating between intense workouts and gentler activities like walking or Tai Chi.

5. Give yourself rewards.

You’ll have something to look forward to. Treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink or an exotic piece of fruit after each session.

Let a new coat or an upgraded phone serve as an incentive to help you drop 10 pounds or run a faster mile.

6. Track your progress.

Use electronic fitness devices or a simple journal to help you evaluate your performance. Each small victory can inspire you to keep striving.

7. Post online.

Working out alone doesn’t mean you have to give up on social support.

Share your workouts on Facebook or other platforms where you can chat with your fit-minded friends.

You can encourage yourself to workout consistently even when no one is looking.

Plan ahead, have fun, and tap into your own sources of internal motivation.

When you enjoy exercising alone, you’ll be more likely to stick with your program and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.

8 Ways to Make Your Workout More Fun

Do you look forward to your workouts? If not, you're more likely to come up with reasons to skip a session or two.

As missed sessions become more common, you'll lose the health and fitness benefits that made you want to exercise in the first place, so it's important to keep things fun.

Consider these tips to bring some fun into your exercise time:

1. Analyze your current workout.

If your exercise time is less than fulfilling, an analysis of your current workout will help you identify why you're not happy.

* Does the thought of using the Stairmaster make you want to cry? Do you try to come up with excuses to avoid running?

If your workout makes you sad, it's time to reevaluate how you exercise.

* Consider why you're unhappy and search for solutions that will work with your lifestyle.

Would taking a group class make you more likely to exercise? Do you simply need a different type of workout?

* Consider signing up for a class at a local gym or other venue. Spending money can add motivation to your fitness routine.

2. Add a friend.

Exercising alone can get boring, but a good friend can change how you think about your workout.

* Do you hate to exercise alone? Finding a friend who is also trying to get in shape can help both of you by making the workout more fun.

* A study, titled "The Influence of Partner's Behavior on Health Behavior Change," found that adding a partner to your workout can help.

Researchers learned that it makes you five times more likely to exercise.

3. Turn it into a game with rewards.

Games can make your workout more fun. This will motivate you to keep going and stay active.

4. Add music.

Do you have music playing in the background as you do your cardio? Music has a powerful impact on exercise. There is a reason why you hear loud music in gyms.

* A study, titled "Music in the exercise domain: A review and synthesis," found that music can actually make you better at exercising.

The study also found that music makes the workout seem easier and more fun.

5. Add your favorite TV show.

A TV show can help you get motivated and stay in shape. Do you watch TV while you exercise?

Switching to your favorite show can make the time go by faster and make the workout seem easier.

6. Exercise outside.

Exercising outdoors can make your workout more enjoyable. Researchers found that the outdoors helps you forget the pain while you focus on your surroundings.

* The outdoors will also make you feel more energetic.

7. Post motivational notes.

Putting notes to encourage exercise wherever you might see them during your day can help you stay in shape.

Research shows that even simple things like smiley faces can have a positive impact on your workout.

* Spend some time writing inspiring notes to yourself. Consider writing funny quotes to help you stay inspired to work out.

8. Add variety.

Do you do the same exercise routine every day? The same workout can get boring over time.

Consider trying new exercises you've never done before. Also, think about exercise in different ways.

* Dancing can be a great way to burn calories and stay in shape. Do you have a dance you love?

* Playing sports is a workout too. Organize teams with your family and friends or join community teams and have some fun!

Your workouts can be more fun with a few simple adjustments. Make exercise a better experience with these tips and you'll find that fitness can be fun!

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