How To Motivate Yourself Into Starting A Healthier Lifestyle



It’s easy to end up living your life by the clock and convince yourself there’s no time for exercise. If you can find time to add some physical activity into your day such as running, high-intensity interval training or swimming then it will help your health and research shows can make you happier! The only problem is finding the motivation to get up from in front of the TV and actually start doing it.

For some people there’s a final push, whether it’s a photo of themselves, not being able to buy new clothes, not being able to keep up with their friends or children or a wake up call from their doctor. If you’ve just slowly made the decision you’d like to try and be a little healthier then you might need a little bit of help.

Here’s a few handy tips to get you going.

Buy some kit

It’s hard to start working out when you don’t have the right gear such as running shoes, moisture-wicking sportswear, and an iPod to pump you up with upbeat songs. There’s no need to spend a fortune, but buying a few bits does help you feel more motivated. When I started running I started wearing a pair of pyjama bottoms, but investing in some proper gear not only made it feel easier, but also made me feel like I belonged out there running. Plus if you’ve spent money you’ll feel too guilty not to go.

Use apps to remind you

Your smartphone is full of apps that will remind you to get up and go do something. Some I use are the ASICs app, which sends you push messages and email reminders that you have a run scheduled in and Motion X, which keeps track of your steps each day or Zombies, Run! keeps you motivated by getting you to follow a story. The key is finding the right one for you, and if the first one doesn’t work for you, then try another until one finally clicks.

See your doctor

If you’re starting an exercise regime it’s worth visiting your doctor for a health check. You can pay a sports specialist for a consultation, or if you have health insurance with someone like Aviva Health then a scheduled annual check-up might be included. Getting a professional evaluation of your current health levels might be just the kick you need to get the motivation to get up off the sofa and get fit!

Bribe yourself

Setting yourself goals that aren’t just about weight or measurements can help to keep you motivated, and promising yourself a treat if you get there can really help keep you going. Set yourself a target of miles to run this week, and promise yourself a treat if you hit it, whether that’s a new pair of shoes, a CD or an afternoon at the Cinema. Another trick is to keep a jar and put 10p or Β£1, whatever you can afford, in for each mile you run. When the jar is full take the money out and buy yourself a treat, if it’s a big enough jar and you run enough miles you might pay for your holiday!

Sign up for a challenge

For me, knowing that I’d signed up to run a 5k, and then a 10k, was enough to keep me out there. I didn’t want to come last or embarass myself. If you’ve paid money to enter something, whether it’s a 5k or a triathlon, then not wanting to let yourself down can be a great motivator.

Do you have any other tips to keep motivated?

This post is in collaboration with Aviva Health
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8 Responses
  • Wendy
    March 7, 2013

    The big one for me is to be realistic. I simply do not have a lot of free time thanks to my working pattern and the need to be available to do support immediately for much of the day plus being a parent to a preschool child means my time with my husband doesn’t even start until 8 pm, so I would never commit to something that would take me out of the house several nights a week. Apart from the fact that I want to spend my evenings with my husband rather than alone in a gym (and have some time to eat a meal!) it would mean he was stuck at home watching tv.

    You just have to find a way around it and tell yourself that 20 minutes of jumping up and down in front of a wii game is absolutely fine if that’s what you have and that is what you find enjoyable. You don’t have to commit to 2 hours at a gym 3 times a week plus a couple of body pump classes you really don’t want to do for it to count. Basically, don’t set yourself up to fail.

    • Lady Lipstick
      March 7, 2013

      That’s mine as well! There’s no point convincing myself I’m going to go running at 6am, it’s just not happening!

  • Jamie (Zombie Fitness)
    March 7, 2013

    You might have guessed that zombies are a great motivator for my fitness regime πŸ˜› Great tips; signing up for challenges is something I highly recommend; having that deadline is a good way to make your pull your finger out.


  • Paige
    March 12, 2013

    I love the idea of having a coin jar and then treating myself after. Of course I will be using a small one to buy as many treats as possible! πŸ˜‰

  • Nathan @ Cardio Training Freak
    March 19, 2013

    Great article and thank you for the link back to my website! Much appreciated πŸ™‚

  • Gail
    March 21, 2013

    My best tip is to find something you enjoy. I wasted so many years (and so much money) trying to convince myself I would eventually love the gym. Buying a new bike and some Tara Stiles yoga DVDs finally convinced me to resign from the gym and concentrate on activities I like doing.

    • Claire Mier
      May 15, 2013

      Good going for you there Gail! I just got started on doing some biking , and yoga which are my two most favorite at the moment. No more excuse, just get off my butt and go!

  • Angela Smith
    May 13, 2013

    I think a lot of people might have changed their eating habits to somewhat “healthy” for the wrong reason; weight loss. When it would’ve been much better if ones try to just be healthier, instead of just to look better.