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Whether you just purchased your first gym membership or you love staying active, it isn’t always easy to find the motivation to exercise, especially when life gets busy. Rather than getting off track or feeling discouraged, try a few new strategies to keep yourself focused. From doing it for yourself to using an exercise tracker, check out seven simple ways to motivate yourself to work out.

1. Do It for You

It isn’t easy to commit to staying fit if you rely on external factors for motivation. Rather than working out to impress someone else, do it for yourself. When you understand how exercise benefits you and contributes to your health and well-being, you’ll be more likely to make gym sessions a regular part of your routine for the long term.

2. Remove Obstacles

Whether your gym is all the way across town, it’s too hot to run outside, or you never remember to pack clean workout clothes, you can probably come up with an endless list of reasons not to squeeze in your daily sweat session. To keep yourself motivated, however, take steps to remove obstacles:

  • Find a workout spot that’s convenient to work and home.
  • Pack your gym bag the night before.
  • Plan a weather-appropriate workout.

3. Stay Accountable

Exercising without clear goals in mind can be fun, but it can also prevent you from committing to a healthier lifestyle or establishing objectives. To keep yourself accountable and maintain motivation, try setting both long-term and short-term goals. For example, you might want to lose 25 pounds in six months. To meet that long-term goal, you’ll need short-term objectives like making time for five 60-minute workout sessions per week.

4. Use an Exercise Tracker

Monitoring your workout progress is tough if you don’t track your workouts, calorie intake, or energy burn. Streamline the process by using an exercise tracker app, which can monitor how many calories you consume, how much energy you burn, and which workouts you do each day.

5. Mix Up Your Routine

For many people, doing the same workout routine each day leads to boredom, which can cause your motivation to plummet. Inject some fun training into your routine instead:

  • Alternate cardio exercises with strength training.
  • Increase weight while decreasing your normal repetitions.
  • Work out each major muscle group twice a week.

6. Be Realistic

If you’re starting from scratch, be realistic about what you can achieve. Jumping straight from the couch to a five-day-per-week workout plan might be impossible, but you can try increasing your workouts by adding one more per week over the course of a month. Understand that you may need to take a day off from time to time, and that’s okay.

7. Reward Yourself

Don’t just let a major goal pass by with no fanfare. Reward yourself every time you make measurable progress, but try to avoid exercise- and food-related treats. Instead, invest in some high-tech new running shoes or treat yourself to a night out with friends.

Finding motivation isn’t always easy, but when you follow these tips, you’ll be more likely to stay on track. When you’ve established goals and you’re tracking your progress, it’s much easier to keep your eyes on the prize.

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