Fitness Motivation: Actionable Advice From SWEAT Trainers
For anyone starting a new health and fitness journey, it can be hard to find and maintain the motivation to start working out. Fitness motivation often comes in waves. There will be days when you can’t wait to start your workout, and other days when you simply don’t want to move.
Many women see exercise simply as a way to achieve aesthetic or appearance-based goals. It can be easy to get discouraged about exercising when you genuinely don’t enjoy it. When you’re busy, you feel tired or things get in the way, you’re not going to want to spend an hour on the treadmill or the elliptical trainer.
But what if it didn’t have to be difficult to find the motivation to workout? Our trainers believe that working out should be something that you look forward to. Keep reading for the best actionable tips from the SWEAT Trainers and community members on staying fit and enjoying the journey!
How to find the motivation to workout when you’re busy
When you are busy, it can be hard to find the time and energy to dedicate to a workout. While we all struggle with fluctuating levels of motivation, there are steps that you can take in order to harness your motivation when it’s high to carry you through those days when you feel less motivated.
When your fitness motivation is high, put healthy habits in place! Set specific health and fitness goals and plan how you will achieve them. Once the habit is in place, motivation isn’t as important.
Here are our SWEAT Trainers' best tips on how to create healthy habits and work towards your health and fitness goals.
Kayla Itsines creates a workout plan for the week
SWEAT Trainer Kayla plans her workouts at the start of the week. This allows her to fit her workouts in around other commitments before the week starts. Kayla schedules in an extra workout each week just in case she misses one, so there’s a backup time already in place.
Here are Kayla’s tips to make time to workout during a busy week:
Wake up a little earlier
If you are not a morning person, this can be hard. But even getting out of bed 15-30 minutes earlier can be all you need to fit your morning workout in.
Prepare the night before
Lay out your workout clothes the night before so that you are ready to go!
Do a quick workout
Even a 10-minute walk or a 7-minute BBG workout is better than no workout! With Kayla’s BBG program, if you don’t have time for the whole workout you can just do one or two circuits.
Skip the drive
Save time and workout at-home! You can do Kayla’s BBG program from anywhere, you don’t have to get to the gym!
Exercise whilst watching TV
Why not combine exercise with something you’d otherwise be doing? That way you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything when you take the time to exercise. Kayla watches Netflix during her LISS sessions.
“Today is a new opportunity, another chance, a new beginning. EMBRACE IT” — Kayla Itsines
By planning ahead at the start of the week, you can reorganise your routine to fit all your workouts into your schedule. Then you can be confident that you have set aside the time to focus on yourself and work towards your fitness goals.
For Kelsey Wells, mindset is everything
A healthy lifestyle is so much more than just exercise. Kelsey believes that self-love, self-discipline and consistency are the true keys to establishing healthy habits that last. Perhaps you have the motivation to make changes to your lifestyle, but you feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting started.
You have the power to change your mindset! Here’s what you can do to overcome the obstacles that prevent you from starting the journey towards achieving your goals:
Write down your barriers to starting
When you can name the things that are holding you back, you can face them head-on so that they don’t seem as scary.
Come up with ways to overcome these barriers
Find ways to tackle your fears and develop the confidence you need to get started.
Choose a training style that makes you feel powerful
Working out should never be a chore or punishment. Make it into something you love and that you do for yourself. Choose a training style that suits you and makes you feel good!
Know that you are already strong
Weight training is about gaining strength, but more importantly, it’s about remembering how strong you already are. You can do it!
For example, many women feel intimidated by the idea of lifting weights. You can overcome this fear by educating yourself! Having the knowledge of how to correctly perform the exercises you are going to do will give you confidence when you enter the gym.
If you use the SWEAT app, each exercise has videos you can follow to ensure you use the correct form. Once you’ve done one workout successfully, your confidence can only increase!
“Women are STRONG. I may not know you personally, but without a doubt, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW.” — Kelsey Wells
By gradually changing the thoughts and behaviours that are stopping you from living the life that you want, you can move towards a more powerful, confident version of yourself. With the right mindset, fitness can empower you with self-confidence and the ability to accomplish new goals.
Chontel Duncan’s secret is to know your priorities
As a wife and mother, FIERCE trainer Chontel Duncan knows the pressures of trying to juggle the needs of a family with looking after yourself. Both in her own life and through feedback from the clients she trains, she finds that to take care of others, you first have to take care of yourself.
When you have people depending on you, it’s not always easy to find that time! Here are Chontel’s tips for committing to your workout sessions:
Prioritise what you want most
It’s really easy to fall into the habit of choosing what you want right now, rather than holding out for the bigger goal. Take the time to set up your environment to reflect what you want most and make those in-the-moment choices easier. For example, you might set up a dedicated workout or stretching space in your home to use regularly.
Give yourself permission to be the best version of yourself
When you make time to look after yourself, you have more to give others. Write a note to give yourself permission to prioritise your own needs by doing a workout, going for a walk or making a coffee date and put it somewhere you will see it. When you feel healthy and energised, everyone around you will benefit!
Create a to-do list and a plan to follow through
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything! This is why it’s important to create a to-do list that reflects what is most important to you. Once you’ve made the decision, create a plan to follow through.
Make a pre-commitment
Chontel sleeps in her workout clothes to be ready for the next day! This is a ‘pre-commitment’ that sets Chontel up to start the day with a workout first thing. A pre-commitment is an action you take to make it easier to lead a healthy lifestyle. You could put your gym bag in the car the night before, or pack a healthy lunch to take to work so you aren’t tempted to buy something unhealthy.
“I think you can all agree here, that we have all been a victim of temptation where what we want most becomes less critical, than what we want now.” — Chontel Duncan
When you set up your environment to align with your goals, it’s so much easier to achieve them!
Sjana Elise believes fitness motivation comes from within
Yoga trainer Sjana believes that motivation isn’t external. Everything you need to motivate yourself comes from within. Her three tools for building motivation are:
Fear can drain your energy, so change your fears into something positive. Focus on an achievable path, broken down into small steps that move you towards your goal.
Empower yourself with knowledge and visualise achieving your goals.
Keep your goal interesting by regularly reviewing your progress and your plan. Make tweaks to ensure that you continue in the right direction.
“Impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible.’” — Sjana Elise
When you know your true reasons for wanting to practise a healthy lifestyle, you can use your internal motivation to create habits that last.
Stephanie Sanzo says you need discipline
If being fit and healthy were easy, everyone would do it! Being fit and healthy requires you to put in the work. That’s why it’s called ‘working out’. Change isn’t easy, and it doesn’t only come from motivation or setting goals.
While these things are important, to create real change, you need to put habits in place that will carry you towards your goals. Here are Steph’s tips for turning your fitness goals into reality:
Use your willpower
Willpower is often misunderstood as a mystical force that enables you to achieve great things. Willpower is actually something you’re using all day, every day, every time you make a small decision. You can tap into your willpower to achieve your fitness goals by removing distractions, planning ahead and giving your body the energy it needs through good nutrition.
Use discipline to get it done
Making any change in your life requires discipline. Pushing yourself in the gym requires an enormous amount of effort and willpower. You can be more disciplined by setting a routine, sticking to it, and being kind to yourself when things don’t go to plan.
Consistency is essential
You don’t build strength overnight. It takes repeated effort, rest and time to build strength. If you are consistent with your training, rest and nutrition you can start to see results.
Create healthy habits
When you consistently show up for your workouts, eat healthy food and plan to get enough rest, these things can become habits. Yes, you may have to make some sacrifices, but the benefits are worth it! Over time, the behaviours that you've worked hard to put in place will become part of your regular routine.
“Discipline is being able to force yourself to do something, in spite of your mood, over and over until it becomes a habit. Let me tell you something about training ... it’s HARD!!” — Stephanie Sanzo
Whether it’s what you choose to eat or whether you hit snooze on your morning alarm, each small decision you make has an impact. When you use your willpower and discipline to establish healthy habits you set yourself up to achieve your health and fitness goals.
You’re not alone! Here are 5 fitness motivation tips from women like you
When you’re looking for motivation during your personal fitness journey, the SWEAT community is the largest and most supportive female fitness community in the world! You can use the SWEAT forum to learn how other women are overcoming their obstacles, providing support and motivating each other on the journey to better health and fitness.
Here’s how some of the SWEAT women are achieving their fitness goals:
“Every day is different for me and I like it that way but I know if I don’t plan my workouts and my meals I won’t have a successful day.” — @Hazelbite
“First time I tried weightlifting ... I was nervous but I had my headphones super loud to drown out the negative thoughts in my head.” — @Tashkya
“Getting in a routine was the hardest thing for me! My work schedule is different every week so I always used that as an excuse of why I couldn’t get in a regular workout routine. It wasn’t until I changed my mindset that I was able to get in a good routine.” — @Janellelee
“I always work out during my lunch hour. Being not a morning person, it just brings more stress to organise the kids, lunches, houses in the morning when I have to work out on top of it. I would rather sleep a bit longer and enjoy a nice break during the day.” — @Elodiej
“...Before I go to bed, I lay out my gym clothes, get my water bottle ready, and eliminate as many of my excuses as I can the night before so I literally can't say I wasn't prepared to work out. Doing this has forced an amazing habit, and I wouldn't have it any other way!” — @jcarolyn2011
Staying motivated to build healthy habits is easier when you have support
The SWEAT forum is a great place to connect with like-minded women and get motivated. Participating in a fitness challenge can help to kickstart your journey to better health and fitness. You can also follow SWEAT and our trainers on Instagram for inspiration, and use their top workout tips to keep yourself motivated.
The promises that you make to yourself are the most important ones to keep! When you embrace a positive attitude and prioritise the things that are most important to you, you will find ways to make the behaviours that support your health and fitness goals an integral part of your life! By making one small change at a time, you can find more energy and confidence to work towards your goals.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.