Find your fitness motivation

Ditch the gymscuses

Do you always find an excuse not to go to the gym? We call them ‘gymscuses’ – any reason not to exercise. It can be hard to get motivated to keep fit, so how do you stay inspired? We asked wellness expert Uxshely Chotai for some tips on how to find your workout motivation and get back in the gym.

"I’ve got no motivation"

A few lucky people need nothing more than the knowledge that they’ll be fitter to get them racing off in their gym kit – but many of us need more incentive. So what’s a good way to start?

Regularly visualise what you want to achieve: "Whether it’s weight management, fitness, better health or all of the above," says Uxshely. "While doing this, listen to a song that makes you feel positive – then play it when you’re exercising.”

Find a gym buddy: Research for Virgin Active found that women who exercised together train for longer, burnt more calories and were more regular gym visitors.

"I find exercise boring"

It’s time to forget the idea that working out is dull – here’s how.

Recall a positive exercise experience: Researchers have found that this can help to inspire you. It could have been a laugh-packed bike ride with friends, a swim in a lake that made you feel alive, or a happy lift after a party where you danced the night away – they all count as exercise!

Dress up: Uxshely also advises dressing to make exercise an ‘event’ instead of a chore. "Invest in workout clothes you feel good in, rather than turning up in your ugliest baggies."

"I’ll be surrounded by people slimmer and fitter than me"

It seems ‘gym intimidation’ is a real thing. Sport England has found that one of the biggest barriers to women exercising is the fear of being judged on appearance or ability.

Work on controlling your emotions: "We judge ourselves so harshly and think such awful things, and we project this onto other people. But everyone else is so busy worrying about themselves, they won’t be watching you."

Fake it ‘til you make it: If you feel nervous before a workout, try a ‘Power Pose’ for a couple of minutes. Stand with your chest lifted and head held high, with your hands propped on your hips. This helps to increase your level of testosterone, raising your courage to try something new.

"I’m too tired"

A common excuse, but not necessarily a legitimate one. Exercise gives you energy, and can actually stop you feeling tired. If you feel fatigued, it’s better to start off slow.

Keep it simple: A study has shown that regular, low-intensity exercise such as walking, gentle swimming or yoga can help reduce fatigue by 65 percent in inactive people.

"I’m too busy"

Many of us are juggling work, childcare, relationships, friendships and social lives. So how do you find the time?

Split exercise into shorter bursts: Walk up stairs and escalators, get off the bus or train a stop early, or jump around to your favourite songs. It all adds up!

If you're on medication or have a medical condition, please speak to your GP before you start a new exercise routine.