Motivation to exercise

Fitness - Getting Started, Keeping Going and reaping the rewards!

We have to get started and keep going to reap the rewards but so many people stumble at perceived roadblocks and just give up.  So let’s explore ways to dismantle the roadblocks, turn words into actions and experience the benefits!

A primary motivator for success that drives and sustains our actions is to fully believe in the benefits an action will bring, so let’s remind ourselves of the rewards of regular exercise.

  • Mental and emotional wellbeing (confidence, self-esteem, self-belief, inner strength, mental energy help with anxiety etc.)
  • Positively affects social and family life
  • Can do things with energy to spare
  • Prevents and manages many serious health conditions
  • Strength, stamina, suppleness, improved posture, shape, size etc.
  • Imagine a drug delivering these benefits with no harmful side-effects- it would be criminal not to license it!
  • Dismantling the Roadblocks

Lack of Time?  The problem is usually wrong priorities!  With a determined effort, most of us could reprioritise or rearrange things to include exercise into our week.  If it’s difficult getting out, why not put some music on and just dance!  Or a short walk from home?  Could we use the car less (be honest!)?  Or park further away from our destination and walk the rest?  Could some of our TV time be reallocated (it could for most of us)?

Overcoming the usual excuses!

Exercising with someone else.  We may let ourselves down but we’re less likely to let others down (and it’s sociable too!)

Exercise even when tired.  Because it’s usually mental and not physical tiredness and exercise is just what we need!  Try it and experience how exercise reenergises and relaxes tense muscles.

Embarrassment/self-consciousness/fear.  It can be disheartening if everyone seems younger/fitter/slimmer/more confident than us but there’s so much on offer today that this needn’t be a problem.  We could start with just walking but there are also many dance, exercise or sports sessions for absolute beginners (no skill needed), all ages, levels and for people living with medical problems.  And remember, being unfit is a good reason to start!

Set realistic goals.  We’re more likely to succeed and overcomes inertia if the goals are small, specific, realistic and within a set timeframe.  Having overcome any roadblocks, let’s agree on some action!  Make a firm pledge to exercise at least once-a-week at a set day(s) and time(s) and protect this time and claim it as your own.  Friends and family will soon recognise and respect your new commitments.

Some things to help you meet your goals:

Be prepared.  Do we have the right clothing or footwear?  Do we need to pre-book?  Could we arrange for someone to accompany us?  Is the diary free?

Don’t be too ambitious.  If we’re just starting out, planning to run 3 miles every day is not a good plan!  Start with small, easy goals because we can always develop these, which is always better than having to scale down over-ambitious plans.

Don’t be hard on yourself for missing a session or two.  If, after 5-6 weeks, we can see that on average we’re more active than previously, we are successful!

Be flexible.  Try new things because variety keeps us fresh and prevents boredom

Frequently remind yourself why you’re doing it (put little notes in your diary)

Reflect on improvements (less breathlessness, more positive, more energy etc…) and feel good about these (remember, focus mainly on feeling good on the inside!)

Remember it’s a journey, so enjoy the experience, grow in confidence and allow gradual changes

What Uncovered did

Logging activities gives a great sense of achievement when we look back and see what we’ve actually done over time.  An example could be:

Date What I Did How I Felt
2nd Jan 45min Brisk wal with Jane. Pub Lunch afterwards! Good to Chat. Glowing at the end and felt really alive! Good lunch too!
5th Jan First beginner's tramploine lesson at Lesuire Centre with Anna A bit nervous didn't expect too much! Friendly group. Quite a laugh and nice to do something different
8th Jan Salsa dancing with Mum.

Quite energetic!  Very sociable.  Not the only one there with two left feet!  Quite a workout but great fun- time whizzed by! 

Feeling fitter already and more positive!

Maybe start with some walking; there are some tips overleaf to help you!  Or why not widen your horizons and do something totally new?  The rewards are very real, so believe this, make a firm decision to get started and keep going and claim and experience them as your own! 

We would love to hear how you’ve got on, so let us know and share your ideas with others. 

Relevant products


For more information on fitness, please visit

Some useful websites  Becoming more active in general Ways to become more active and the specific benefits  Information on ramblers groups

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