How to Stick With Your Workouts: Tips from Consistent Exercisers

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Working out day after day can sometimes feel like a chore, right? Yet there are some people who seem like they almost never skip a workout. How do they do it? I asked some of my favorite health and fitness bloggers about what keeps them motivated and consistent with their workouts, and here’s what they had to say!

How_to_Stick_With_Your_Workouts

Monica Olivas * Run Eat Repeat

I think finding an exercise routine or class you LOVE is the best way to stick with it. When you are having fun it doesn’t seem like a chore – you actually look forward to getting your sweat on! I love running, so that’s what I do. And I suggest you figure out a way to sweat that is fun for YOU.

Gina Harney * The Fitnessita

Something that helps me stick to my fitness routine is to make it a non-negotiable part of my day. Maybe I have to shorten my workout or change the time around, but it will happen at some point in the day. I think something else that helps me remain consistent is that I’m always changing it up. This way, I have something new to look forward to and don’t feel bored with my routine.

Roni Noone * Roni’s Weigh

My #1 tip for staying consistent with exercise is to schedule it. I have all my gym dates and runs in my calendar. Sometimes they are in the morning, sometimes at night, sometimes squished in at lunch, but, at the beginning of the week, I look ahead and plan my workouts just like I do everything else that I’ve made a priority.

Julie Fagan * Peanut Butter Fingers

Switching to morning workouts has made the biggest difference in terms of the consistency of my workouts. Nothing pops up on my calendar at 5am and I love beginning the day doing something positive for my body. Plus, by the time I actually feel like I’m awake, my workout is over!

Cassey Ho * Blogilates

What’s kept me consistent is picking something I really love doing. For me, Pilates has been my go-to exercise since high school and it’s always made me feel good. It never felt like a chore and that’s the key to sticking to an active lifestyle. You have to love it and keep itching for more!

Lindsay Livingston * The Lean Green Bean

Keep trying new things until you find something you love. If you love your workouts and are excited about doing them, you’re more likely to do them consistently throughout the week and not let life get in the way.

Find a time of day that works best for you. Just because someone else is getting up at 5am to go running, doesn’t mean you have to. If your day goes more smoothly if you sleep in and do your workout at 5pm, do that! There is no right or wrong time to workout. What’s important is that you get it done!

Sarah Dussault * Sarah Fit

Instead of meeting friends to go out for drinks, make it a date to try a studio or class together. This works well when I want to wake up for an early class. Signing up ahead of time is like an insurance policy too because you don’t want to get charged for not showing up! I particularly do this when I know I have a busy week.

Jess Allen * Blonde Ponytail

As a former college athlete, exercise was already programmed into my schedule. Once my eligibility expired, I had to schedule exercise on my own. Now, I block out time for workouts just like any appointment or meeting. It is an important part of my day, even more so now that I’m a mom!

Anne Mauney * FANNEtastic Food

The biggest thing that helps to keep me consistent is workout buddies! Especially for morning workouts/runs, knowing I have someone waiting for me is what gets me out of bed. I don’t want to disappoint them! It also turns the workout into a fun social outing. I’m a big fan of multitasking by combining catching up with friends and exercise

Carla Birnberg * Carla Birnberg

For me it is as simple as doing what I can when I can and””as zany as this sounds””doing less than I can each day! I’m a pretty non-traditional exerciser anyway (I favor PLAYouts over WORKouts – Freeze Tag over fitness classes) yet I’ve found always doing LESS than I am capable of results in my waking the next day WANTING to do more! This approach has made certain I don’t overtrain. I’m never ‘too sore to move’ and I look forward to PLAYING again the next day. This approach helped me shed 35 pounds over two decades ago (!) and consistently ENJOY maintaining my loss.

Brittany Mullins * Eating Bird Food

I’ve been able to stick with a consistent workout routine over the years by doing things that I enjoy and switching up my routine frequently so that I never get bored. Doing the same type of workout, at the same intensity day after day isn’t exciting — it gets repetitive and your body adapts so you most likely won’t see much change in terms of weight-loss or strength building either.

Ashley * Coffee Cake and Cardio

The key to being consistent with your workouts is to find a workout you love!  When you love what you do, you’ll find yourself never wanting to miss your workouts! I can never pass up a spin workout. It is the workout that leaves me feeling the best and keeps me coming back for more.

Jennipher Walters * Fit Bottomed Girls

Have a goal with a reward. Whether it’s to do more push-ups, run faster or even work out for five times in a week for at least 10 minutes a session, a weekly or monthly goal really helps me to focus and stay consistent. And the reward? Whether it’s a pair of flip flops, a guilty pleasure magazine or a workout song download, is just icing on the cake!

Record it. Lots of studies show that tracking your workouts whether on actual pen and paper or online or on an app helps people to stay on track. For years I’ve been recording my workouts and my foam rolling sessions (only way I’ll do ’em!) in a journal. It’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come, and it motivates me to keep going!

Focus on how good you feel when you’re regularly working out. Working out consistently gives me energy and makes me feel more confident. Whenever I’m in a workout rut or can’t get motivated, just remembering that exercise always makes me feel awesome, is usually enough reason to stay consistent. Plus, when you stay consistent with it, you don’t have to start over and over again from square one!

Theodora Blanchfield * Preppy Runner

I stay consistent by taking group fitness classes that I have to book in advance. I get penalized for not showing up, so I don’t want to lose that money! This also forces me to make it a non-negotiable part of my schedule and arrange things around it so I definitely make it.

And a tip from me!

Tina Haupert * Carrots ”˜N’ Cake

Don’t put away your gear! If you’re a long-time reader of CNC, you probably notice random sneakers in the background of my photos on occasion. It’s partly because I’m a slob, but also because I like leaving my sneakers out as a visual reminder to get moving””like taking Murphy for a long walk or going to a CrossFit class later in the day. Same goes with my foam roller. I keep it in the living room to remind me to roll out my tight muscles. And, of course, this works for other gear like dumbbells, resistance bands, etc. Keep them in your living room or bedroom as a constant reminder to fit in some exercise!

Question of the Day

What keeps you motivated and consistent with your workouts?

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62 Comments

  1. My job actually keeps me consistent. It’s always uncertain how late I will have to work so it forces me to workout every morning. Sometimes I’m too tired to get up at 4am, but I always remind myself how amazing I feel when I’m done and I’m more focused at work too. I also think it’s important to find an activity you LOVE. It makes it easier to repeatedly do it.

  2. I think about what I’ll be doing instead of working out. The answer is usually just sitting around watching TV, which is doing nothing good for my body. Thinking of that pushes me to get off my butt. Although starting Monday I’m going to be working from 8am-9pm, so I’ll definitely need some motivation then haha!

  3. Great tips!! Thanks for putting together the list from great bloggers!!

    I am motivated by goals-an upcoming race, being able to do X number of pushups, pullups, etc. It is also good to have exercise partners to keep you accountable and motivated.

  4. Oh I love this post and reading what they do is so motivating! For me, like Gina, make it non-negotiable. It’s just something, like taking a shower, I have to do everyday. Sometimes I might want to skip and if that’s the case I tell myself to either change up the routine or at least give it 10 minutes, if I’m still not feeling it, only then will I say, just not my day for it.

  5. Setting a certain time of day aside just for workouts. Often when that time rolls around and I don’t feel motivated, I tell myself I can waste the hour debating or just do it! Having that time carved out makes it easy to know that that is my time. And having an hour to yourself can be a gift in itself!

  6. Great tips!!

    I stay motivated/consistent with my workouts by doing things I LOVE – running, barre, spinning and yoga. Also, I make sure to workout before work if I have a busy day ahead… That way it’s over with and I won’t have the option of skipping it in order to get other stuff done. 🙂

  7. Mind if a guy chimes in?

    For me, I workout after my day job is over. I go straight from work to my CrossFit box. I get my gear packed the night before. If I go home before working out, there’s an exponentially greater chance that I will just skip the WOD. Having my hour of fitness be part of my commute home really helps get me there and make it seem much less of a “chore” or “choice”.

  8. I schedule out my workouts and typically complete them first thing in the morning. If I am tired because I daughter was up half the night, I am going to be tired regardless if I work out or not so might as well workout. I also used to sleep with my workout clothes on. It is really hard to skip a workout when you are already dressed.

  9. Finding a type of exercise I loved changed everything for me. I really love Pure Barre, so more often than not it doesn’t feel like a chore to go. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then of course it’s going to be harder to stick with it! I’m also NOT a morning exerciser. I prefer mid-day to afternoon workouts and that works for me!

  10. i keep all my “visual cues” like weights, rollers and sneakers out but it doesn’t seem to help 🙁
    These are all great tips. I have nothing to add but I can attest to the buddy thing. It’s never an issue when meeting friends for a run at 5am. But to do it on my own….not gonna happen.

    I’m actually looking to find a trainer who will come to my house to get me into a strength training routine. =)

  11. There are so many reasons why I exercise consistently. I agree with Julie, I love my 5am workouts. They go by so quickly and it not only feels great to start the day on a positive note, I’m more likely to get that workout in before the craziness of the rest of the day begins.

    It also helps me handle anxiety and stress, which can easily take over my life if I let it. Before I used to workout to stay slim, but now I workout mainly to help keep me calm (and maintaining my weight is an added bonus!).

  12. Accountability has always been a big motivator for me. By telling people my goals: I’m going to work out every day at 5 a.m. or, I’m going to increase my running distance, I have to follow through. I never want someone to ask, “So, did you go to the gym today?” And have to put my tail between my legs and say I didn’t go. So, making a goal and sharing it with people, that’s helped me.

  13. Get a dog!! Even on the days that I know I’m not going to make it to the gym, I have to walk her 2 times a day for 20-30 minutes each. It helps keep me active and helps me feel less guilty. I also walk her when I come home from being out with friends…I swear, it’s my hangover preventative! It’s generally the last thing I want to do if I’ve been out all night, but getting her out for a walk one more time (I live in a safe neighborhood and never feel uncomfortable) helps her and it helps me circulate my boozy blood around!

  14. These are great tips! I’ve been struggling to consistently exercise for a long time (like most people). I’m slowly trying different things to find what I like. I know I like yoga and pilates, so now I feel like I need a little more cardio and weight training. Thanks for sharing!

  15. #1: become a fitness instructor 🙂 I decided to become a Spinning instructor 6 years ago, because I really like being on a bike. My job has me teaching at least 3 classes a week (some times 5 or 6), so even if I lazy, or I don’t have an upcoming race or triathlon to train for, I am always spinning at least 3 times a week. Even though I do that close to 52 weeks per year, I see myself as being a couch potato if I just spin.
    #2: become a bike commuter. Again, even if I don’t feel like lifting or going for a run, I commute to my various jobs or to run many of my errands. Because I live in a small town, I only get 20/30 miles of commuting a week…not a lot, but combines with my spinning, it keeps me active yea-round

  16. What a great idea for a post! These are all great and I always love finding new bloggers to follow. The biggest ones for me are definitely finding something that I love to do and scheduling in workouts, which makes my “me time” a priority.

  17. It seems like finding something you love and scheduling it in are the two most common pieces of advice. I definitely agree with them! I also find that having a workout where I can easily measure my progress is very motivating for me. That and knowing how good I feel after exercising.

  18. This post is great! As many of the other exercisers said, I feel finding something you love is so key, you do it because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to. Teaching and taking classes is another sure fire way to keep you on schedule!

  19. For me, since I’m a runner, I always have a race in mind that I need to keep training for. I tend to plan on one per season so I am motivated to stay in shape throughout the whole year. I make sure it’s a race that is fun and I am excited about. Whenever I go out for a run I try to go somewhere different. Nothing makes me sick of running more than running the same route everyday!

  20. These are all great tips! I think it’s so awesome that you included a wide range of bloggers too.

    I like Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean’s advice. Finding something you actually enjoy is so important!! Then you actually look forward to it.

  21. Love this post! I totally agree with Gina. Working out is just part of the day. I hardly ever miss a day unless I’m dead tired and can barely move or busy with work. Other than that, it’s just part of the day!

  22. Awesome post! All of my fav bloggers in one place!

    Checking Pinterest boards keeps me motivated. I love seeing new workout apparel and gear and new workout pins!

  23. I love all of these bloggers and that you got their best tips all in one place! They say it takes about a month to form a habit. Stick with consistent workouts for a month and it becomes a habit. Just like brushing my teeth or making my bed, my workouts are now a habit that I keep up with.

  24. Love hearing other’s thoughts! I agree with Roni. Scheduling workouts definitely keeps me accountable. If it’s in my calendar, it usually always happens. And when my workout is finished, I’m always so glad I did it. (how come I can’t remember that before I start?!)

  25. I love that you polled so many great fitness bloggers. When I was in the 9-to-5 world, I adhered to working out early in the morning as the only way to stay consistent. But now that my schedule is more flexible, I keep a very strict routine of teaching/taking the same group fitness classes each week and doing my own workouts on some days. It’s time I block on my calendar, so I never have to wonder if I am free at a certain time. I always take Sundays off, and make sure to schedule social time around my workouts. I’ve never regretted a workout, so I know it’s important for me to make it a priority.

  26. I like to switch it up so I don’t get bored! But I have made it part of my routine! I am a morning person I wake up and go workout and it works wonders for me! Now I don’t like a morning that I don’t have time for at least a quick run or lift!

  27. Several years ago I made a promise to myself that I would never go more than two days in a row without a workout. It has worked perfectly. And, usually I only take one day off every seven days. It just feels like it’s a part of my day, like eating meals. It’s required, and it only has to be a minimum of 30 minutes.

  28. Reading all the different tips are really motivational and helpful. What helps me the most is entering an event and working towards it with a training plan. I don’t even have to think about what i am doing i just look at my plan.

  29. Great post! Not only does it give great ideas but also a great list of blogs to check out 🙂

  30. Mixing it up and making it a non-negotiable, but I’m curious if they work out 7 days a week? I’m really struggling with this, I feel guilty if I take a day off and I know I shouldn’t.

  31. I love this! Planning my workouts for the week helps me, I am more likely to go workout if I already know what I need to do!

  32. I love working out in the morning! By getting it done first thing I feel so much better the rest of the day. If I don’t get it done right away I feel off the rest of the day.So by knowing that, that also works as a motivator to get my butt into gear and go workout!

  33. I love reading everyone’s individual ways of sticking with workouts. Like Roni, I (loosely) schedule my workouts throughout the week. Each Sunday, I look at my schedule and decide what I’ll do throughout the week, starting with a day that will be hard to work out (=rest day) and then filling in the rest. On days I don’t know what to do, I look back at my calendar and see what I haven’t done in awhile. Yoga? Strength? This helps keep me balanced and (hopefully) injury-free. I actually wrote about this on my blog recently. (http://wp.me/p4366J-fM) I think you need to find what works for you, though, and that can be hard to figure out. Just a lot of trial and error to see what motivates you and keeps you going.

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