You are more likely to want to come back to a workout if your memory of that workout is a pleasant one. A lot of people assume exercise has to be hard to work, but it turns out the opposite is more true. When exercise is enjoyable, we’re more likely to want to keep doing it. The more we do it, the easier it is for us to become fit. The better our fitness, the better we feel. The easier it becomes to exercise. When we exercise in a sustainable way, we reap more of the benefits. You also tend to avoid the down sides of exercise, like injuries or overtraining. It’s a virtuous cycle.
There are a lot ways to make exercise enjoyable. A good way of thinking about it is by adding enjoyable things to your workout before, during, and/or after.
For example, music is a tried and true way to get psyched to workout -- pump-up jams are used by Olympic athletes, NCAA sports teams, Soulcycle classes, and beyond. The science behind why it works: Source: Scientific American
You can also make working out enjoyable things to look forward to at the end of your workout, like food that feels like a “treat.”
Alternatively, you can add the treat before the workout. A good example is buying a piece of workout gear that makes you happy and excited. A pair of lululemon leggings, new running shoes, or a well-made all-weather jacket can help motivate you to hit the trails instead of hitting snooze. The idea is that it should feel like a “treat.” Source: The Power of Habit
Athletes of all levels need a little kick sometimes. These are a few of the things we try when we’re looking to stay inspired.
Put your favorite music on a playlist and only listen to it when you’re working out.
Put together a playlist where the BPM is at the same pace you want to run or bike to. When are body is synced up to the beat of music -- or other people -- it releases opioids in our brain that make us feel good.
Audio books, podcasts, and other entertainment
Any form of entertainment you enjoy can be a workout motivator if you make a rule for yourself that you only listen to that entertainment or watch that Netflix series if you’re exercising to it.
Schedule a weekly virtual run / walk date
Toast runs, donut rides, and beer-sponsored biking clubs
Create a routine - find the workout, route, ride, or practice that you look forward to coming back to every day because it “just works.”
Create a ritual
Start very small - 1 pushup a day, 1 mile a day
Source: Atomic Habits, Nike Trained Podcast with Simon Sinek
Learn your motivation style and play to it:
Recap here. Source: Gretchen Reuben, The Four Tendencies
Book a races or “active” vacation in a beautiful place
Beautiful races in beautiful places
Running / Utah
Biking / East Coast during fall
Hiking / Half Dome
Swimming / Alcatraz
Go on a “quest”
[Joe Grant’s Tour de 14rs](https://vimeo.com/ondemand/themiddleway), [Ricky Gates,](http://www.rickeygates.com/) [52 Peaks](https://www.52peakclub.com/the-basics.html), [Samantha Gash run across India](https://www.runnerstribe.com/latest-news/samantha-gash-starts-3800km-record-run-across-india/), [AIDS ride](https://www.aidslifecycle.org/), [Ride Across America](https://rideacrossamerica.us/), [RAGBRAI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAGBRAI)