15 Inspiring Tips from Real People: How to Stay Motivated and in Shape

A couple working out with dumbbells in a gym.

Staying in shape can be challenging, especially when motivation is hard to come by. Whether you’re just starting on your fitness journey or working out for years, finding ways to stay motivated is crucial.

People shared their experiences and advice on social media in response to the question, “How do you stay motivated to stay in shape?” Here are the top-voted answers.

Once you are done reading, share your tips and tricks to stay motivated in the comments.

#1 “At first, it’s a chore, then it’s a hobby, then it’s a way of life.”

This Reddit user added, “Building momentum from one to the other is hard, and it’s easy to lose, but motivation usually starts from outside of you and eventually comes from inside of you.”

Another shared, “It took me about 2 years to get into the habit of running every day. It’s been about a decade now, and I still feel off all day if I don’t go for at least a few miles every morning. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

#2 “I make workouts non-negotiable.”

One user said, ”I make workouts non-negotiable. I frame it as something I have to do, and I feel like s**t if the week’s circumstances force me to miss a session. The results are also self-reinforcing in terms of better daily feeling, better nightly sleep, and fewer aches and pains in my middle age.”

Another shared, “Totally. When I lived close to my gym, I would go home after work to change. But I made a rule that I wasn’t allowed to sit down, because that cut my chances of getting up again by about 75%. Just don’t stop moving.”

#3 “Working out releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

“I hunt the elusive psychological benefit that comes from exercise; getting in shape is just a byproduct,” replied one user.

Another added, “Same. It’s never been a motivational struggle for me since my mood just tanks without some physical exercise.”

A third user agreed with the emotional benefits of exercise and added, “I need exercise emotionally. It really helps with my depression. Better than any drug. Has to be hard, long exercise too. Being in shape is just a nice side benefit. That said, try rock climbing. It’s both intense and very entertaining.”

#4 “A burning desire to be a better me.”

This user went on to share their story about why they desire to become a better version of themselves. ”Once upon a time I gave up on myself, my family lost faith in my ability, and my lover lost faith in me as well. Only I could turn the page on what I’m viewed as, and so I get up everyday with a desire to be the man I said I would always be.”

#5 “Remembering how I feel when I look my best.”

“Remembering how I feel when I look my best, and stay my leanest, will always overpower the brief serotonin from putting pizza into my gob,” replied one.

Another added, “Yeah that’s the same for me! I used to be overweight, and now I’m really lean. Everything in life changed. It’s hard to even explain for people who haven’t seen both sides. The attention from women grew by a large amount. The way people listen to you is different. Everything changes.”

#6 Build an active lifestyle.

One user said, ”I’ve cultivated a lifestyle where no motivation is required. Exercise is simply built in. We have an active dog, so she needs multiple long walks every day. It’s not optional. I have a toddler who chases me around and doesn’t get to sit in front of a TV all the time. I have an active job and take care of our home.”

Another shared, “Personally I feel like people were more fit ‘back in the day,’ not due to some mystical will power but because they had no choice. Being active was compulsory.”

#7 “Exercise sucks less than death.”

“I spent an obscene amount of money on a piece of equipment. I see it, look at my checkbook, and drag myself to it for an hour. Happens about five times a week,” shared one user.

Another replied, “My doctor said ‘Whatever it takes. The money you spent costs way less than treating heart disease.’ And I assume exercise sucks less than death. I mean, most days.”

#8 “We do it all together.”

This Reddit user shared, “We do it all together, husband and the kids and me, through various activities, martial arts, sports nights at the school, dancing, even just walking and running.”

#9 “Find the activity you really love.”

This Reddit user went on to say, ”It doesn’t have to be a conventional gym workout. I know someone who lost 100 lbs and kept it off by getting into geocaching.”

Someone replied, “In the winter, I’m obsessed with skiing, so I’m motivated to do that, and the exercise just comes along with it. In the summer, I just get fat. I think the key is to find things you enjoy that happen to be a workout rather than finding a way to commit to workouts.”

#10 Write down your workouts.

“I think a big motivator for me was writing my workouts down. Seeing those numbers keep going up helped, especially early on. It also helps you just keep progressing in general,” replied one.

This user shared, “Once you’ve made enough progress, you’ll see the muscle gains and stretch marks where you want to see them. After you start visually seeing progress, you’ll be motivated to just keep it going and growing.”

#11 Take lessons from older generations.

One user said, “All I needed was to look at my parents when they were 50 and 60. Both had never really exercised and were always overweight when I was a kid, and by the time they were in their 50s, everything began breaking down for them.”

#12 “Get your heart broken. Get ripped.”

#13 “I am too poor to afford new clothes every time I put on a couple of pounds.”

#14 “I look in the mirror with my shirt off every morning.”

#15 “Being fat is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard.”

That’s the mantra we’ve adopted as we navigate our journey to health and fitness. It’s a simple but powerful reminder that there are no easy solutions when it comes to our bodies and our health.

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of how to stay motivated to stay in shape.

Featured Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com.

This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

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Annika Stepanov

Annika is passionate about personal finance and travel, pouring her extensive experience into her writing on these topics. She has a diploma in Creative English Writing and has been working in the industry since 2016.