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Staying motivated to exercise can be difficult for many adults, especially when trying to meet the demands of work and family. Kids and younger adults are often engaged in sports as part of an educational requirement and don’t have to think about it, but for working adults with a family, it can be tough to find the time for exercise.

Unless you are an athlete training for an event, such as a triathlon, or engaged in weekly recreational sports activities, chances are workouts need to be scheduled. Here are some tips for getting and staying motivated to work out when you just don’t feel like it.

Redefine what Work Out Means
Why should something good for us have the word “work” in its description? It is time to think about exercise as “me time.” An exercise routine should be a time that is personal and empowering. Try to think of it as a time that you deserve. It is okay to be a little selfish about this particular time in your day. Remind yourself that exercise will benefit you physically and mentally, just like a good night’s sleep.

Set Achievable Goals and Stick to Them
It is unrealistic to set a goal that is not achievable. Start by assessing your strengths and limitations based on your current health and physical condition. It isn’t a bad idea to write these down.

Some people may need to start with a 15 to 30-minute walk six days a week followed by easy yoga stretches. Others might have the stamina to run 3 miles a day and cool down by lifting weights.

Keep in mind that you can always redefine your goals as you start feeling more physically fit.

Take a Class or Join a Gym
It is hard to deny that paying good money for a class or a gym membership can be motivation enough. Someone who has spent $35 for a 45-minute spin class is likely to show up and participate. A gym membership can have the same result. These days it is hard to justify the excuse that a gym membership is just too expensive when there are so many gyms with $10 monthly membership fees.

The other benefit of a class or a gym membership is that you are motivated by the other people working out around you.

Stick to a Schedule
Many workout routines are successful when performed at the same time every day. If you are a morning person, set your alarm and do your exercises before you start your day. You will be happy to have that behind you.

If mornings aren’t your thing, plan to exercise at the end of a long workday or just before the kids come home from school. This is an excellent way to break up your day and to hit the reset button.

Schedule a Day or Two of Rest
Personal trainers are adamant that muscles and organs need to recover from exercise. It is suggested that at least one day a week be a day of rest and recovery with no exercise. Make this one of your goals to look forward to as a reward for sticking to your routine.

Exercise promotes physical well-being and reduces stress. Not only do you deserve this time to yourself, it makes those other responsibilities easier because you’ll have more energy and feel better by taking care of yourself. With all our priorities, we need to put our health and well-being at the top of the list.