8 Reasons We Lose Exercise Motivation & How to Get It Back

January 3, 2022
8 Reasons We Lose Exercise Motivation & How to Get It Back

If you’ve ever found yourself lacking the motivation to exercise, you’re not alone. It’s the same reason 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February and over $1 billion in gym memberships go unused each year.

1. No Accountability Partner

We're social beings. When it comes to working out, simply knowing someone is expecting us can motivate us to show up and keep going. You can choose to work with a personal trainer, join a group fitness class, or link up with a friend. Having someone there for support can help us prioritize fitness among life’s many competing demands. 

While this has admittedly been tougher than usual in the age of social distancing, remote personal training, virtual group fitness classes, facetime workouts with friends, and online workouts can make working out in our living rooms a little less isolating.

2. All or Nothing Mindset

Do you fall into the trap of setting unrealistically high standards for yourself? Falling short of it can cause you to give up on what you perceive as failure. The key is to flip this around and actually use it to your benefit. 

Create an ideal plan for the day or week and a backup plan. If you miss one day or task, don’t waste energy beating yourself up. Focus on what you CAN do today. Maybe you need a rest day - that’s 100% okay. Maybe you can get in a 10-minute walk instead of your 45-minute workout. Perfect do that. 

3. Set Unclear or Unattainable Goals

The problem isn’t necessarily the intention of the goals we’re setting, but in how we’re structuring them. Try to create realistic goals with a clear outcome in mind. “Eating healthier,” for instance, is subjective. That could mean eating one piece of fruit or meal prepping for a week because you’re going to be too busy to cook.  

Consider what’s doable and sustainable. Meal prepping might not be something you can do for every day of the week. But you might be able to prep snacks for the week. 

The same goes for the goal of “exercising more.” Commit to what you know you can do and what realistically fits within your schedule. How about walking for 15 minutes on your lunch break three times a week or getting in a strength training routine on Monday and Wednesday. 

Still not sure what is a doable goal or what to do? A virtual fitness coach from CoPilot works with your schedule and fitness level to craft the perfect plan for you! ‍

4. Discouragement Over Progress

The number on the scale does not define you—and it doesn’t necessarily define your progress, either. It’s common and normal to hit plateaus or have your workouts start to feel stale. 

An expert can help you switch things up with new exercises, reps, equipment, or intensities to get you out of that funk and back on track. It’s also helpful to have different measurements of progress. Focus on today. What is one thing you can do today that you couldn’t for last month or six months ago?

5. Surface Level Motivation

If you don’t know why you’re working out, then what are you working toward? And how will you ever get there? Again, we’re not talking about the “need to get in shape before vacation” kind of why. 

We’re talking about finding meaningful, long-term, and sustainable motivation to invest in your health and well-being. Maybe it’s about improving your mental health. Maybe you want more energy to keep up with your kids. Or maybe it’s the universal benefit of lowering your risk of chronic disease and boosting longevity. 

Establishing your “why” will help you understand how what you’re doing isn’t just building muscle or a number on the scale, but rather an improvement in your quality of life.

6. Health Issues or Injury

Dealing with an illness or injury can take a physical and mental toll. Even minor injuries can be traumatic and tempt us to proceed with caution when getting back into the fitness game, making it difficult to see progress or results. 

On the flip side, pushing ourselves too much too soon can lead to re-injury, which can be deflating—not to mention, dangerous. Getting back to your previous level of fitness can be a frustrating and, potentially, unrealistic, journey.

Unfortunately, there is rarely a quick-fix solution for coming back from a serious ailment. Rather it’s a gradual process that requires quite a bit of patience and the guidance of a healthcare professional. As you’re getting back into it, the best advice we can give is to listen to your body and understand that your workouts and progress are going to look different. 

This would be an ideal time to hire a personal trainer who can build an exercise program in the context of your medical history to help rebuild your strength without risk of injury or overexertion.

7. Life Changes

Despite our best fitness intentions, sometimes life just gets in the way. Whether you’ve recently had a change in your employment or experienced a major life event like the loss of a loved one or the birth of a child, it is understandable that your exercise routine may have taken a backseat. 

Have patience and give yourself some compassion. When you’re ready to move forward, there are many virtual, on-demand, and flexible fitness options available, finding one that fits your new normal should be as easy as it is essential. Heck, some are even free like YouTube. 

8. Feeling Self-Conscious or Experiencing “Gym Anxiety”

Gym anxiety or “gymtimidation” as it’s sometimes called, has been known to deter people from working out in a public setting. In one study, as many as half of the people found working out around others at a fitness club to be a daunting experience. It’s tough when the same activity that’s supposed to help alleviate stress and anxiety is causing it instead.

If you can’t quite shake the feeling, virtual fitness options are super easy to access and with a remote personal trainer, you can work out where you feel the most comfortable.

The best workout regimen is the one that keeps you motivated to keep moving. If you’ve lost steam, it’s time to consider a different approach... one that integrates seamlessly into your life.

CoPilot fitness coaches can help you get your mojo back. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Start your free trial today.


More Articles